During your examination we will discuss your surgical options and help you choose the type of cataract surgery that is best suited to your needs and lifestyle.
The eye focuses images through a lens inside the eye like a camera uses a lens to focus. When we are born, the lens is clear and flexible, allowing crisp vision with a full range of focus from near to far. As we age, the lens becomes cloudy and inflexible, causing vision to blur.
A cloudy lens is called a cataract. Because of the clouded lens or cataract, images may become blurry with age. Cataracts may make it progressively more difficult to read, drive, watch TV, and perform normal daily activities. Cataract formation is a normal, unavoidable part of the aging process. They cannot be prevented from forming, but early detection through regular eye exams can help maintain the clearest vision possible.
There is no pain associated with the condition, but there are several symptoms that indicate failing vision due to cataracts. These include:
- Blurred / hazy vision
- Spots in front of the eye(s)
- Sensitivity to glare
- A feeling of "film" over the eye(s)
- A temporary improvement in near vision
For people who are significantly affected by cataracts, replacement surgery may be the preferred method of treatment. During cataract replacement, the most common surgical procedure in the country, the lens is removed and replaced with an artificial one called an intraocular lens or IOL.
Many IOLs are available, but most do not eliminate the need for reading glasses after cataract surgery. Please visit the Multifocal Intraocular Lens (IOL) section of our web site to read about IOL's designed to improve distance and near vision. We also offer Toric IOLs to correct astigmatism.
In traditional cataract surgery, the surgeon makes incisions and removes the cataract using surgical instruments and blades. The technology used in cataract surgery has evolved over time. While traditional cataract surgery produces excellent outcomes, we are now able to offer our patients the latest technology - Laser Assisted Cataract Surgery. We will let you know if you are a candidate for Laser Assisted Cataract Surgery.
Catalys Laser Assisted Cataract Surgery
Until the early years of this decade, the major steps of cataract surgery were always done using manual techniques. Blades and microscopic instruments were used to perform the first few steps of the procedure. Laser-assisted cataract surgery is a bladeless, computer-controlled laser surgery designed to improve precision, safety and accuracy. The femtosecond laser replaces the traditional hand-held blade to optimize all incisions for enhanced, reproducible surgical results. Several of the most critical steps of the surgical process are performed using an image-guided femtosecond laser. We are proud to have been among the first to bring this revolutionary technology to our area. Having used the technology for three years, we are pleased with our results and look forward to discussing this exciting option with you.
Multifocal intraocular lenses for less dependence on glasses
Life without near vision glasses was not an option for most cataract surgery patients in the past. Even now, many patients choose to have a standard IOL implanted which will require the use of near vision glasses after cataract surgery. If you have ever wanted to reduce your dependence on reading glasses, you may be interested in a multifocal IOL. Multifocal IOLs are designed to improve both distance and near vision, giving cataract patients their best chance to live free from glasses.
A series of rings in the Tecnis Multifocal® IOL allows for focal points at distance and near. There are Tecnis Multifocal® lenses with a range of near focal points available to allow near vision to be customized to a patients’ unique lifestyle.
We are proud to be one of the first practices in the country to be able to offer the Tecnis Symfony® and Symfony Toric® IOLs to our patients. These lenses allow patients with astigmatism to have a greater independence from near vision glasses than was previously attainable. The Symfony® IOLs provide continuous, high quality vision. While reading glasses may still be required in some situations and for fine print, patients with these lenses may be able to reduce the frequency of wearing near vision glasses after cataract surgery.
Similar to the Tecnis Multifocal®, the ReSTOR® Multifocal IOL is also constructed with a series of rings that allow for focal points at distance and near. There are two options available for near vision focal points to allow customization of near vision.
ASTIGMATISM CORRECTION THROUGH CATARACT SURGERY Using A Toric IOL and The Catalys Laser LRI
Astigmatism is a natural condition that occurs when the front surface of your eye, called the cornea, is shaped irregularly. This condition is usually present at birth. This irregular shape causes blurry vision because light rays are distorted as they enter the eye and can’t focus properly. Most people have some amount of astigmatism. Small amounts of astigmatism usually don't require correction during cataract surgery. However, larger amounts can cause distorted or blurred vision, eye strain and headaches after surgery if not corrected.
Thanks to advancements in surgical techniques and technology, your surgeon can now permanently correct for the majority of your corneal astigmatism during cataract surgery. Larger amounts of astigmatism are corrected through the use of a Toric IOL. Smaller amounts of astigmatism can be corrected by using the Catalys laser to make microscopic incisions in the surface of your cornea. These incisions, called limbal relaxing incisions (or LRIs) can be opened, if needed, at the time of surgery. Opening the incisions changes the shape of the cornea slightly and corrects for small amounts of astigmatism, making the vision crisper.
When astigmatism is corrected with a Toric lens, people are typically happy with their distance vision without glasses but do require glasses for near vision. In other words, the Toric lens gives greater independence from distance glasses following surgery for patients with astigmatism. Your surgeon will tell you whether you have enough astigmatism to require correction.