• Do I have to have an IOL inserted to take care of mine, or is there still a doctor who will only "scrape" off the cataract?


    Question:

    My parents both had cataracts in the 1970s and '80s. The doctor "scraped" them off in the office and they were fine thereafter. Do I have to have an IOL inserted to take care of mine, or is there still a doctor who will only "scrape" off the cataract? There are quite a few people in my office who have had a lens inserted, and now they are all having trouble with dry eyes, worse vision at night, and bright lights bother them. I don't want a lens implanted. Are there any doctors who perform the surgery the way my parents had it done?


    Answer:

    I am sorry, but I am certain that you are confused about the surgery your parents underwent and about the life of the usual IOL patient.

    First, cataracts are a clouding of the lens inside the eye. They cannot be scraped off. There is a disorder called a pterygium that can be scraped off the eye. It is not usually done in the office, but I would not be surprised if it was done in the office in a rare office years ago.

    Cataract surgery requires the sterility of an operating room and would NEVER be performed in the office. Almost 100% of all people undergoing a cataract surgery require an intraocular lens (IOL). Problems with IOLs do occur but are very rare — less than 1 percent. I suggest you see your ophthalmologist for more information on this confusion.


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