What is a capsular haze?
Your cataract sits in a capsule that completely surrounds it. The old method of removing a cataract was to remove the entire capsule. One of the common problems with this method was the gel in the back of the eye would come forward causing a swelling in the retina and interfering permanently with vision. The new method is to open the front part of the capsule, take the cataract out, and leave the back capsule in the eye. This stabilizes the eye and also provides a pocket to slide the implant lens into.
Sooner or later after cataract surgery, this back part of the capsule that was left in the eye can continue to grow cells upon it which causes a blurring of vision. This is called a posterior capsular haze.
What can be done for a capsular haze?
When the capsule clouds over, and interferes with vision, we aim a delicate laser beam at the capsule and vaporize the central portion. The patient no longer has to look through the cloudy capsule. This is a brief, painless office procedure as performed in the Key-Whitman Eye Center, and rarely ever has to be repeated. Vision will begin to clear the same day as the laser treatment and the patient can resume normal activities that same day.
Is this a common problem?
Yes. Some patients develop a capsular haze within months of their cataract surgery, and some don’t develop it for years, but sooner or later cataract surgery patients will probably have this problem. However, the benefits of leaving this back part of the capsule are worth the very slight inconvenience of coming into the office and taking just a few minutes to have the center part of the capsule vaporized.
How will I know if I have a capsular haze?
You will notice that your vision is gradually getting blurry. If this happens, call to schedule an eye exam and we will see if you have a capsular haze. (It may be that your blurry vision only indicated that you need a change in your glasses.)
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