HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE CATARACTS?
Cataracts are diagnosed after an eye exam with one of our doctors or an optometrist. You may have cataracts if you:
- Are over the age of 60
- Notice your vision is progressively worsening
- Have cloudy or blurry vision
- Need frequent prescription changes in your eyeglasses or contact lenses
- See glare around headlights, lamps, or sunlight
- Have poor night vision
- Have double vision or multiple images
- Notice that colours seem faded or “washed out”
HOW CATARACT SURGERY WORKS
If your cataracts progress to the point where they interfere with your vision and make it difficult to perform everyday tasks, surgical treatment is the best choice. If left untreated, poor vision may lead to motor vehicle accidents, falls, and other accidents to the patient or others.
Cataract surgery involves removing the clouded, cataract-diseased lens and replacing it with an artificial lens implant (an intraocular lens or IOL). The most common surgery performed in the world, cataract surgery is extremely safe and effective. Complications are rare.
There are different lenses to suit different lifestyles. Some lenses are designed to work best for near vision; others for distance vision. Special lenses have the ability to adjust for both near and distance vision. Other lenses are intended to correct astigmatism. For example, if you spend a lot of time reading or sewing, you may opt for a different lens than someone who spends a lot of time driving or playing sports. Our eye doctors and cataract consultants will help you select the best lens package for your lifestyle.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Prior to cataract surgery, several tests will be performed to determine the most suitable type of intraocular lens package for your lifestyle. We specialize in many types of new high technology lenses that allows for clear vision for distance, near, or both, even without glasses or contact lenses.
Once your surgery date has been scheduled, you will receive comprehensive instructions and a prescription for medicated eye drops. We recommend starting the eye drops two days before your cataract surgery.
On the day of surgery, you will need to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery. Please plan on being here for approximately 3 hours. You will be awake during surgery but you will not be able to see the surgery being performed. If you are nervous, we have medication you can take prior to the surgery to relax you. The procedure takes 8 – 15 minutes and goes by very quickly. It is not painful but there is a sensation of pressure and water. After surgery, we will place a clear, plastic protective patch over your eye. Both eyes are generally done on separate days.
RECOVERING FROM SURGERY & ADJUSTING TO YOUR LENSES
As your eye recovers from surgery, it is normal to have light sensitivity, slight blurriness, tearing, and a gritty or irritated feeling in the eye. These side effects take 1 – 2 weeks to subside. There is usually a slight period of adjustment to the artificial lenses but it is relatively short. Your vision may continue to adjust over several weeks to months.
Wear your protective eye shield at night for a week after surgery. During the day, you can wear sunglasses or your normal glasses to protect the treated eye. Use the eye drops as per the schedule we provide until we advise otherwise. Avoid getting your eyes wet, dirty environments, or heavy lifting for the first 2 weeks.
We will provide follow up appointments in the following weeks to make sure your eyes are healing properly.
One in 10 patients develops scar tissue behind their intraocular lens, which causes blurry vision. This is easily treated with a procedure called a YAG capsulotomy, in which a laser is used to break up scar tissue that forms after surgery. The YAG capsulotomy is painless and takes only a few minutes.
Schedule a Consultation with Our Team
To learn more about cataract surgery, the lens packages we offer, or YAG capsulotomy, please schedule a consultation with our team. Contact Fraser Valley Cataract & Laser today.
“From the consulation all the way through my PRK surgery, the staff were able to answer all my questions. They are very thorough with their pre-op information. I had no questions going into surgery. They pre book all follow up appointments so you don’t have to worry about a thing. Dr. King was very approachable and answered any burning questions I had. Would definitely recommend them!”
“All of the staff at Fraser Valley Cataract & Laser were professional, competent, approachable and helpful. They were able to accommodate my schedule when booking appointments. I was always taken on time and each procedure was carefully explained. I felt very comfortable with the entire experience and had complete trust in their ability. They met or exceeded my expectations and I’m delighted with my result.”
“Amazing staff! Every member of the staff made each part of my experience more comfortable. Staff members were very knowledgeable and answered all my questions as well as told me what to expect with PRK. I am very happy with my experience and would definitely recommend Fraser Valley Cataract and Laser to others!”
“Everyone on the Fraser Valley Cataract and Laser team and Dr. King were all wonderful and made the LASIK experience comfortable and easy. I would recommend FVCL and Dr. King to anyone who is looking into getting vision correction.”