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Cataract Surgery Charleston SC

Having cataracts is frustrating. The condition is characterized by an irreversible cloudiness in vision. At Dr. George Waring’s practice in Charleston, SC, the experienced staff will make you feel at ease and review your condition with you, and advise you how your vision can be restored with arguably the best cataract surgery Charleston SC has to offer. The condition can be uneven in each eye, and worsens with time. Those over forty are most at risk, but anyone, at any age, could develop cataracts, particularly those who have had an eye injury or live with certain health conditions. Treating cataracts involves a surgical procedure, as glasses or contacts cannot solve the problem.

Early Detection of Cataracts

Some environmental factors and behaviors can put you at higher risk for developing cataracts, including prolonged sun exposure, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, or the use of corticosteroid medications. Some believe that maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise can help you ward off the development of cataracts. It is critical that you have a yearly eye exam, particularly after reaching age forty, to detect any new or worsening eye conditions. You may be developing cataracts if you experience:

  • Cloudy or blurred vision
  • Muted colors
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Glare around objects or lights, particularly at night

Despite your best efforts to avoid the environmental issues, you may have noticed you are developing blurred vision or night driving is becoming more and more difficult. If you notice any of the early signs of cataracts, it’s important to see an ophthalmologist to confirm the condition and schedule treatment.

Cataract Surgery: How it Works

The only treatment method for cataracts is surgery, as the damaged lens does not respond to other types of treatment. Although many are nervous about surgery, particularly eye surgery, the compassionate and trusted staff at Dr. Waring’s facility is dedicated to making the procedure as comfortable and pleasant as possible, from start to finish. Prior to surgery the eye is numbed and you may be given a mild sedative to help you feel more comfortable. Small incisions are made on the cornea, the outer clear layer on the front of the eye.

Laser cataract surgery is considered a major advancement in the surgical management of cataracts, and the procedure is largely preformed with light to create many of the openings and soften the cataract, and reduces or corrects astigmatism, all in a customized fashion with image guidance from the laser imaging system. Dr. Waring will then use a specially designed instrument to access the existing clouded natural lens, and gently aspirate it from the eye. Then, a replacement lens, also called an intraocular lens (IOL), is gently and carefully placed in the eye and positioned. Lenses of various types are available, including extended depth of focus and multifocal lenses, to reduce your need for glasses for distance and reading after cataract surgery in Charleston SC. Once the lens is in place, the procedure is complete. In most cataract surgery cases, no stitches are needed, as the eye structure heals naturally around the new lens. You will be unable to drive yourself home from surgery and will need help from a relative or friend for transportation. The entire procedure takes about 15 minutes per eye, and most clients report only mild, if any, discomfort or pain.

Surgery Risks & Recovery

As with any surgical procedure, cataract surgery carries some risk. Before undergoing cataract surgery, let Dr. Waring know of any medical conditions you have or medications or supplements you currently take. Certain medical conditions may inhibit the healing process or lead to complications. At the Waring Eye Institute, we use the most advanced surgical treatments and technology, and clients come to us from our local area, and afar for cataract surgery.

Your incisions “self-heal” over the following days and weeks. Immediately after surgery, your vision will be distorted, as your eye has been numbed with medication. As the medication wears off, your vision restores. Our surgeon will provide you with full aftercare instructions, including the use of prescribed eye drops to aid in the healing process. Always follow aftercare instruction carefully and correctly. You will have a follow-up appointment to ensure healing is progressing as it should.

An itching sensation or mild discomfort are common side effects, and typically subside within a few days. The eye will take up to two months to completely heal, and cataract surgery is performed on one eye at a time, with the other eye treated once the first one has healed. Throughout the healing process you should avoid rubbing your eyes or applying pressure in the eye area. Some clients may wear glasses during the day and a sleeping mask at night to protect their eyes from any accidental bumps or scratches. Do not get water or soap in your eyes, engage in any strenuous activity, or go anywhere with excess dust, mold, mildew or other contaminants that could irritate the eye. Overall the procedure and recovery are painless and, thanks to the replacement lenses, you can rest assured that the cataracts will never return, and your vision will be clear and sharp. A secondary healing film called a posterior capsular opacification may occur as part of the natural healing process of the lens implant and can be readily polished in the office with a laser. This polishing procedure typically is only needed once, if at all, after a cataract procedure.

Cataract Surgery Charleston SC

Dr. George Waring owns and operates the Waring Vision Institute in the Charleston SC area. His eye clinic is easily accessible by nearby communities of Mt Pleasant SC, Columbia SC, and Myrtle Beach SC. Dr. Waring is regarded as one of the nation’s top ophthalmologists by Castle Connolly’s Guide to America’s Top Ophthalmologists.

Cataract Surgery FAQ

What are cataracts?

Cataracts are caused by a cloudiness in the natural lens of your eye. As you age, the proteins in the lens will begin to clump together and blur your vision. Although there is no way to prevent cataracts from developing, cataract treatment is very common and will improve your vision.

What are some symptoms of cataracts?

Symptoms of cataracts can include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Faded or unsaturated colors
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Seeing rings or "halos" around lights
  • Double vision
  • Sensitivity to light

Some early signs of cataracts are similar to those of nearsightedness or farsightedness, which is why it is important to have regular eye exams. Ophthalmologists can identify early signs of cataracts or other conditions that may affect your vision and eye health.

What is involved in cataract treatment?

Small incisions are made on the cornea of your eye using a highly precise laser. The clouded lens is gently removed. A new artificial lens, also called an intra-ocular lens, is inserted and positioned in your eye. No stitches are needed because the eye will heal naturally on its own. The artificial lens can also be manufactured to reduce your need for contacts or glasses.

How long does the procedure take?

The procedure is very fast. The surgery only takes about 15 minutes per eye. Your entire appointment should be less than one hour. You will need to have a driver to take you home, because you will not be permitted to drive after the procedure.

What is recovery like after cataract surgery?

The incisions will heal naturally over the days and weeks following your procedure. Each eye takes approximately two months to completely heal, and the surgery will be performed on one eye at a time. Your vision will be distorted at first but will gradually improve.

You will have medicated eye drops to aid in the recovery process. You will likely be able to resume your normal routine the next day, but use caution around your eyes and do not do any heavy lifting.

What results should I expect?

Once your vision resolves, you will notice clearer vision. Colors will appear more vibrant, and you will be able to see better in low light.

The artificial lens is very durable and will not deteriorate or change over time. Complications are very rare, so you will be able to enjoy your improved sight for many years to come.

Can cataracts come back after my surgery?

One of the biggest benefits of cataract surgery is that your cataracts won't come back! The artificial lens will not experience the same clumping effect that occurs in natural lenses, so they will remain clear for a very long time.

Why should I come to the Waring Vision Institute?

Dr. George Waring is renowned for his vast knowledge of refractive and cataract surgery and his innovations in eye treatment. He is recognized as a top ophthalmologist in not only Charletson, SC, but the nation. If you experience any eye condition, including if you think you have cataracts, Dr. Waring will help you create a plan of action for improving your sight.

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