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Signs and symptoms of cataracts include:
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, your eye doctor 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, your doctor will schedule surgery to remove the cataract in the second eye after you’ve healed from the first surgery.
For a few days after surgery, your eye may itch or feel sore. During this time, you may also have some tearing and find it hard to see well in bright light.
Your doctor will give you eyedrops to prevent infection. You’ll need to take it easy for a few days. Driving will be off-limits, and you shouldn’t bend over, pick up heavy things, or put any pressure on your eye.
For the first week, your doctor will likely suggest you wear an eye shield while you sleep. This protects the site of your surgery so your eye can heal. If you’re in pain or you feel your eye isn’t healing like it should, tell your doctor right away.
After 8 weeks, your eye should be fully healed. About 90% of people see better after cataract surgery. But don’t expect your vision to be perfect. You may still need to wear glasses or contacts.
Side effects are rare from cataract surgery, but some things that could happen are: