Eye Surgery

For many generations past, people have been employing doctors of all kinds to perform eye surgery when problems of the eyes arise.  Such surgeries were documented in the Middle Ages and are mentioned in the Bible and in ancient Hindu documents, too.  Modern surgical procedures and our current understanding of bacteria, viruses, and other germs have made eye surgery a much safer procedure than ever before, as has the evolution of surgical tools.  Modern medical science is now able to save vision when it previously might have been lost to injury or infection and, when the eye is otherwise healthy, today's eye surgeons can improve a wide array of visual acuity issues as well.

Injury or sudden, severe infection may require immediate surgery, with no time for advance preparation.  In the many instances where surgery is more elective, scheduled long in advance, it is wise to refrain from the use of cosmetics and other skin care products in the eye area for at least a week before the surgery is to be performed.  This absence of chemical products will ensure the eye itself is as sterile and free from foreign substances as it can be.  The cleaner the eye at the time of the surgery, the less risk of complication the patient will experience.

After any surgical procedure, these same chemical substances should be avoided until the surgeon says the eye has healed completely.  In some cases, this may take a week or two but complications to healing can delay that time.  When in doubt, ask your surgeon before applying cosmetics after eye surgery of any kind.

One of the most respected breakthroughs in recent eye surgery techniques involve the use of laser technologies to replace many traditional surgical tools.  In many cases, laser surgery is less invasive than traditional techniques, leaving less damage from which to heal, fewer scars, and a shorter healing time in general.  Less pain and fewer restrictions on the recovering patient's activities are also associated with laser eye surgery.

The most common reason for eye surgery is to remove cataracts, a cloudy film that develops in the eye's lens that can cloud or block one's ability to see clearly.  Often associated with aging, cataracts can also be the result of injury or illness and many forms of it are congenital, developing before or shortly after birth.  The oldest known forms of eye surgery were done to remove cataracts.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates about 48% of all cases of blindness in the world today are attributed to cataracts, representing about 18 million people.  In the United States, about 42% of all people between 52 and 64 years of age have signs of age-related cataracts.  That percentage goes up to 91% for those age 75 and older.

In rare cases, the manipulation of the iris, the colored part of the eye that surrounds the black pupil, leaves the pupil itself smaller and more rigid than it was before cataract surgery.  In many cases, the patient isn't bothered by this outcome but when it is bothersome, many eye care professionals will administer intracameral phenylephrine as a first course of treatment.  If this medication doesn't relieve the patient's discomfort, there are several surgical procedures that can be considered but only an eye surgeon can determine which procedure is most appropriate for which patient.

In rare cases of extreme injury or infection, a patient's eye must be removed altogether, a surgical procedure known as enucleation.  This particular form of eye removal involves excision of the entire eyeball but the muscles and orbital contents surrounding the damaged eye remain intact.

Whenever possible enucleation is avoided so before undergoing this type surgery, ask your doctor about any other treatment options that can be explored to save the eye before surgery.  After surgery, prosthetic eyes can be used for cosmetic purposes.  Discussing this possibility with your surgeon before undergoing surgery is always a good idea.

Latest Article: Eye Surgery

For many generations past, people have been employing doctors of all kinds to perform eye surgery when problems of the eyes arise.  Such surgeries were documented in the Middle Ages and are mentioned in the Bible and in ancient Hindu documents, too.  Modern surgical procedures and our current understanding of bacteria, viruses, and other germs have made eye surgery a much safer...

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