A Little Reassurance About Cataract Surgery

Being diagnosed with cataracts can be scary. Being told you need to have cataract surgery can be even scarier. The prospect of having an operation performed on your eyes is understandably daunting, but in reality, cataract surgery is a pretty common, simple procedure with a very high success rate. If that statement alone does not make you feel better, here's some more specific reassurance about your upcoming procedure.

You won't be put under anesthesia

The biggest risks of most surgeries are actually related to anesthesia. Some people don't react well to the medication, or they are very apprehensive about being put under. Here's some good news: you won't need general anesthesia for cataract surgery. You'll remain awake, although most surgeons will give you an oral sedative to keep you calm. Your eyes will be made completely numb with special anesthetic drops, and then the surgery will be performed. You won't feel a thing other than perhaps some pressure on your eye while the new lens is being put in place.

You'll only experience mild discomfort afterward

You might think healing from eye surgery would be really painful, but it's not. Most patients only experience some mild itching and a little stinging. The sensation has been compared to that of getting a mild irritant in your eyes. It dissipates within a day or two. Your vision recovers remarkably fast, too; you should be able to see clearly within a week.

The post-surgery risks are easily managed with medications and precautions. There is some risk of infection and eyelid swelling after the procedure. However, you should not have to worry about these risks as long as you follow your surgeon's aftercare precautions. You'll be prescribed antibiotic eye drops to prevent infections and NSAID pain relievers to keep swelling down. Take them as directed, and you'll be just fine.

The results are consistently good

This is another good thing about cataract surgery: it has a great success rate. Almost every patient who has it recovers their clear vision and is able to read books, see the TV from far away, drive safely, and read instructions after surgery. This should give you confidence that having cataract surgery is the right move, assuming your doctor has recommended this procedure for you.

Yes, having your eyes operated on can be scary. However, cataract surgery has been around for decades, and patients typically experience great outcomes with little discomfort and a low risk of side effects. Be confident; this procedure is a smart choice.