The lens is a transparent (clear) structure inside the eye that focuses light into images on the retina. A cataract is the progressive clouding of this lens. Most cataracts are caused by the normal aging process, as proteins clump together on the surface of the lens. Over half of all people over the age of 60 suffer from cataracts.
Cataracts develop gradually and can be difficult to notice at first. Symptoms include blurry vision, difficulty reading, ghost images, increased nearsightedness, light sensitivity and problems driving at night. Cataracts can affect only one eye or both eyes. When a cataract begins to cause vision loss or interfere with activities, it should be removed.
Removing the Cataract
Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure performed while the patient is awake. Numbing drops or an injection of local anesthetic make the surgery painless.
The most common and most advanced cataract surgery technique is called phacoemulsification. During this surgery, a small ultrasonic probe is used to break up (emulsify) the cloudy lens into tiny pieces, which are then removed from the eye.
The highly skilled surgeons of Eye Surgical Associates perform this procedure through an incision so tiny that it heals on its own in the days following surgery. Stitches are seldom needed to close this tiny wound. This causes less discomfort and allows for a much quicker recovery of vision.
Reducing Your Dependence on Glasses after Cataract Surgery
Once the cataract is removed, an artificial lens implant called an intraocular lens (IOL) is gently placed into the eye. Standard IOLs provide clear vision and excellent clarity for distant objects, but more patients who receive these standard IOLs will require glasses for near and intermediate vision activities such as reading or using a computer.
Thanks to recent advances in lens technology, we are now proud to offer premium IOLs that are specially designed to reduce or eliminate your dependence on glasses. If one of these premium IOLs better suits your lifestyle, your Eye Surgical Associates surgeon will be happy to discuss it with you.
If you are interested in greater freedom from glasses after cataract surgery, click here for more information on these revolutionary lenses.
For information on astigmatism-correcting cataract surgery, click here.