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Cataracts and Cataract Surgery

Healthy Eyes vs. CataractsWhat are cataracts?

Cataracts are a normal part of the aging process, in which the tissues in the lens of the eye break down and clump together, clouding the lens. This clouding is called a cataract.

How are cataracts treated?

During the beginning stages of cataract development, prescription glasses can treat the symptoms, but eventually, glasses will no longer clear the vision. At this point, the only effective treatment is surgery to replace the clouded lens with a plastic implant.

How do I know when it’s time for surgery?

Once Dr. Vann notices a cataract forming, he will begin regular check-ups to monitor the progression. Dr. Vann will determine when it is time for surgery. Our staff will then arrange the initial consultation and the surgery for you.

What happens at the consultation?

During the consultation, the surgeon will look at your cataract and discuss the surgical process. In some cases, the surgeon may offer optional upgraded lens implants at your expense. Because Dr. Vann is most familiar with your visual history, we strongly encourage you to contact us if you have any questions about lens implant options.

What happens during cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery is a simple outpatient procedure in which the clouded lens is removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens. The entire process takes about 2 hours, with the surgery itself only taking about 10-15 minutes.

What should I expect after surgery?

You will feel mild discomfort for a few days, and you may be required to use eye drops while your eye heals. If you need surgery in both eyes, the second surgery will typically be scheduled within a week or two of the first.

What happens during the follow-up visits?

Follow up visits with Dr. Vann are essential to ensure that your eye is healing properly, and to check your visual acuity.

What about my glasses?

It will be necessary to update your glasses after surgery. While new lens implants provide clarity, glasses are still needed to refocus your vision, and provide much needed UV protection, glare control, and light control. In most cases, insurance will help with the cost of your new glasses.

What are secondary cataracts?

Secondary cataracts form on the lens capsule rather than the lens itself and often develop two to three years after surgery. While they do cause vision loss, it is easily corrected through a painless outpatient procedure called laser capsulotomy or YAG. Once the lens capsule is treated there is no need to worry about any additional clouding.