WHAT IS A CATARACT?
A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens inside the eye. When the proteins that make up the lens clump together, the resulting opacity disrupts the passage of light to the retina, resulting in blurry vision.
Cataracts are more commonly found in individuals over the age of 60, however there are many factors in addition to aging which can contribute to cataract formation. Diabetes, exposure to ultraviolet light or other radiation, genetic predisposition, smoking, injury to the eye, and the use of certain medications like steroids can contribute to cataract formation. While cataracts tend to develop in both eyes, it is not uncommon for one eye to develop a bothersome cataract years before the other eye.
At Krates Eye Centers, our physicians are skilled surgeons that routinely perform cataract surgery. Please make an appointment to have a full comprehensive exam to see if this is the right option for you.Learn more about Cataracts at www.GetEyeSmart.org »
Fortunately, cataracts are treatable by surgery. Among the most frequently performed procedures worldwide, modern cataract surgery continues to improve the safety and visual outcomes available to patients. During the surgery, the patient is kept physically and emotionally comfortable with anesthesia, while still maintaining consciousness and the ability to communicate. Serious complications are unusual in skilled hands. Your physician removes the cloudy natural lens from the eye through a tiny 3mm opening. This is accomplished by a device which uses sound waves to gently break the lens up into tiny pieces, and then removes the pieces with a delicate vacuum. Next, he inserts an intraocular lens (IOL), which remains permanently in place. The clear IOL provides necessary focus. Modern IOLs are designed with various features and are made from a variety of materials. Traditional replacement lenses used in cataract surgery offer clear vision at one focal point, typically in the distance. There are now newer IOLs – we call them “Premium IOLs”- which can provide you with a greater range of focus; distance, intermediate, and near. Multifocal and accommodative IOLs can reduce or occasionally eliminate a patient’s dependence on glasses for everyday activities. Your physician will determine which is most appropriate for your eyes and visual needs.
RECOVERY FROM CATARACT SURGERY
Our patients return home the day of the procedure, about 3 hours after checking in. With the avoidance of strenuous physical activities (such as heavy lifting), or activities which increase the risk of infection (such as swimming), patients return to their daily routines within a few days. Most patients report no pain at all during or following surgery. The patient plays a vital role in the success of surgery by carefully following the doctor’s instructions (e.g. using eyedrops as instructed) and communicating with us if they experience unanticipated changes or symptoms. Several follow-up appointments are scheduled to ensure the eye is healing properly, and measurements for a new glasses prescription are taken 3 to 4 weeks after surgery if needed.