6 Common Questions about Cataract Surgery


SoCal Eye doctors have been treating cataract patients in Long Beach since 1964. Here are some of the most common questions regarding cataracts and cataract surgery.

What Causes a Cataract?

Studies on the cause of cataracts show that cataracts typically occur as a result of aging. In a rare number of cases, injury to the eye or in some cases, underlying medical conditions can cause cataracts to form earlier than normal.

  • Aging is the most common cause with many patients experiencing cataracts in their 60s.
  • Ultraviolet light or extended exposure to the sunlight is a known catalyst for the formation of cataracts. UV blocking sunglasses can reduce exposure over time.
  • People with Diabetes are a higher risk for cataracts.
  • Cigarettes, air pollution, heavy drug usage and severe alcohol consumption may also elevate risks for developing cataracts.

What are the Symptoms of a Cataract?

Cataracts are progressive and create change in your vision over time. Cataracts start out very small and are often unnoticeable but as they develop, vision becomes blurry. Patients often describe it as if they are “looking through dirty eyeglasses”. Object edges may appear to fade into one another and colors may not appear as bright as they should.

The most common symptoms of a cataract are:

  • Cloudy or blurry vision.
  • Problems with light, such as headlights that seem too bright, glare from lamps or very bright sunlight.
  • Colors that seem faded.
  • Poor night vision.
  • Double or multiple vision.
  • Frequent changes in glasses or contact lenses.
  • Optical aids such as eyeglasses or contact lenses are no longer effective.

 What is an intraocular lens?

An intraocular lens (IOL) is an artificial lens that is implanted during surgery to replace your cataract lens. You can choose from many different types of IOLs—some are designed to provide only distance vision, while trifocal lenses deliver near, intermediate, and distance vision for clear, complete focus. After a surgeon removes your cataract-clouded lens, she or he will implant the IOL that you chose before your procedure.

 What happens before and during cataract surgery?

Pre Op Visit:

Before cataract surgery, you will be scheduled for another visit called the Pre-op visit. At this visit, you’ll meet with your cataract specialists to discuss the details of surgery and talk about your lens options. They will also take the time answers all questions and address any concerns you may have. This will be a good time to disclose any current prescriptions or medications you’re taking.

Day of Surgery:

You will check into the surgery center. It is customary and typical to have your name, date of birth, and procedure checked multiple times. Once you’ve been ‘checked-in’, your surgical eye will be dilated and an iv placed. Through the iv, the anesthesiologist will be able to give you some relaxing medication. Once inside the operating room, anesthetic is applied to your eye, and your eye will be completely numb. The surgeon makes a small incision in your cornea in order to access the cataract. The cataract is gently broken up and removed. Your chosen IOL is implanted to replace the original lens.

How Long Does It Take to Recover from Cataract Surgery?

The recovery time from cataract surgery is short with full recovery in two to three weeks, often times faster. Immediately following surgery you may experience slight discomfort or soreness which should disappear within a few days.

What can I do and not do after Cataract Surgery?

Recovery from Cataract surgery varies by patient but in most cases patients, if patients feel comfortable, they can return to driving within several days. There is no limitation on activities, such as exercise or working. The only limitation is that we ask patients to not swim and place their head underwater, for the first three weeks after surgery.

SoCal Eye – Cataracts, Long Beach:

Cataracts, Long Beach. All treatment begins with a Consultation with a SoCal Eye Cataract Specialist or Cataract Surgeon in Long Beach. At this consultation the Ophthalmologist will perform a complete eye exam with dilation and discuss Lens Implant options that are right for you. SoCal Eye feels strongly that patients should be informed and educated on all applicable lens technologies when they make their final IOL selection. The right choice is never a default to a Premium IOL.

For Cataract Treatment in Long Beach, Schedule an Appointment today at LAKEWOOD (562) 531-2020  | LOS ALAMITOS (562) 598-7728  or send us an Online Consultation Request