What is a cataract?
The eye has a lens just like a camera. The role of the lens is to focus light on the retina. A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens. As a result, less light reaches the back of the eye.
What are the symptoms?
- Cloudy or blurry vision
- Washed out colors
- Glare and light sensitivity
- Poor night vision
- Double vision
- Multiple changes in power of glasses
What is the treatment?
With aging, most people have some degree of cataracts. Early cataracts can be treated with glasses to fine tune the distance vision. As cataracts progress, vision remains blurry despite updating the glasses. When the quality of vision impacts daily activities then cataract surgery should be considered.
What are the benefits of cataract surgery?
- Improved clarity of vision
- More vibrant colors
- Reduction of glare
- Sharper night vision
- Less reliance on glasses for distance vision
- Elimination of near- or far-sightedness
What are the risks of cataract surgery?
The technology for this surgery greatly evolved over the past few years, making this a safe and painless procedure. However, as with any surgery, there are possible risks. Thankfully, the risk of serious vision loss from bleeding or infection is very low. Other less serious risks, which are treatable, include:
- High eye pressure
- Corneal abrasion
- Retinal Detachment
- Macular edema
- Dropped lens fragments
How is the surgery done?
Cataract surgery is an outpatient, day surgery. The surgery takes about 10-20 minutes to complete. Before the surgery, the eye is anesthetized with numbing drops. During the surgery, the patient is awake and must try to be still and quiet. An eyelid speculum keeps the eyelids open for the procedure. A very small incision is made in the cornea, this wound self seals and does not require any stitches. Next the cataract is broken up with ultrasonic energy and sucked out of the eye. Once the cloudy lens is removed, a clear lens implant is inserted. These lenses measure about 6mm in diameter, and are folded up like a taco to fit into the eye. At the end of the surgery, the wounds are checked to ensure they are water tight. A protective shield is then placed over the eye.
Which lens implant is right for me?
Prior to your surgery, your surgeon will arrange special testing to measure the length of your eye and the strength of your cornea. With this information, we can select a lens which reduces your chance of needing glasses for distance vision. Reading glasses are still required after cataract surgery.
This is the standard lens used by our doctors. It is a high-quality, soft, foldable lens made from an acrylic material. The power of lens will be specifically tailored for your eye. The lens is yellow and is designed to block blue, ultraviolet light.
Some of our patients suffer from astigmatism. Astigmatism is present because of an abnormal shape of the cornea (the windshield of the eye). For people with uncorrected astigmatism, their vision is like looking at their reflection in a spoon instead of their reflection in a mirror. This condition is correctable with a special type of lens implant. Your surgeon will inform you if you are a candidate for this lens technology. These specialized lenses come at an additional cost.