What are Cataracts?
If you are experiencing cloudy or blurry vision, you may have a common eye condition known as cataracts. Cataracts are a common problem that can develop as we age. Although some people are born with cataracts, it is most common to develop cataracts later in life, typically after age 65. A cataract develops when the natural lens inside of the eye gradually becomes harder and cloudy. Cataract surgery is safe and effective, and your concern about your diagnosis could turn into excitement once you have a consultation with us!
Types of Cataracts
Other types of cataracts are congenital, traumatic, and diabetic. Congenital cataracts are present at birth or develops in early childhood. Traumatic cataracts can develop after an injury to the eye. This cataract development can happen rapidly after the injury or years later. Lastly, the type of cataract known as a diabetic cataract typically develops in patients with diabetes or other systemic health issues. Cataract development has been linked to steroid use and radiation therapy as well.
Contact lenses and eye glasses can be used to treat cataract symptoms, such as blurred vision, however these are only a temporary solutions. The only way to truly treat cataracts is with surgery. Cataract surgery is considered one of the safest, most effective, and most commonly performed surgeries.
Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most effective procedures performed today. It is routinely performed as an outpatient procedure and is the number one therapeutic surgical procedure performed on Americans age 65 or older. Cataract surgery today is fairly straightforward; it often takes less than 15 minutes to complete, usually does not require any sutures, and recovery time is typically minimal.
Cataract surgery removes the clouded natural lens of the eye and replaces it with an intraocular lens, or IOL. In traditional cataract surgery, the IOL would be a standard monofocal lens, meaning it would allow the patient good vision with corrective lenses such as bifocals. At Medical Vision Institute, we also provide our patients with the option to upgrade to our Cataracts Plus℠ program. This gives you the opportunity for astigmatism correction and/or premium IOLs, which results in a minimal need, if any, for corrective lenses after surgery.
In traditional cataract surgery, the IOL would be a standard monofocal lens, meaning it would allow the patient good vision with corrective lenses such as bifocals. At Medical Vision Institute, we also provide our patients with the option to upgrade to our Cataracts Plus℠ program. This gives you the opportunity for astigmatism correction and/or premium IOLs, which results in a minimal need, if any, for corrective lenses after surgery.
Cataract Removal + Astigmatism Correction
If you have astigmatism in your cornea, you will likely need glasses in order to see clearly following cataract surgery. Patients that have corneal astigmatism may be good candidates for astigmatism correction at the time of cataract surgery. An LRI is performed or a toric lens implant is placed during your initial cataract surgery and can often eliminate the need for glasses used for distance vision. Patients will require reading glasses for near work with this corrective option. Because astigmatism correction is considered to be elective, there is an out of pocket expense associated. During your initial cataract exam, Dr. Dudee and his staff will discuss which option would be best for your eyes and vision goals. We will also take the time to go over cost and financing options at the time of your pre-operative exam.
Cataract Removal + Premium IOLs (Reduced or Eliminated Need for Glasses)
Premium IOLs can allow patients to reduce or even eliminate their need for glasses following cataract surgery. Premium IOLs include multiple focal points allowing patients to have good near, intermediate and distance vision. These lenses are ideal for patients that like to read a newspaper, see the computer screen and drive without having to deal with corrective lenses.
Patients that have an active lifestyle are often excellent candidates for a Cataracts Plus℠ premium IOL. Patients that are a good candidate and elect to have a premium IOL can often do most things, most of the time without glasses. Because premium IOLs are considered to be elective, there is an out of pocket expense associated with them. During your initial cataract exam, Dr. Dudee and his staff will discuss which lens would be best for your eyes and vision goals. We will also take the time to go over cost and financing options at the time of your pre-operative exam.
Laser Cataract Surgery
Our cataract surgery is typically a no-patch, no-stitch, no-shot procedure and it only takes a few minutes to complete. With traditional cataract surgery, surgeons use manual blades or instruments to create the necessary incisions within your eye in order to perform the procedure. With these medical advancements, Dr. Dudee can utilize femtosecond laser technology instead of a blade to make many of the necessary steps of cataract surgery. Best of all, this advancement in technology takes an already proven procedure and makes it even more precise, more predictable, and better than ever before!
Laser-assisted cataract surgery is very helpful when patients have dense cataracts. The laser technology can take the dense cataract and turn it into several smaller pieces which makes it easier for removal. This allows for a much faster procedure and can promote a faster recovery time. The precision of laser technology is also helpful when patients elect to have astigmatism correction or a premium lens implant to reduce or eliminate their need for glasses since it can optimize surgical outcomes.
Medical Vision Institute strives to always offer the latest state-of-the-art technology to our patients in Lexington and surrounding areas!
There is no way to prevent the occurrence of PCO, as it is due to remaining lens epithelial cells that proliferate and coat the clear posterior capsule. Symptoms of PCO include blurry vision and glare. Patients often need a YAG laser posterior capsulotomy to remove the opacity. Most patients experience a significant improvement in vision by the first postoperative day, but it may take a few days or weeks for maximum improvement. However, after this minor in-office procedure, your vision should be just as good as it was after recovering from cataract surgery!