Preparing Yourself For Cataract Surgery

Leon Bowman

Cataract surgery has become a common procedure offered by eye doctors. It is convenient because it can be done in their office and only takes a few minutes. If you're apprehensive about having this surgery, here are a few tips to prepare yourself and help reduce the anxiety.

Before the Day of the Procedure

You will need to have someone pick you up after the procedure because your eye will be dilated and you won't be able to drive. Ask a friend to take you to the clinic and wait for you, or send them shopping for a couple of hours during your procedure.

Eat a light meal the night before, especially if you get queasy going to the doctor's office. Get a good night's sleep, too, so you'll be more relaxed.

You'll spend an hour or two resting in the clinic after the procedure so the doctor is sure you won't have any problems with your eye when you get home. You'll likely want to rest after you get home as well, so clear out your day even though the procedure itself doesn't take that long.

The Day of the Procedure

After you're checked in, an assistant will help you get comfortable in a chair that reclines for the procedure. You'll receive drops in the eye being worked on. This numbs your eye so you'll have no pain and dilates the pupil to make it easier for your doctor to remove the cataract.

Once the eye drops have taken effect, your eye doctor will make a small incision in the eye and use an ultrasonic tool to break up the cataract so it can be removed easily. Once all of the cataract has been removed, your eye will be flushed gently to prepare for the new lens.

An artificial lens made of silicone, acrylic or plastic is inserted into the space left by removing the cataract. This lens becomes a permanent part of your eye. No sutures are required and your eye will be left to heal naturally around the new lens.

After the Procedure

Your eye will still be dilated for a few hours during which time you'll be sensitive to light and unable to drive. Your friend can take you home once the doctor is satisfied that you'll have no problems at home.

For the next few days, your eye may feel itchy while it is healing. Don't rub the eye and if you have a hard time remembering this, your doctor can give you a shield to wear over your eye for a few days. As the eye heals your sight will become clearer. Your eye doctor will tell you when to come in for a follow up.

While this is a simple procedure done many times each day by ophthalmologists (such as those from Dr. Alex G. Wilson & Associates Eye Doctors), it is still a surgical procedure and can make people nervous. Understanding what to expect and how the procedure is done will help you to be less anxious and more excited that you'll soon have clearer vision.