A cataract is a medical condition in which the lens of the eye becomes progressively opaque, resulting in blurred vision. The opaque lens is surgically removed and a new acrylic clear lens is inserted, restoring clear vision.
Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in people over age 40 and is the principal cause of blindness in the world. Today, cataracts affect more than 22 million Americans age 40 and older. And as the U.S. population ages, more than 30 million Americans are expected to have cataracts by the year 2020, PBA says.
A cataract starts out small and at first has little effect on your vision. You may notice that your vision is blurred a little, like looking through a cloudy piece of glass or viewing an impressionist painting. A cataract may make light from the sun or a lamp seem too bright or glaring. Or you may notice when you drive at night that the oncoming headlights cause more glare than before. Colors may not appear as bright as they once did.
The type of cataract you have will affect exactly which symptoms you experience and how soon they will occur. When a nuclear cataract first develops, it can bring about a temporary improvement in your near vision, called "second sight." Unfortunately, the improved vision is short-lived and will disappear as the cataract worsens.
Cataract surgery can also be thought of as a lens replacement surgery. Everyone is born with an anatomical lens behind the iris. Over time, that lens grows thicker and changes shape and color. This is part of aging, and everyone will develop one cataract in each eye if he or she lives long enough. Fortunately, when it comes to treatment, you have choices.
Choice 1: Remove the cataract and replace it with a lens that partially corrects for distance vision. You will likely need to wear trifocals to see far, intermediate, and near.
Choice 2: Remove the cataract and with a combination of Refractive Laser Treatment and specialized lenses, fully correct distance vision. You will still need glasses for intermediate and near vision tasks such as working on computers or mobile devices.
Choice 3: Remove the cataract and place a lens that allows you to see at multiple distances, reducing the need for glasses for many tasks. You could occasionally need glasses for low light conditions or for very specific focusing.
All of the above procedures can be combined with a Surgical Laser. This laser adds precision to the surgery making the surgery more predictable and can help not only remove your cataract, but also help to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses. As with all surgical procedures, results can vary. You should speak to your surgeon about all risks and possible outcomes before making any decisions.
Premium Lens Options
Extended Range of Focus Lenses
These lenses offer the greatest depth of focus of any lens on the market, allowing clear vision at night as well as daytime.
Multifocal lenses correct vision at two separate distances, though glasses may be needed for certain situations. For those with active lifestyles this is a very good option.
Patients who choose toric lenses most likely will not need glasses or contacts for distance after surgery, but will still need reading glasses.
Our cataract surgeons will go over options with you to ensure you choose the best lens for your budget and lifestyle. For your convenience, you may download and fill out our lifestyle questionnaire to help determine the right lens for you.