If you have cataracts, this means the lenses of your eyes are becoming cloudy, which makes your vision increasingly fuzzy and indistinct. This is a widespread condition that commonly occurs with aging. In fact, half of Americans over age 75 struggle with cataracts.
Fortunately, a few treatment options are available. If your Hot Springs eye doctor recommends lens replacement surgery, you can expect your eyesight to return to its pre-cataract state. Even if you experience further clouding after the surgery, you can have a post-cataract procedure called yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG) laser capsulotomy to eliminate the problem.
In a small number of patients who have a cataract operation, the lens membrane (capsule) thickens and becomes cloudy anywhere from several months to two years following surgery. If you experience this, your vision may appear misty, and bright lights may cause glare at night. This doesn’t damage your eye, but your affected vision could become intolerable.
Fortunately, a YAG laser capsulotomy can help. This post cataract procedure involves applying a laser beam to the capsule, which creates a small hole that allows light through and clears up your vision.
Admission to the hospital is not necessary to have a laser capsulotomy, the procedure is performed right here at Holt Eye Clinic in Hot Springs. First, we apply special eye drops to enlarge your pupil and one to keep the eye pressure within normal range.
Next, we ask you to sit at a machine with a YAG laser attached and put a special mirrored lens on your eye. Then, we apply the laser, a painless process that takes only a few minutes to complete. You’ll need to stay at our office for 15 to 20 minutes so we can check your vision and your eye pressure.
In the hours following treatment, your vision may be blurry and bright lights may cause glare. You may experience itchiness or a gritty feeling in your eye for the rest of the day, but these symptoms should pass quickly. A follow-up exam a few weeks later ensures your eye is healing properly.
This procedure is the right option if you experience thickening and clouding of the lens membrane following a cataract operation. The alternative is to do nothing, which may lead to progressively cloudier vision as the capsule continues to thicken. Fortunately, it’s never too late to have a YAG laser capsulotomy, so consider it as an effective, low-risk option to restore your vision to the way it was after your cataract procedure.
Holt Eye Clinic offers out-patient YAG laser capsulotomy treatments right in our Hot Springs office. To learn more about this post cataract procedure, or to schedule a consultation, please contact us at 501-624-0609 today.