Who Is a Candidate for Cataract Surgery?


Are you concerned about the quality of your vision? If so, you may require cataract surgery. Cataracts develop when the natural lenses of your eyes become cloudy. If you feel like you are constantly noticing clouds in your eyes, even when you are inside, this is a sign that you may need cataract surgery. At the same time, not everyone is a candidate for cataract surgery. How do you know if cataract surgery is for you? Is this procedure safe? Take a look at some important points regarding cataract surgery below, and make sure you talk to your eye doctor about whether you are a candidate for this procedure. If cataract surgery is successful, it can dramatically improve your vision and your overall quality of life. 


Do You Have Cataracts?

First, you need to figure out if you actually have cataracts. There are numerous signs of cataracts. You might start to notice yellow or brown tinges in your eyes. You probably will not be able to see very well at night. People might also develop a fear of bright lights, called photophobia. If you are unable to spend time around bright light, you may have cataracts. You may also notice halos around your visual field, which are also signs of cataracts.

Ultimately, an eye doctor is going to be responsible for diagnosing you with cataracts. If you have been diagnosed with cataracts, then you might be a candidate for cataract surgery. This is something you need to talk about with your eye doctor. 

Are You Healthy Enough for Cataract Surgery?

Next, you need to talk to your doctor about whether you are healthy enough for cataract surgery. This is probably something that is going to be decided in conjunction with your primary care doctor. Cataract surgery requires anesthesia. Your cardiac and respiratory systems need to be healthy enough to undergo general anesthesia. Your doctor will probably do a comprehensive physical exam to make sure you are healthy enough for surgery. You might also need to talk to an anesthesiologist about your experiences with general anesthesia. If you are healthy enough to undergo anesthesia, then you may be healthy enough for cataract surgery. 

Are All Chronic Medical Conditions Controlled?

You also need to make sure all chronic medical conditions are controlled. For example, there are lots of people who suffer from diabetes. Diabetes can be controlled with diet, exercise, and medication, but diabetes can also lead to significant ocular complications. For example, one of the most common complications of diabetes is diabetic retinopathy. This can damage the blood vessels in the eyes, making it hard for the eye surgeon to do his or her job. For this reason, you need to talk to your eye doctor if you have diabetes. Diabetes, and other chronic medical conditions, need to be controlled prior to the surgical procedure. 


Have You Gone Through Ocular Surface Optimization?

If you want your eye surgery to be successful, you also need to talk to your eye doctor about ocular surface optimization. This involves taking a look at the surfaces of the eyes, which will play a significant role in cataract surgery. Then, the eye surgeon needs to optimize the ocular surface of the eyes to make sure they are ready for this procedure. For example, you may want to talk to your eye doctor about using Prokera cryopreserved amniotic membrane during cataract surgery. PROKERA for Patients can increase your chances of having successful cataract surgery. The can play an important role in ocular surface optimization, and it is part of a comprehensive plan to place everyone in a position to succeed during this procedure.

Are Your Corneas Healthy Enough? 

While talking about ocular surface optimization, your eye doctor is also going to take a look at your corneas. During the procedure, your eye surgeon will make a decision in the cornea to remove the damaged lens. There are multiple ways to cut the cornea, and there are multiple ways to remove and replace the lens. Your eye surgeon will take a close look at your corneas to make sure they are healthy enough for this procedure. If you have a condition such as keratitis, this may need to be treated before the surgical procedure takes place. Your corneas have to be healthy. 

Has Ocular Surface Disease Been Treated?

Another important part of ocular surface optimization is treating an ocular surface disease. There are lots of people who suffer from ocular surface disease because it comes in many shapes and forms. You may have been diagnosed with a condition called blepharitis. You might have also been told that you have dry eyes. If you have seasonal allergies, this can lead to ocular surface disease as well. Your eye doctor will talk to you about what you need to do to treat ocular surface disease prior to the procedure. This is important for making sure you are a strong candidate for cataract surgery.

Prepare for the Surgery and Recovery Process

Finally, it is important for you to get ready for the surgery and recovery process. If your eye doctor has said that you are a candidate for cataract surgery, the next step will be to schedule the appointment. Even though you are probably focused on getting ready for the procedure, you also need to think about the recovery process. 

You may have to wear an eye shield for a while. You probably will not be able to go swimming, as chlorine can irritate your eyes, particularly after cataract surgery. Your eye doctor will probably also ask you to wear sunglasses when you go outside. You might need someone to help you with your activities of daily living after the procedure. Your eye doctor will also probably tell you to avoid putting on makeup, as it can increase your chances of developing a bacterial infection of the eyes after the procedure. If you are comfortable with everything the doctor tells you, you may want to schedule cataract surgery. 


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