In addition to offering laser vision correction procedures, Dr. Linda Vu is a skilled cataract surgeon serving Los Angeles and all surrounding areas. She has helped many individuals enjoy clearer vision and a better quality of life after cataracts. Here, Dr. Vu addresses the most frequently asked questions about cataract surgery.
How do I know if I have a cataract?
You may have a cataract (clouding of the eye’s natural lens) if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Cloudy or blurry vision
- Poor vision at night
- Double vision
- Colors look faded or dim
- Frequent changes to your eyeglass or contact lens prescription
It is important to seek the expertise of an ophthalmologist for diagnosis. The doctor will examine your eyes and ask you about your symptoms to determine whether you have a cataract.
How are cataracts treated?
Cataracts cannot be reversed with medicine, laser treatment or lifestyle changes (i.e., diet or exercise). Wearing glasses or contact lenses does not help, either. When cataracts interfere with vision to the point where everyday activities are dangerous or difficult, they must be surgically removed.
What is the surgery like?
Cataract surgery is a short outpatient procedure that usually takes 30 to 45 minutes. It is performed with local anesthesia, so you will be awake the entire time, but not feel any pain. You will be able to return home the day of surgery.
What happens during cataract surgery?
During surgery, the clouded natural lens is broken into tiny pieces; the pieces are removed from the eye. Then, an artificial lens is placed in the eye to restore clear vision and focusing power.
What type of artificial lens is used?
There are many types of lenses available, and you will have a choice in the specific lens used. Some lenses restore vision at one fixed distance; others restore vision at multiple distances. There are even lenses that correct astigmatism. Dr. Vu will help you select the lens that is best for your needs.
Is the surgery safe?
Yes, cataract surgery is extremely safe. In fact, it is the most commonly performed surgery in the country. Millions of people have the surgery every year and enjoy great results. As with any surgery, there are inherent risks, but choosing an experienced surgeon like Dr. Vu substantially reduces the chances that something will go wrong.
What is the recovery from cataract surgery like?
For the first few days of recovery, you will need to apply special eye drops to help your eyes heal and protect them from infection. You will also need to wear a special eye patch when you sleep to avoid accidentally rubbing or poking your eyes. Overall recovery is pretty short, and most patients return to work, socializing and their normal activities within a few days of surgery.
Can cataracts come back?
No, cataracts cannot come back once the natural lens has been replaced with an artificial lens.