cataracts

cataracts OVERVIEW

As light enters the front of the eye, it passes through the cornea and the pupil and is then focused by the lens. Normally, the lens is clear and provides clean detailed vision. With time the lens becomes cloudy, a cataract is present.

Cataracts can progress slowly and take years to impair your vision or advance quickly and impair your vision in a matter of months especially in settings of trauma, surgery and with certain medications. The development of cataracts are a natural part of the aging process and is usually found in persons in their sixties and seventies, even though younger persons can develop them as well.

signs & Symptoms

Clouded, blurred or dim vision, increasing difficulty with vision at night, sensitivity to light and glare, seeing “halos” around lights, frequent changes in eyeglasses or contact lens prescriptions, fading or yellowing of colors, double vision in a single eye. People often describe their vision as having a film over it. If you notice any changes in your vision or develop sudden vision changes such as double vision or blurriness, see your doctor right away.

Treatment

Cataract Surgery is one of the world’s most frequently performed procedures and has a very low rate of complications. Most cataract surgery is performed in a hospital or surgical center. The most common form of cataract surgery uses a process called phacoemulsification. With the use of an operating microscope, your surgeon will make a very small incision in the surface of your eye in or near the cornea. A thin ultrasound probe is then placed in the eye that causes ultrasonic vibrations to dissolve the clouded lens. The resulting tiny fragmented pieces are then removed out through the incision. Once removed, an artificial lens is placed into the same thin capsular bag the cataract occupied. This intraocular lens helps focus the light after your surgery, providing clear vision.

Either local anesthesia or topical anesthetic eye drops are used during surgery. An anesthesiologist specialist monitors the patient for safety throughout the surgery. The actual operation usually takes 20 minutes or less.

IOL Options

There are a variety of intraocular lens (IOL) styles available for implantation
including monofocal, toric and multifocal lenses.

image1   Monofocal Lenses

These are the most common implanted lenses today and are covered in the cost of your procedure. They have equal power in all regions of the lens and can provide high quality vision at a single focal point (usually at a distance). These lenses will not correct astigmatism, and may require corrective lenses for near vision such as reading and writing.

image1   Toric Lenses

Toric lenses have more power in one specific region in the lens to correct astigmatism. Toric lenses can improve distance vision and astigmatism but still require corrective lenses for tasks such as reading and writing.

image1   Multifocal Lenses

Multifocal lenses have a variety of regions with different powers within the lens that allows individuals to see at a variety of distances including distance, intermediate and near. These lenses are not for everyone, they can cause more glare and halos around the lights.