What is Cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which blocks or changes the amount of light going into the eye. The lens of the eye is naturally clear and is located behind the pupil and the colored iris. The lens helps to focus the light you see onto your retina. The retina relays the light input to your brain.
- Decreased vision
- Dimmer colors
- Headlight glare or halo at night
- Difficulty doing fine work
- Limited improvement with glasses
What is happening?
The lens is contained in a sealed bag, called a capsule. As cells keep growing, they become trapped inside the capsule. Over time, the cells accumulate, causing the lens to cloud. As the cells increase in number, the lens becomes hard. The cloudy, hard lens blocks light and scatters what light does come in.
Why does this happen?
- Genetic factors
- The aging process
- A previous injury to the eye
- Prolonged exposure to sunlight
What is going on in the eye
What is going on in the eye
Will My Eyes Get Better?
There are no diets, drugs, or eye drops that have been proven to make cataracts go away. The only option is surgical removal and replacement.
Cataracts only become cloudier with time. This can happen quickly, within a few months, or so slowly that people are unaware of how much vision they have lost.
Cataracts are a common problem. About 75% of all people over the age of 65 have cataracts in varying stages of cloudiness. Before 1970, cataracts were the leading cause of treatable blindness in the United States.
Cataract surgery is a safe and proven procedure that involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens implant. With very little down time, and quick recovery in most cases there is no need to wait any longer to have your vision restored.
Lens Implant Options
Your natural lens is cloudy, so it will be removed. If you did not have a lens implant put in, your vision would remain permanently out of focus. The technology for lens implants has been constantly improving for 70 years. There are several options when it comes to which lens implant would best fit your needs, and not every patient is a good candidate for each type. Thankfully, Dr. Karen Grove and Dr. Suzanna Billinghurst will take great care in helping you determine which lens option will be best for your lifestyle.
- The spherical monofocal lens implant is usually covered by insurance and will allow you to see clearly at one distance – either far away or up close. Most patients choose to have their clearest vision in the distance and rely on reading glasses for near work like computer use and reading. With this lens implant, some patients will still need full-time corrective lenses to enjoy their sharpest vision at all distances.
- Another lens option is the “extended depth of focus” lens. Our doctors often use the Symfony lens, which allows you to have a continuous range of high-quality vision with excellent distance and intermediate focus and improved near vision. These types of lenses are not currently covered by insurance and would be an additional cost to the patient. Our surgical counseling team will gladly demonstrate the effect on the vision that a typical patient experiences, go over a financial estimate with you to help determine what your out of pocket cost might be, and review programs that might help you budget for this type of lens.
There are also lenses that correct astigmatism- a common vision problem. Astigmatism is an imperfect shape of the front of the eye that leads to blurry vision. It can often be corrected with glasses, contacts, or a lens implant called a toric lens. Toric lenses are not currently covered by insurance, but for patients that rely heavily on glasses to correct the misshape of their eye, they are well worth the cost to not wear glasses any longer.
Our Cataract Specialists
The doctors and staff at Orion Eye will discuss which lens implants would complement your lifestyle. We are here to help you make an informed decision before cataract surgery.
General Eye information
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