If you have both cataracts and glaucoma, your eye doctor might recommend you have surgery for both conditions at the same time. Surgery is not always needed, and your doctor will probably try medication and other treatments first. However, if your cataracts or glaucoma become bad enough to interfere with your vision and make it difficult to work or go about your usual activities, then surgery might be considered. Here's some information on having combined surgery for cataracts and glaucoma.
Surgery For Cataracts Replaces The Lens
Cataract surgery is a quick procedure. Your eye doctor removes your clouded lens and replaces it with an artificial lens. The lens may even be custom made to correct any vision abnormality you might have, which could reduce your need to wear glasses after the procedure. The procedure for having cataract and glaucoma surgery is done in an eye surgery center using a local anesthetic so you feel no discomfort.
You may also receive IV sedation to keep you relaxed through the procedure. Removing your cataracts could result in an improvement in your vision right away. A few days may be needed for the swelling and blurriness to go away, but your vision should gradually improve as your eyes heal from the surgery.
Glaucoma Surgery Improves Fluid Drainage
Glaucoma surgery requires an entirely different approach. Glaucoma causes the pressure in your eyes to elevate, so the goal of surgery is to lower eye pressure. Your doctor might do this by inserting a tiny shunt in your eye so fluid can drain out and lower the pressure in your eye. Another approach is to remove some tissue from your eye to create a drain for the fluid buildup. The surgery may be done with a laser or traditional incision. There are different types of glaucoma and different degrees of severity, so your eye doctor will choose the most suitable surgery for optimal results.
Surgery Is On One Eye At A Time
If both of your eyes need cataract surgery and glaucoma surgery, only one eye is done at a time. Once the first eye is healed, then the second operation is done. This allows you to have partial vision throughout the process since you'll need to keep your eye covered as it heals. When both surgeries are complete and your eyes have recovered, your eye doctor will probably recommend an eye examination to see if you need to change your eyeglasses due to your changed and improved vision.
Even though you may have both cataracts and glaucoma, you might not have surgery for both conditions at the same time. If your glaucoma is well-controlled with medication, your eye doctor may recommend only cataract surgery. For more information, contact a doctor like Leone Nicholas MD PC.