A cataract is a clouding of the lens inside the eye, causing vision loss that cannot be corrected with glasses, contact lenses or corneal refractive surgery like LASIK.
As frightening as cataracts might sound, modern cataract surgery usually can restore vision lost to cataracts — and often can reduce your dependence on eyeglasses as well.
Most cataracts are associated with the aging process and are common among older people. In cataract surgery, the lens inside your eye that has become cloudy is removed and replaced with an artificial lens (called an intraocular lens, or IOL) to restore clear vision.
The procedure typically is performed on an outpatient basis and does not require an overnight stay in a hospital or other care facility.
Most modern cataract procedures involve the use of a high-frequency ultrasound device that breaks up the cloudy lens into small pieces, which are then gently removed from the eye with suction.
This procedure, called phacoemulsification or “phaco,” can be performed with smaller incisions than previous surgical techniques for cataract removal, promoting faster healing and reducing the risk of cataract surgery complications, such as a retinal detachment.