One of the most common occurrences after cataract surgery is in the lens covering, or capsule, where the lens sits within the eye. During cataract surgery, the natural lens with the cataract is removed and an intraocular lens (IOL) is put into its place. The capsule where the IOL is placed can become cloudy as a result of cell regeneration. When this happens, the effect on your vision is very similar to that of a cataract. Light passes into the eye through the lens and it passes through the cloudiness before it reaches the retina. You may experience fuzzy vision and the effects are known as an after-cataract. It can be months, even years after cataract surgery for this side effect to become noticeable.
NOTE: Because these symptoms can be indicative of other eye diseases, it is important to have a consultation as soon as possible. The solution to an after-cataract is a simple, virtually pain-free, outpatient procedure known as YAG (Yttrium aluminum garnet) Capsulotomy. During this procedure, the YAG laser creates a small hole in the back of the capsule, behind the IOL, to allow unfiltered light to reach the retina. Specifically, the laser passes through the cornea and through the IOL to reach the back of the capsule. Once the laser reaches the back of the capsule that holds the IOL, the energy concentrates and creates a small hole to allow the light through. Because there is no incision, there is no risk of infection from this procedure.
If you have had cataract surgery and you feel that you may have an after-cataract, call 847.356.0700 to schedule a consultation.