What is natural lens replacement?
Natural lens replacement is a medical procedure that refers to the process of adding an internal lens implant to the eye to treat both cataracts or presbyopia - the clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye and the gradual loss of near and intermediate vision. Natural lens replacement procedures are designed to replicate the flexibility and visual acuity of a healthy eye lens, which will allow patients to focus on items in their environments near and far without vision correction aids. Much like lenses of prescription eyeglasses, intraocular lenses (IOLs) will contain the patient's appropriate prescription to give him/her the best vision possible (AllAboutVision.com).
How is natural lens replacement done?
The implantation of IOLs is a simple, painless surgery that is done in an outpatient setting with very little recovery time. The procedure is done in the physician's office and begins with numbing eye drops being placed into the eye and a small incision made at the edge of the cornea. The natural lens of the eye that has been rendered ineffective by cataracts or other vision issues is gently removed, at which point the IOL is implanted in its place.
After closing up the incision with sutures, patients should expect a quick recovery period and should be able to resume normal activities on the day of the procedure. Most patients will return to their doctors for follow-up visits to evaluate their recovery, but by and large the natural lens replacement procedure has a quick turnaround. Ultimately, very few individuals who receive IOL implants will require vision aids in the future and it has proven to be a very effective means of alleviating vision problems caused by cataracts and presbyopia (Laser Eye Surgery Hub).
The recovery from natural lens replacement surgery should result in improving vision within a few days, but itching and mild discomfort are common within the immediate aftermath of the procedure. In some cases, doctors may prescribe eye drops or other medications to prevent infections and control eye pressure. Doctors may also suggest wearing an eye patch or protective shield for a few days after the surgery, as well as at night during sleep during the recovery process.