Cataract and Cataract Surgery
In youth, we are blessed with a crystal clear lens that focuses light every so brilliantly. The passage of time erodes the quality of the lens and makes it yellow or brown color. Water vacuoles and other imperfections form inside the lens and cause reduced vision, blurred vision, glare, trouble reading and driving, and a myriad of other disconcerting visual problems. Only your eye doctor can tell for sure if your vision problem is a result of cataract or if it represents another eye condition.
Cataract treatment starts with accurate diagnosis and careful recommendations. Not every cataract needs surgery. There is a tendency to remove relatively early cataracts which are not yet ready to be operated. We all have differing visual needs depending upon our age, occupation, and activity level.
We generally recommend cataract surgery when the level of vision drops to the point where you can no longer do what you want—whether it is night driving, comfortably read a book, or thread a needle.
Cataract surgery involves removing your cloudy natural lens and replacing it with an artificial plastic lens called an implant.
We use phacoemulsification; this technique removes the cloudy lens by dividing it into sections rather than attempting to take it out whole. Utilizing this method, the procedure can be done under twilight anesthesia with topical anesthesia, usually in less than 20 minutes all through a very tiny self-sealing opening.
There is more than one type of implant available to replace the cloudy cataractous lens. Mono-focal implants focus by and large for distance only and patients require readers after the surgery for close up work.
Accommodative implants patients a large degree of eyeglass independence after surgery as they provide both far away and near vision by making the artificial lens pivot forward when looking at near objects and recede when look at a distance.
Multi-focal lens such as the Restore or Tecnis multifocals, also provide far and near vision using diffractive technology (circular rings on each lens).
There are distinct advantages and some drawbacks with the different styles that should be discussed with your doctor before choosing one of these advanced lens designs. Advantages and drawbacks to each type: if you are considering cataract surgery, ask your eye surgeon for more details.