BY CHRISTINE SHAMLIAN, CLINICAL MANAGER
Everyone is born with a natural lens in their eye. If you have a cataract, your lens has become cloudy. It is like looking through a foggy or dusty car windshield. Things look blurry, hazy or less colorful with a cataract. Aging is the most common cause. This is due to normal eye changes that happen starting around age 40. That is when normal proteins in the lens start to break down. This is what causes the lens to get cloudy. People over age 60 usually start to have some clouding of their lenses. However, vision problems may not happen until years later. Other reasons you may get cataracts include: having parents, siblings, or other family members who have cataracts; having certain medical problems, such as diabetes; having had an eye injury, eye surgery, or radiation treatments on your upper body; having spent a lot of time in the sun, especially without sunglasses that protect your eyes from damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays; or using certain medications such as corticosteroids, which may cause early formation of cataracts. Your eye physician will let you know when it’s time for cataract surgery.
Going to a doctor’s appointment can be scary and frustrating when you don’t know what to expect, especially when it comes to your eyes. At Summit Eye Care a cataract surgery preoperative appointment may take up to two to two and a half hours. At this appointment, a patient will be worked up by a friendly, well-trained technician. The work-up includes chief medical complaints, vision check (reading the eye chart), pressure check, and dilation of both eyes. It is advised that the patient bring a driver with them to this appointment due to being dilated.
The patient will then move on to the testing portion of the appointment. Here is the most important and critical part of the visit. During the testing portion, multiple tests, anywhere from six to eight, will be performed to gather information to aide Dr. Khemsara and the patient in choosing the best lens options for cataract surgery. The patient will be asked to sit as still as possible, look at multiple lights and tilt their head in certain directions to achieve maximum success. These tests calculate the size, shape, and distance of the lens in the eye to the front and back of the eye.
After all test are completed, the patient is ready to see Dr. Khemsara. The patient will watch a short 4-minute educational video on a new exciting bladeless way of performing cataract surgery. Once the video is complete, Dr. Khemsara will come into the room and perform a thorough evaluation. Dr. Khemsara and the patient will discuss cataract surgery and all options available to the patient.
Cataract surgery is performed at the Novant Health Hawthorne Surgical Center. It is a same-day outpatient procedure.