Cataracts are actually quite common, and for most people a natural result of aging. Cataracts occur as a clouding of your eye’s natural lens—the part of the eye responsible for focusing light and producing clear, sharp images. The lens of the eye is contained in a sealed capsule. Over time, as old cells die, they become trapped within the capsule, causing the lens to cloud, making images look blurred and colors to fade.
Since cataracts often take a while to form, so do their symptoms. Cataracts are most often associated with those over age 60, however, they can develop in those as young as newborns as well.
A person with cataracts may experience:
Cataract surgery removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with a clear lens implant. All surgeries sound a bit daunting at first, but cataract surgery with Dr. Carlson is routine and effective. Dr. Carlson will perform your surgery at the Phillips Eye Institute as an outpatient procedure with sedation, local anesthesia and quick recovery. During cataract surgery a small incision is made in the cornea. Through this incision, the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with an acrylic intraocular lens implant (IOL). This lens is very small and permanent, providing you great vision for the remainder of your life. The incision seals itself and no suture is generally needed. Antibiotics are applied and a patch or shield is placed over the eye overnight.
Recent advances in IOL technology give cataract patients the option of choosing a premium lens implant that provides a fuller range of vision, and a portion of the surgery itself can now be performed using a femtosecond laser to add additional precision and safety to your experience.
Premium lens implants, such as ReSTOR® and Toric®, are designed to improve your vision to see near, far and in between or to correct astigmatism and improve your distance vision. FDA clinical data shows that if you select these lenses, you may be free of your glasses for the majority of your day-to-day activities. The goal of the premium lens is to improve your ability to read up close (e.g., newspaper, prescription bottles, mail, etc.) and to also see crisply at distance without glasses, therefore reducing your dependency on glasses.
Laser-assisted cataract surgery can create incisions more precisely and soften the cataract lens decreasing postoperative healing time and increasing safety.
During cataract surgery, a thin membrane on the back surface of the natural lens is left in place which helps to support the intraocular lens for the first few weeks of healing. However, 20% of the time this natural membrane can become cloudy post-surgery and reduce vision. At Claris, a YAG laser is used to safely treat this membrane, eliminating cloudiness. The procedure takes 5 to 10 minutes and is generally performed 3-6 months after your initial surgery.
Our supercharged LENSTAR LS 900 is the first optical biometer on the market that provides pristine, accurate measurements of every structure in the entire eye – from cornea to retina. The LENSTAR LS 900 is key to achieving optimal IOL prediction accuracy in surgery. By utilizing this state of the art equipment, we achieve highly accurate refractive outcomes for all cataract patients including standard and premium IOL’s as well as previous laser vision correction (LVC) patients.
Candidates for cataract surgery, who currently take one or more medications to lower eye pressure, may opt for the iStent. This small medical device is placed in your eye during cataract surgery and will continuously work to help reduce your eye pressure and may eliminate the need for you to use glaucoma mediations(s). Talk to your doctor to find out if iStent is right for you.