A cataract is a common eye disorder that affects vision. The lens in the eye plays an important role in focusing images on the retina. As we age, the lens thickens and becomes cloudier. This is what we refer to as a cataract. This change typically occurs gradually over time as part of the aging process but can also be caused by eye trauma, some diseases (such as diabetes), and certain chronic medications (such as prednisone). The most common symptoms are blurred vision and glare. Other indicators of cataracts may include difficulty seeing at night, double vision, difficulty reading in low lighting or seeing signs in the distance.
In the early stages of a cataract, treatment is not required. As cataracts develop, optimizing vision with a change in glasses is often helpful. When glasses do not provide sufficient improvement in vision and daily activities are affected by vision changes, surgery may be indicated. At UConn Health, we offer laser-assisted and non-laser cataract surgery, and we utilize the ORA system which takes real-time intraoperative measurements to help optimize the visual outcome.
Cataract surgery is a very common and extremely successful procedure. Our cataract specialists perform the procedure in an outpatient setting. A very small incision is made, and a special ultrasound instrument is used to break up and aspirate the cloudy lens. Once the cloudy lens is removed, the specialist will insert an intraocular lens. Often, the procedure is sutureless. Upon completion, a shield is placed for protection of the eye for the first day.
During recovery, patients will notice their vision improving within the first few days, and complete recovery takes approximately four to six weeks. Patients are typically prescribed three drops to be administered several times daily and are tapered over four to six weeks. For one week after the surgery, there is a limitation in activity including no strenuous activity. It is also important to refrain from eye rubbing during the first few weeks.
Although vision is significantly improved, some type of glasses may be required after surgery. A new prescription will be given once the eye has healed. At your visits, the team will discuss the surgery and preoperative and postoperative instructions in detail based on your needs. Our team of specialists at UConn Health is here to provide you with the best possible care.