A cataract is the medical term for the natural lens inside of the eye becoming cloudy and dark. Everybody will develop cataracts over their lifetime, as the aging lens becomes thicker and darker. Often times the symptoms are very mild in the early stages. Patients may start to experience difficulty driving at night due to increased glare from oncoming headlights or streetlights. Patients may experience difficulty in low-light or dimly lit rooms and feel the need for increasing lighting. Patients may ultimately feel the vision is blurry and fuzzy, and no amount of glasses correction seems to help. In this situation, it may be time to undergo cataract surgery. In cataract surgery, the cataract surgeon will remove the natural lens in the eye (which has become thick and dark), and replace this with a synthetic lens that is thin, clear, and carefully selected to give you the best vision possible. There are many different options for lens implants, and your cataract surgeon will discuss these options with you.
Cataract surgery is among the most commonly performed surgical procedures in the United States. As the natural lens inside of the eye ages, it becomes thicker and cloudier, and is then called a cataract. This leads to blurry vision and eventually blindness if cataract surgery is not performed. During your cataract surgery, your surgeon will remove the cataract from the eye, and replace it with a synthetic, implanted lens which is thin and clear. Most patients notice an improvement in vision by the next day. Contrary to popular belief, cataract surgery is not done only with lasers or robotic surgery. Cataract surgery requires incisions and manual removal of the cataract by the cataract surgeon. With new laser technology, some of the steps of cataract surgery are performed with a laser, called “laser-assisted” cataract surgery. With laser-assisted cataract surgery, the surgeon is able to make more precise incisions and in some cases minimize the risks of cataract surgery. There are several choices for the type of lens implant
(intra-ocular lens). The standard lens implant is typically covered by insurances, and corrects your vision for distance. You will use reading glasses for close up vision. There are newer, “premium” lenses available on the market, which are not covered by your insurance. The premium lenses are designed to help you see at distance AND at near without the need for glasses. Your cataract surgeon will discuss the lens implant options with you, and together you will choose the best lens for your situation.