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The First Questions Patients Often Have When Cataract Surgery Is Recommended

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Finding out you have cataracts can be a bit nerve-wracking. But the day you visit your eye doctor and they tell you that you're now a candidate for cataract surgery can make the breath catch in your throat. The mere idea of having someone operate on your eyes, for most patients, is pretty scary. You're sure to have questions, and learning the answers to them will help you feel more comfortable and confident as your cataract surgery looms on the horizon.

Will the surgery hurt?

While you might assume having someone operate on your eyes would hurt, it actually does not. Your surgeon will put plenty of numbing eye drops in your eyes before the surgery begins. These drops will completely numb your eyes; you won't feel a thing other than maybe a pressure sensation at some points, as the surgery is performed. After the surgery, you will take pain relievers to keep your discomfort under control. Even then, the pain is minimal. Patients often compare the sensation to that of getting something irritating in their eye — there's some burning and itching, but not much actual pain. 

What if the scalpel slips?

You actually don't need to be concerned about this at all. These days, almost all cataract surgeries are performed with lasers. The laser is pre-programmed to make the incisions exactly where they are needed. There's a very small margin of error. You're not reliant on a surgeon's precision or steady hand.

How long will it take to recover?

You'll be back to work or other obligations sooner than you think. You'll need to wear an eye patch for about a week after surgery, and after that, you'll still need to be careful not to bump or scratch your eye. If you're able to do your job with an eye patch, you can go back to work after just a few days. You will have steroid and moisturizing eye drops to put in your eye every few hours; you'll need these for a couple of weeks. You'll also need to put antibiotic eye drops in your eyes in order to prevent infection. All in all, though, the recovery is far easier than most people expect.

Hopefully, now that these questions have been answered, you feel a little more confident about your upcoming cataract surgery. If you have any additional questions, you can ask your eye surgeon prior to the procedure.

To learn more, contact a resource that offers cataract surgeries.