Is It Possible for a Cataract to Grow Back?
If you had what appeared to be successful cataract surgery some time ago, you might be more than a little disconcerted if the condition appears to have returned. How is this possible, and what can you do next to try and improve your eyesight once again?
To begin with, it is not possible for a cataract to "grow back," as some people may think in this situation. Cataract surgery is, after all, the process of replacing the natural lens in the eye with an artificial one. The surgeon will remove the old lens during the short procedure, and the new lens will be placed into the receiving capsule.
However, sometimes the capsule itself will become cloudy or, more specifically, tiny cells will grow over a certain part of it. These cells may remain in the area after cataract surgery, and when they start to amass on the posterior of the capsule, this can mimic the symptoms of a cataract. As the light needs to pass through not just the lens but the rear of the capsule towards the retina, your vision may begin to suffer until you book an appointment with a specialist.
You'll be pleased to hear that there is a relatively simple fix here. You can attend the surgery on an outpatient basis, and the surgeon will use a procedure known as a YAG laser capsulotomy. YAG stands for yttrium aluminium garnet, a particular type of crystal that is used within a laser machine. The specialist will aim the laser at the back of the capsule and, in a few seconds, can create a clear opening in the surface. This will allow light to flow through once again, and you may notice a significant change quite quickly after the procedure.
What to Expect
Usually, you will not need any form of medication or anaesthetic as the procedure is completely painless. You may notice a few flashes of light and hear a clicking sound as the specialist activates the laser. You may also need to place some anti-inflammatory drops within the eye for a couple of days after the procedure.
Talking It Through
This type of condition does not always follow cataract surgery, but it can present itself in a small percentage of patients. Talk with your cataract specialist and describe your symptoms, and they may schedule cataract surgery to make the necessary adjustments.