Cataracts occur when the natural clear lens inside the eye, located behind the iris, becomes cloudy over time. This lens is important for focusing light on the back of the eye (the retina) so that images appear clear and without distortion. It’s the clouding of this lens during cataract formation that distorts our vision.
Cataracts are usually a very gradual process of normal aging . Your risk for developing a cataract increases as you get older – with the highest likelihood of occurrence after the age of 60. They commonly affect both eyes, but it is not uncommon for a cataract in one eye to advance more rapidly.
If you’ve been told that you need cataract surgery, rest assured that the Emory Eye Center is committed to getting you back to good eye health quickly. Cataract surgery at Emory is done on an outpatient basis, meaning you’ll go home that day. The actual surgery takes only about 10 minutes. You can expect warmth and compassion from our incredible staff of experts before and after your surgery. Everyone from the ophthalmic techs, who do calculations, to the physicians’ assistants, who explain the procedure, discuss any medical issues, and answer questions, to all the OR nurses, including pre-op nurses, surgical assistants, and the recovery room nurses, are very knowledgeable, have many years of experience, and are very skilled at what they do.
And finally, know that your eyes are in good hands. Our eye surgeons are some of the best in the country. We have the technical expertise to perform cataract surgery on eyes that have additional complicating factors that can make surgery more challenging, such as iritis, glaucoma, and previous LASIK/PRK. Because we have the knowledge, the experience, and the most up-to-date equipment, we see many of the most challenging cases in the community.
Are you planning to have cataract surgery, or have you already had it? We welcome your questions and feedback in the comments section below.
Maria Aaron, MD, specializes in cataract surgery, eye trauma, and laser surgery and is board certified in ophthalmology. Dr. Aaron started practicing at Emory in 1999 and is associate professor of ophthalmology.