The cause of cataracts remains unknown.
Risk factors include long-term use of medication; certain diseases such as diabetes and glaucoma; prolonged exposure to ultra-violet light; and smoking. Cataracts can also develop as the result of an injury or can be congenital.
The lens of the eye clouds naturally as we age, causing a gradual reduction in vision. In the United States today, almost 75% of those aged 65 and over are affected by cataracts.
When a cataract develops, the normally clear lens of the eye grows cloudy. This prevents light which enters the eye from being properly focused on the retina.
- Blurry or hazy vision
- Watching TV
- Driving at night
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Frequent changes in eyeglass prescription
- Colors appear faded or dull
We provide a comprehensive eye examination which allows us to easily discover the presence of cataracts. One of our doctors will then determine whether a change in your eyeglass prescription will improve your vision or whether surgery may be necessary. You'll have the opportunity to discuss all of your options comfortably and receive all of the information you need to make your decision.
Surgical treatment is generally recommended if cataracts have begun to interfere with your daily life or with the activities you enjoy. The phacoemulsification technique we employ makes cataract surgery one of today's safest and most effective surgical procedures.
Intraocular Lens (IOL) Implants
During outpatient surgery, the cataract is removed through a microscopic incision. Then an intraocular lens (IOL) implant is inserted in the eye to replace the cloudy lens. There are numerous IOLs available. All that are used in the United States are FDA approved and have gone through rigorous testing for their efficacy and safety. The doctor will determine which IOL is most appropriate for your individual case. Clear vision is quickly restored to virtually all patients, allowing a speedy return to an active lifestyle.
Multi-focal and Astigmatic Lens Implants
Traditionally, a mono-focal lens has been utilized which corrects for either distance or near vision but not for both. If one of our doctors determines you to be an appropriate candidate, we are also able to provide premium multi-focal and astigmatic lens implants which, like a progressive bifocal lens, correct for both distance and near vision, or for astigmatism.
YAG Laser Capsulotomy (for "Secondary Cataract")
In a large percentage of cases following cataract surgery, patients develop a haze of membrane behind their intraocular lens (IOL) implant. Vision can be blurry, hazy, or may be experienced as glare accompanied by loss of visual acuity.
Known as posterior capsule opacity, this condition is often referred to as "secondary cataract", although cataracts never actually recur after cataract surgery. Posterior capsule opacity is essentially a scarring process of the capsule or membrane which contained the natural lens of the eye (the cataract that was removed during surgery). Although posterior capsule opacity isn't predictable or preventable, it is treatable through the YAG laser capsulotomy procedure.
The YAG laser capsulotomy is performed as a minor in-office or outpatient procedure. It is entirely painless, takes just a few minutes, and results in no postoperative discomfort. The eye is generally dilated prior to the procedure. A laser is then used to cut through the hazy capsule from behind the IOL implant. An anti-inflammatory eye drop medication is usually recommended for use after the procedure.
Patients may resume normal activities immediately following the YAG laser capsulotomy procedure. While some "floaters" can be expected after the procedure, they will generally disappear within a few weeks. YAG laser capsulotomy almost always enables vision to be restored or improved.
Eyeglass Benefit for Medicare Patients
Recipients of cataract surgery with Medicare are each entitled to a Medicare benefit toward the purchase of one pair of eyeglasses.