A cataract is a clouding of the lens inside the eye that leads to a decrease in vision. Left untreated, it is the most common cause of blindness and is conventionally treated with surgery. Vision loss occurs because opacification of the lens obstructs light from passing through and being focused on to the retina at the back of the eye.
What Causes Cataracts?
The most common cause of cataracts is biological aging and overexposure to ultraviolet light. The lens lies behind the iris and pupil and works to focus light onto the retina at the back of the eye. The rest of our eye structures work together to adjust and transmit images to the brain, which allows us to see objects and colors.
The lens is made of mostly water and proteins. The protein stays aligned in a way that the lens remains clear. As we age, this protein can clump together and become opaque. Much like trying to look through a foggy window, the clouding is what causes blurriness and difficulty seeing and is called a cataract.
While there is no guaranteed way to avoid cataracts, wearing eyewear and sunwear that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays can slow the onset as well as decrease the exposure to direct sunlight. People with cataracts commonly experience difficulty in appreciating colors and changes in contrast, driving, reading, recognizing faces, and coping with glare from bright lights.
Treatment for cataracts is safe and effective. The most common form of treatment is surgery. In fact, by age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract, or have cataract surgery. Cataract surgery replaces the lens inside an affected eye and restores your clear vision. Other treatment may be possible, but cataract surgery is common and very helpful for many people.
If you have questions about cataracts or other eye health conditions, please call our office or speak with Our doctors at your next appointment. Learn more about other threats to your vision and how annual eye exams check for symptoms by watching our video.
We perform the latest technique of small incision, no shot, no patch cataract surgery. It is performed as outpatient surgery. We typically do not require our patients to have an IV placed, although monitored anesthesia care with an IV is available if needed. We generally prescribe something by mouth to relax you before the procedure. After the procedure, patients generally can return to their usual activities the next day. Medication eye drops are prescribed starting the day before and continue for three to four weeks following the eye surgery procedure. New glasses, if needed, are prescribed three weeks following surgery. The second eye can have surgery, if needed, one to two weeks after the first. We do not perform surgery on the second eye until we are certain that the first eye is doing well.
We offer the latest in intraocular lens implant technology utilizing advanced technology lenses and precision Laser Customization.
A final decision regarding cataract surgery and lens selection should only be made after talking with your surgeon. The surgeon can help you decide after discussing your lifestyle and the specifics regarding your eye surgery.
The medical part of the procedure is usually covered by medical insurance after any deductibles and/or co-payments are met. Medical insurance also usually covers the cost of the standard monofocal lens implant. A monofocal lens implant, allows for good distance vision, provided the patient does not have significant corneal astigmatism, but will typically require reading glasses or bifocals for near vision.
At The Eye and Laser Center, we have 2 ways to treat astigmatism and allow you your best chance of seeing your clearest after surgery. Low to moderate levels of astigmatism can be treated with a precision Laser System. Moderate to high levels of astigmatism are treated with special advanced technology lens implants called Toric intraocular lenses.
Payment plans are available which can allow the patient to pay for any non-covered costs related to the surgical procedure with low interest financing. Please ask us for further information if you are interested or visit Carecredit.com. For more information about your options, please visit reclaimyourvision.com.