Behind the iris, the lens is a clear structure in the eye focusing an image or light onto the retina. A clear lens means the retina receives a clear image and translates those clear images to the brain.
When the lens in your eye becomes cloudy with age, or as the result of a medical condition, vision is impacted. Cataracts create cloudy or foggy vision, as if you are looking through a foggy window. A cataract can develop in one eye, or both. The condition isn’t contagious and cannot be transmitted from one eye to another.
After the age of 40, cataracts become increasingly common. In fact, more than half of all Americans by the age of 80 have experienced a problem with cataracts, or have had cataracts removed.
How do you know if you need cataract surgery? If cataracts are reducing your quality of life, symptoms will include:
Aging and exposure to ultraviolet radiation cause cataracts. People may also experience cataracts after an eye injury, eye disease, or as a side effect from certain medications. Cataracts can also develop from medical conditions like diabetes.
If you have a family history of cataracts, you are at a higher risk. People with darker-colored irises also appear to have an increased risk.
Cataract removal is the only treatment option available. The good news is that cataract surgery offers the highest success rate of any surgical procedure in the United States. During the surgical procedure, the clouded natural lens of the eye is replaced with a new, clear lens called an intraocular lens implant. This new lens has a prescription power specifically measured and created for each individual patient.
Some intraocular lens implants best correct sight at a distance, while some best correct near. Certain lenses can correct visions problems both at a distance and near, and some for astigmatism. It’s possible to have cataracts along with other vision problems. For these reasons, no single lens is right for every patient. Dr. Tate, Dr. Piette, and Dr. Gordon counsel each patient on the best approach based on their needs and lifestyle. Help us understand your vision goals by downloading and printing this packet to bring with you to your consultation.
The Light Adjustable Lens has a unique feature. Once your eye has healed following cataract surgery, you will return to New Vision Eye Center to have your vision tested. During this visit, you can preview and compare possible visual outcomes based on your personal preferences and lifestyle. Your doctor will then apply a light treatment that precisely reshapes your implanted lens based on the necessary correction. You may need three total light treatments to reach your visual goals.
After you decide on cataract surgery, our eye care professionals will perform some tests to determine the shape of your eye and cornea. These tests allow the surgeons to calculate which intraocular lens is best for you, to achieve the best visual results post operatively.
Patients are asked not to eat or drink anything during the 12 hours prior to their surgery.
Some patients choose to stay awake during the procedure, others prefer conscious sedation. The decision is between you and your eye surgeon. Whether you decide to remain awake or not, anesthetic drops are used to completely numb the nerves inside and around your eye. This allows the procedure to be virtually painless.
Patients are instructed to go home and rest for the remainder of the day following their surgery. Most patients are able to see immediately, but are not permitted to drive that day. Courtesy transportation is available upon request, based upon availability.
Cataract surgery causes some mild discomfort and itching, along with some fluid, for the two days immediately after surgery. Patients will find their eyes more sensitive to light and more sensitive to touch. Please follow your post operative instructions. Patients may be asked to wear an eye shield or eyeglasses to help protect the eye.
While visual recovery is almost immediate, patients can experience fluctuations in the quality of their vision during the recovery period, which can take about eight weeks. Follow-up exams will check the progress, and are very important to keep.
If you experience any of the above symptoms, or need to schedule an eye exam, contact our World-Class Eye Care™ office today!
Download and print this packet to bring with you to your consultation.