A cataract occurs when the lens of the eye (which is normally clear) becomes cloudy and interferes with the quality of your vision. A person with cataracts may experience faded colors, blurry or double vision, halos around light and difficulty seeing at night. More than 90 percent of people over the age of 65 have a cataract and half of the people between 75 and 85 have lost some vision due to a cataract. Common causes of cataracts include:
- Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation (e.g., sunlight, tanning beds or sunlamps)
- Complications due to diabetes
- Eye injury
- Congenital condition
- Long-term use of steroid medications
What are treatment options for cataracts?
Removal of cataracts is crucial for preventing severe vision loss. Recent innovations in cataract surgery make it possible for cataracts to be removed with greater precision and accuracy. Here four leading edge cataract surgery options:
- Laser cataract surgery
In laser-assisted cataract surgery, a laser is used to make an incision and circular lens opening. Technology allows doctors to create a more reliable, repeatable and precise incision than a surgeon can do by hand. Once he or she can reach the cataract, ultrasound waves are used to break the cataract into tiny pieces, which are then removed. A new artificial lens is inserted to replace the cloudy natural lens.
- Dropless cataract surgery
Dropless cataract surgery is a new technique used to prevent infection and inflammation. Those undergoing cataract surgery are generally prescribed eye drops following surgery that need to be used several times a day for several weeks. With dropless cataract surgery however, the necessary medications are placed inside your eye during your procedure. This option is convenient, safe, effective and less expensive than using traditional drops.
- Multifocal correction
Traditional cataract surgery technologies correct one focal point, which results in people needing reading glasses or bifocals. Recent advancements in multifocal technology make it possible for you to read without magnifying glasses while still seeing objects at a distance. However it is important to not these lenses are not for everyone. Some additional testing is needed to determine if you are a candidate.
- Toric interocular lenses
People with astigmatism (irregular shape of cornea that requires glasses for correction) may elect to use an artificial toric lens, which is the most advanced method of distance vision correction. The toric lens incorporates unique optics to compensate for specific deficiencies in your vision. Astigmatism correction may be the best choice for you if you would like to further improve your quality of vision and reduce your dependency on glasses.
If you think you have or have been recently diagnosed with cataracts, talk with one of our highly-skilled eye care specialists. After a comprehensive eye exam and medical history, we’ll help you choose the cataract surgery option that’s right for you and your needs.