Despite a common myth, cataracts are not “growths” in the eye that are removed during cataract surgery. A cataract is the clouding of the lens of the eye, which prevents light from passing through clearly from the outside to the back of the eye.
Cataract surgery is used to replace the cloudy lens with a clear lens, restoring vision. In some cases, even if cataracts are not yet interfering with vision, your ophthalmologist may recommend the surgery. This is because cataracts can inhibit the ability of the eye doctor to monitor or treat other conditions, such as macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy.
Types Of Cataract Surgery
There are primarily two types of cataract surgery. Your ophthalmologist will ultimately decide which one is right for your circumstances.
Phacoemulsification involves making an incision in the side of the eye. Through this small opening, the lens of the eye is destroyed via the use of a very small probe by your ophthalmologist. A separate tool is then used to remove the pieces.
The ophthalmologist then accesses the same opening to replace the cloudy lens with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). At this point, the procedure is nearly complete. Once the sedative has worn off, which is about 30 minutes later, you can return home. The benefit of this method is that a smaller incision can be made, which translates to quicker healing post-surgery.
In highly advanced cataracts, a second type of cataract surgery might be needed, called extracapsular surgery. This involves a larger incision, and the lens would be removed in one piece rather than being fragmented. After lens extraction, an IOL is put into place, just like with the phacoemulsification type of cataract surgery.
Lens Options For Cataract Surgery
We offer three lens options to our patients undergoing cataract surgery:
A standard monofocal lens provides good distance vision, but you will still need glasses to read or use the computer. This lens is used in conventional cataract surgery.
Toric Lens *
This advanced lens is designed to correct cataracts and astigmatism, allowing you to regain quality distance vision. With toric lenses, most people only need glasses to read and, in some cases, for computer use.
Multifocal Lens *
This premium lens is designed to minimize your reliance on glasses. A multifocal lens can improve near, intermediate, and distance vision.
* Insurance companies typically cover the cost of monofocal lenses. However, toric and multifocal lenses are not covered by insurance and are an out-of-pocket expense.
Am I A Candidate For Cataract Surgery?
If you believe that you have cataracts in one or both eyes, your first step is to get a professional diagnosis from your ophthalmologist at Zen Eye Institute. You and your eye doctor will determine if cataract surgery is right for you.
This may include assessing:
If cataracts have worsened to the point where your daily life is altered
You have an increasing number of symptoms, such as seeing halos around lights, light sensitivity, change in color perception, double vision, and more
You have an oversensitivity to light, where normal light levels cause you to squint or give you headaches
Consult with your ophthalmologist at Zen Eye Institute to see if cataract surgery is an option for you.
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