A cataract is a common condition that causes a clouding of the eye’s natural lens over several months or years that can lead to blurred night vision, decreased night vision, impaired depth perception and other troubling symptoms. The lens helps focus light and produce sharp images on the retina, but significantly affects visual function as it becomes cloudy and begins to harden.
Most people develop cataracts simply as a result of aging, with the majority of cases occurring in people over the age of 55. Over 1.2 million Americans are diagnosed with cataracts each year. Other risk factors include eye injury or disease, a family history of cataracts, smoking or use of certain medications.
According to the severity of the cataract, various forms of treatment will be used. Stronger glasses may be prescribed, medication or possibly surgery. The form of treatment depends on the symptoms, complications or age of the patient. Surgical removal of the cataractous lens is necessary when visual loss becomes significant, and involves replacing it with an intraocular lens. Once you have made your decision, our staff will help you through the steps to scheduling your procedure in our ambulatory surgery center.
What to Expect During the Procedure
Cataract surgery is one of the most successful and frequently performed surgeries in the country. You can expect to be in our ambulatory surgery center for about 2 hours. The procedure itself takes about 15 minutes.
When you arrive at the surgery center, you will receive anesthetic drops and mild sedation through an IV to minimize any discomfort. During the operation, a micro incision is made in the eye. The surgeon will use a tiny instrument (about the size of a pen tip) to remove your clouded lens, and through the same small incision, the IOL you have chosen will be inserted.
To contact Horizon Laser & Eye Surgery Center, please call (609) 822-7171.
After the Procedure
Following the procedure, you will be given prescriptions for eye drops, which need to be used for several weeks following your surgery. The physicians will examine your eyes several times to ensure that your eye is healing well. Everyone has a different healing time. While some patients heal quickly, others may take more than a month.
There are a wide range of replacement lenses available to cataract patients, each offering different advantages for your post-surgery vision. The most effective lens depends on each patient’s individual preferences and goals for their vision. The latest lenses help eliminate the need for glasses or contacts after cataract surgery, providing convenient, effective results for your specific vision conditions.
In the past, cataract lenses were only able to correct distance vision, often leaving patients with the need for reading glasses. Multifocal IOLs offer patients freedom from glasses after cataract surgery by improving vision at all distances and at any time of day. These lenses can quickly change focus to accommodate your vision needs. Up to 80 percent of patients do not need to rely on glasses with multifocal IOLs.
Toric IOLs are specifically designed for patients with astigmatism. In the past, patients with astigmatism would need eyeglasses or contact lenses even after cataract surgery in order to correct the problem. Toric IOLs corrects cataracts and astigmatism with just one lens, providing a more convenient and affordable solution to your vision needs.
About Premium Lenses
Patients who wish to reduce their dependence on glasses or contact lenses for all distances without undergoing a corneal laser procedure such as LASIK, PRK or Epi LASIK may benefit from Lens Replacement Surgery, an advanced procedure similar to cataract surgery that removes the aging natural lens and replace it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) that provides long-term vision correction at near, arm’s length and far distances.
During Lens Replacement Surgery, the eye is first numbed with anesthetic eye drops, before an incision is made on the edge of the cornea with a microscopic tool. The natural lens is then broken into tiny pieces that are gently suctioned through the incision, and the IOL is precisely positioned to restore clear vision. This procedure is effective in correcting nearsightedness, farsightedness and presbyopia, which cannot be accomplished through LASIK and other laser procedures. It is most commonly performed on patients over the age of 40 whose eyes have begun to age, but are not experiencing cataracts or any other serious eye condition.
In order to achieve the most effective vision correction for each individual patient, there are several different IOL options available, each with a distinct optical design that may benefit certain eye qualities and conditions over others. Your doctor will help you determine which type of lens is best for you after a thorough evaluation of your vision and overall eye health.
Crystalens® is a new replacement lens (IOL) that works naturally with muscles in the eye to retain the eye’s ability to “accommodate” — to shift focus between nearby and distant objects. With older IOLs, patients lose this ability and require corrective eyewear to see clearly at near and intermediate distances.
Unlike rigid lenses, the flexible silicone Crystalens features innovative hinges that allow it to move with the eye’s muscles and accommodate seamlessly, thereby reducing or eliminating the need for vision correction.
Using apodization, diffraction and refraction technologies, the ReSTOR® lens improves upon ordinary replacement lenses (IOLs) by providing comprehensive focusing capabilities so patients can see clearly in a range of lighting conditions and at all distances — at noon or midnight, nearby or far away, and many distances in between. Up to 80% of patients who use the ReSTOR® lens don’t need to rely on glasses or contact lenses after surgery.
Manufactured by Pfizer Inc., the Tecnis® IOL was designed to provide cataract surgery patients with high-quality vision comparable to that of young people. Its main concern is improving safety with vision correction, as it provides improved night vision and reduction of spherical aberrations, an undesirable scattering of light that is a common side effect of cataract surgery.
The Tecnis IOL is FDA-approved as a visual driving aid. In tests, drivers 65 and older wearing a silicone Tecnis lens were able to recognize objects faster, improving their braking response time by half a second and stopping about 60 feet shorter than drivers wearing traditional acrylic lenses.
Who is a Candidate?
Candidates for lens implant procedures are people who want freedom from glasses. These patients want to rid themselves of the need for bifocals or any type of glasses. Many patients have been told they are developing cataracts. Some patients may have been previously told they were not candidates for other permanent vision correcting procedures like LASIK. To be certain about your candidacy for a lens implant procedure, make an appointment for an evaluation with one of our physicians.
To contact Horizon Laser & Eye Surgery Center, please call (609) 822-7171