To determine whether you have a cataract, Dr. Keulder will review your medical history and symptoms, and perform an eye examination. He may conduct several tests, including: a visual acuity test, using an eye chart to measure how well you can read a series of letters, a slit lamp test allows Dr. Keulder to see the structures at the front of your eye under magnification, a retinal exam to examine your lens, using a slit lamp or an ophthalmoscope, applanation tonometry measures fluid pressure in your eye.
Cataract surgery involves removing the clouded lens and replacing it with a clear artificial lens. The artificial lens, called an intraocular lens, is positioned in the same place as your natural lens. It remains a permanent part of your eye. For some people, other eye problems prohibit the use of an artificial lens. In these situations, once the cataract is removed, vision may be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. Cataract surgery is generally done on an outpatient basis, which means you won't need to stay in a hospital after the surgery. During cataract surgery, Dr. Keulder uses a local anesthetic to numb the area around your eye, but you usually stay awake during the procedure. Cataract surgery is generally safe, but it carries a risk of infection and bleeding. Cataract surgery increases the risk of retinal detachment. After the procedure, you'll have some discomfort for a few days. Healing generally occurs within a few weeks. If you need cataract surgery in both eyes, Dr. Keulder will schedule surgery to remove the cataract in the second eye after you've healed from the first surgery.
When to consider Cataract surgery
When your prescription glasses can't clear your vision, the only effective treatment for cataracts is surgery. Most eye doctors suggest considering cataract surgery when your cataracts begin to affect your quality of life or interfere with your ability to perform normal daily activities, such as reading or driving at night. If you choose not to undergo cataract surgery now, your Dr. Keulder may recommend periodic follow-up exams to see if your cataracts are progressing.