Frequently Asked Questions about Cataracts

What is a cataract?

As people age, the proteins found in the lens of the eye can start clumping together, making the lens cloudy. This clouding of the lens is called a cataract, which is a progressive condition that can affect one or both eyes. Over time, cataracts can worsen to the point of causing blindness.

How are cataracts treated?

The only way to treat a cataract is to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) via surgery. There are several different types of IOLs that can be used, depending on the shape of the eye, eyesight goals, and the patient’s insurance plan.

Will I be awake during my cataract surgery?

In the vast majority of cases, patients remain awake throughout the procedure to ensure their eyes remain still. However, your eye will be completely numb the entire time. Most people experience little or no discomfort during cataract surgery – usually no more than some gentle pressure.

How long will the cataract procedure take?

Generally, cataract procedures take under an hour. After your procedure, we will observe you for any complications. Most people can return home the same day.

Is cataract surgery safe?

Yes! Of the over 3 million cataract procedures performed each year in the United States, over 98 percent are successful. Although complications can occur, they are uncommon and can almost always be fixed with follow-up procedures. With Dr. Ashraf’s skill and experience, there is no cause for concern about your safety during your cataract surgery.

Does cataract surgery hurt?

Although patients may feel some very mild discomfort during cataract surgery, there will be no pain. Your eye will be completely numb throughout the operation. During your recovery, it’s common to experience some itching, mild discomfort, minor fluid discharge and light sensitivity. However, these after-effects should go away in a couple of days.

Does Medicare cover cataract surgery?

Medicare covers standard cataract surgery, which means we use no lasers and implant monofocal lenses. If you wish to have laser cataract surgery or get premium lenses, you must cover the cost yourself.

How long does it take to recover from cataract surgery?

You should expect your eye to fully heal in about eight weeks.

How long do I have to wait to drive after my cataract procedure?

This varies from person to person. Before you start driving again, we recommend Dr. Ashraf first assesses your vision and clarifies that it is OK for you to do so.