Cataracts are clusters of protein that build up in the lens of the eye. Cataracts give the lens a clouded appearance, resulting in blurry vision for patients. Cataracts are one of the most common eye diseases among aging patients. Statistics show that around 70 percent of adults will develop cataracts by the time they reach the age of 75.
Fortunately, patients can undergo cataract treatment to restore clearer vision. Dr. Thomas J. Byrd offers cataract treatment options at his eye care practice. Visual aids such as glasses are often used as a first line of treatment, but as cataracts continue to advance, most patients will eventually require cataract surgery.
Cataract surgery is a safe and effective treatment, and, through the use of laser technology, it is minimally invasive. Still, Dr. Byrd relies on anesthesia to ensure his patients remain completely comfortable throughout their cataract surgery procedure. Here we discuss the cataract surgery anesthesia options available to our Detroit, MI patients.
Anesthesia for Cataract Surgery
There are two primary options for cataract surgery. The first is traditional cataract surgery, in which a thin keratome blade is used to make the incision that will allow Dr. Byrd to remove the clouded lens. The second option is laser cataract surgery. This procedure is minimally invasive because it uses laser technology to create the incision that allows for the removal of the clouded lens. In either case, patient comfort is one of Dr. Byrd’s top priorities throughout treatment.
Dr. Byrd offers the following anesthesia options to ensure that discomfort is not an issue for his patients during cataract surgery:
- Topical anesthetic: Topical anesthetic is the standard form of anesthesia offered to patients undergoing cataract surgery, especially when the patient opts for laser surgery. Topical anesthetic is applied in the form of eye drops. Topical anesthetic numbs the eyes to prevent pain or discomfort during treatment.
- Local anesthetic: In some cases, Dr. Byrd may use local anesthetic for cataract surgery. Local anesthetic is administered through an injection beside, under, or inside the eye. Local anesthetic numbs the eye and can prevent eye movement for the duration of surgery.
- Sedative: When a patient is receiving topical or local anesthetic, it is likely to be used in conjunction with a sedative. The sedative is a pill that allows patients to feel relaxed and sleepy throughout treatment.
- General anesthesia: Cataract surgery is minimally invasive and any pain can be managed through the use of a topical or local anesthetic. Still, in rare cases, the use of a general anesthetic may be necessary. Dr. Byrd may consider general anesthesia for patients with extreme anxiety, people who are allergic to local anesthetic, patients with certain medical conditions, or children who may have a hard time remaining still during surgery.
Dr. Byrd will consider each patient’s unique situation before determining the type of anesthesia that will be most appropriate for the cataract procedure.
Cataracts cloud the lens and compromise a person’s vision, but there are treatments that can restore clear eyesight. If you’d like to learn more about cataract surgery offered at our eye clinic, contact us at your earliest convenience.