Cataract surgery is common in people over age 65. It is done to treat eyesight problems.
It may also be done when a cataract gets in the way of treating another eye problem like glaucoma.
It is often done without staying in the hospital overnight. Surgery often takes less than one hour. The cloudy lens will be removed and replaced with an artificial one.
There are two types of surgery:
A local anesthesia is used so that you do not feel any pain. It may be an injection below the eye or liquid medicine put in the eye during surgery. You may also be given a sedative to make you more at ease.
In most people, the removed lens is replaced by an intraocular lens (IOL). This is a clear or yellow-tinted artificial lens. It needs no special care and stays in the eye. Rarely, it cannot be used due to surgical problems, your eye anatomy, or other eye problems. Either a contact lens or eyeglasses with strong magnification are used after the surgery to help you see.
Cataract. American Optometric Association website. Available at: https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/eye-and-vision-problems/glossary-of-eye-and-vision-conditions/cataract?sso=y. Accessed February 13, 2019.
Cataracts in adults. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116240/Cataracts-in-adults. Updated November 28, 2016. Accessed May 10, 2017.
Facts about cataract. National Eye Institute website. Available at: https://nei.nih.gov/health/cataract/cataract_facts. Updated September 2015. Accessed February 13, 2019.
Informed consent: obtaining from patients undergoing surgery. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/nursing/products/nursing-reference-center. Updated September 14, 2018. Accessed February 13, 2019.
What are cataracts? American Academy of Ophthalmology website. Available at: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-are-cataracts. Updated November 9, 2018. Accessed February 13, 2019.
Last reviewed December 2018 by
EBSCO Medical Review BoardJames P. Cornell, MD
Last Updated: 2/13/2019