Cataracts

What is a Cataract

A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens and is typically caused by aging. It is a result of protein build up that gradually opacifies the lens and leads to blurry vision, glare sensitivity, dulled colors, poor night vision and often increased nearsightedness (myopia). Cataracts can be removed through minimally invasive cataract surgery, which is a quick, highly precise and safe ambulatory procedure

What are the symptoms?

How are they diagnosed?

During your initial consultation we will determine whether or not your visual impairment is caused by cataracts and we will rule out any other conditions that may need to bead dressed prior to surgery. In order to do this, we will conduct at rough evaluation to determine your current health status and quality of vision. This is followed by a meticulous examination of the complete anatomy of the eye, supported by multiple cutting-edge technologies.

Although technology does not replace good clinical skills and judgement, it is necessary to precisely measure the different dimensions of the eye, which are required to select the ideal intra ocular lens implant (IOL). In addition, other conditions that could affect the surgical results are considered, and in many cases treated before surgery in order to maximize visual outcomes.

Is surgery always necessary?

Having cataracts does not necessarily mean that surgery is required. In fact, most people have some degree of cataracts as a consequence of aging, but surgery is only required when the cataract noticeably affects daily life activities

What is the surgical procedure like?

Cataract Surgery is one of the most successful surgical procedures in medicine.The basic replacement of a cloudy lens with a transparent intra ocular implant has evolved into a highly advanced procedure that not only restores clarity but, in many cases, eliminates the need for glasses. Because it is a quick outpatient procedure that requires minimal anesthesia, it also ensures a fast recovery with most patients being able to enjoy their improved vision a few days after surgery. With that being said, there are different approaches and techniques that can be utilized to meet each individual’s needs.

How is conventional cataract surgery done?

Conventional cataract surgery starts with applying an anesthetic drop. Although patients remain awake during surgery, mild sedation is also utilized to put the patient at ease. After making a small incision on the cornea, the cloudy lens is removed through a process called phacoemulsification which liquefies and aspirates the cataract material. After removal of the cataract, an intra-ocular lens implant (IOL) is carefully injected into its permanent position.

What is refractive cataract surgery?

Refractive cataract surgery allows patients to meet visual needs that would otherwise require glasses or contact lenses. The latest intra-ocular lens technology can compensate for any preexisting refractive ocular condition you may have, including myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, or presbyopia, allowing patients to eliminate their need for eyeglasses or contact lenses for distance and reading.

What is laser assisted cataract surgery?

Laser assisted cataract surgery shifts some of the critical steps of the procedure from the surgeon’s hands to a computer guided Femtosecond laser. The procedure combines high resolution and real time imaging of the anterior segment of the eye to guide the laser in performing incisions and dissolution of the cataract material.

Often times, patients are told that they need laser assisted cataract surgery. Laser assisted cataract surgery is not a necessity, however, it adds an additional level of safety and precision.

What happens after surgery?

Following surgery, you will still feel a mild sedation, however, it will wear off after a few hours. Most cases do not require any stitches, and there will be no need for a patch.  During the first week after surgery, you will need to protect your operated eye while sleeping by placing a plastic shield over it. Throughout this initial period, you should also avoid rubbing your eyes, heavy lifting or allowing dirt or fluids to come in direct contact with the operated eye.

In addition, antibiotic drops will be required during the first week after surgery. Anti-inflammatory drops, however, will be required for several weeks following surgery in order to control normal post-operative inflammation.

When do we get cataracts?

Believe it or not, cataracts can form even before we are born. Although rare, congenital cataracts may be present in newborns for different reasons. However, most of the cataracts that we do surgery on are caused by aging. Although symptoms are usually seen after the age of 65, symptomatic cataracts can occur at younger ages. These are usually caused by injuries, certain medications such as corticosteroids, previous intraocular surgery, or diabetes and other diseases.

Should I always get an intra ocular lens implant if I have cataract surgery?

Yes, a lens implant replaces the optical properties of the natural crystalline lens that is removed during surgery. In addition, the IOL maintains the natural separation between the anterior segment of the eye and the vitreous.

What are premium lenses?

First of all, all the IOLs that we use are top quality, latest generation designs. The term “Premium” is used to describe lenses with extra features such as multifocality which allows simultaneous correction of presbyopia , eliminating the need for glasses to see clearly at a distance or from up close. Another important feature to consider is toricity. A toric lens is shaped to compensate astigmatism, a visual defect related to abnormal curvature of the cornea, affecting the whole range of vision.

Why is premium refractive cataract surgery so expensive?

Premium refractive cataract surgery requires more than just a lens. Not only are you paying for a more expensive, cutting-edge lens design, but you are also paying for a variety of  technologies and expertise that are required for making the procedure successful.

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