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After the age of 40, you are at a heightened risk of developing cataracts. Everyone will develop cataracts at some point in their life.

People are apprehensive about surgical procedures, especially those that involve our eyes. It would seem obvious that a procedure like cataract surgery would be painful, but it’s not.

The good news is, cataract surgery is virtually painless. Patients never feel any pain thanks to numbing eye drops. The eye drops numb any feeling in your eyes during the procedure. Keep reading to learn more about how cataract surgery works and what to expect!

How The Surgery Works

If you have a cataract, cataract surgery is the only way to treat it effectively. Cataract surgery is a procedure that removes the lens of the eye and replaces it with an artificial lens.

To begin with, cataract surgery involves creating a flap in the cornea. Though not painful, this is the only part of the surgery where you may feel some slight discomfort.

The lens, which is too big to fit through the pupil in its normal state, gets broken into pieces. This is usually done using a process called phacoemulsification.

Phacoemulsification uses concentrated sound waves to break the lens apart. The broken-down pieces are gently suctioned out of the surrounding tissue.

We need lenses to see, so to fix this problem, an artificial lens is placed where the natural lens used to be. This artificial lens is called an IOL, short for intraocular lens. There are many choices of IOLs, each of which has certain benefits.

What Are My IOL Choices?

The most basic kind of IOL does not come with many advantages, although it is the most cost-effective. A monofocal IOL, known as a standard IOL, provides fixed focus vision at one distance.

You will need to wear glasses with a monofocal IOL, as they only provide vision for one distance.

You can invest in premium lens options that provide sight at all distances. This means you can see up-close, intermediate, and far away. Premium IOLs often fix your vision and make it the best it’s ever been!

While they may be more expensive than a monofocal IOL the basic option, most people agree they are worth it. Premium IOLs are worth considering if you no longer want to deal with glasses anymore.

What Happens After Cataract Surgery?

After the selected IOL is put in, the flap made in the cornea is closed and allowed to heal. There are no stitches or glue necessary.

You will need to wait and rest in the doctor’s office for some time after the surgery. At some point, the numbness from the eye drops will wear off.

It is natural to feel some slight soreness for a few days after the surgery as you begin to heal. Severe or even moderate pain is very abnormal.

You should report anything that feels out of place with your vision immediately. These could be signs of infection or complications during your recovery in the next weeks and months.

Have questions about cataract surgery? Schedule a cataract screening at Kovach Eye Institute in Chicago, IL and get the answers you need!