A cataract is a clouding of the lens that occurs due to the clumping of proteins within the eye, which obstructs light passing through to the retina, resulting in blurred vision. Cataracts are a common vision complication that affects millions of Americans. According to the National Institute of Health, cataracts occur in greater than half of all people aged 80 or older. The condition can occur long before this, however.
By undergoing cataract surgery, you can restore your vision and greatly enhance your quality of life. There are various types of cataracts, and multiple treatments, surgical and non-surgical, can be utilized to alleviate or eliminate the condition. The treatment that is right for you will depend on your degree of vision loss. If severe, then cataract surgery will be necessary.
Catalys® Precision Laser Cataract Surgery
SightMD offers laser cataract surgery, which gives us even greater control over every phase of the procedure, from the removal of the cataract to the placement of a premium IOL. Using the state-of-the-art Catalys® laser, our surgeons are able to target selected sites of the eye with absolute accuracy while leaving surrounding healthy tissues undisturbed. This remarkable laser system offers benefits over traditional forms of cataract surgery at nearly every stage, enabling us to:
- Make more precise incisions in the cornea to access the lens capsule
- Create a circular opening in the capsule that is ten times more accurate than is possible with hand-held tools
- Gently soften and segment the cataract so that it can be removed with less ultrasound energy than with traditional methods
- Place the IOL with greater precision after cataract removal
Patients of SightMD have always had access to the safest, highest-quality cataract surgery available. The Catalys® system allows us to improve on that already high standard, to the benefit of cataract patients throughout the region.
Cataract Surgery – Standard Procedures
For atypical cataract cases, we employ our skills to provide the best results possible for our patients. Our team of eye surgeons has extensive experience with cataract surgery in special clinical settings, and can treat compounding conditions. However, many patients’ needs can be met through industry-standard approaches.
Typically, the cataract or clouded ocular lens is removed, and an intraocular lens – a clear, plastic, maintenance-free lens that acts just as a natural lens would – is inserted as a replacement. Though highly effective, cataract surgery is only necessary if your cataract significantly interferes with daily activities, such as driving, reading, recognizing images, or watching television. If we determine that your cataract can be treated through non-surgical means, such as with eyeglasses or the use of brighter lighting while at home, we will advise you of this.
If a cataract is severe and significantly hinders vision, or prevents the examination or treatment of other eye conditions, it should be removed. There are different types of cataract surgery, we perform the following for best results:
Phacoemulsification Cataract Surgery
Commonly referred to as phaco, this method involves making a small incision along the side of the cornea, the clear, dome-shaped covering on the front of the eye. With the use of local anesthesia, the procedure can be made pain free. Once the incision has been made in the side of the cornea, a small probe is inserted to break up the cataract through the emission of ultrasound waves. Once the clumped protein of the cataract is emulsified, it is removed via suction. An intraocular lens is then inserted in its place. Shortly after completion of the surgery, which can be completed in only 10 minutes, you can return home. For our patients’ benefit, we do not use needles, stitches, or even eye patches in the treatment or aftercare of the eye.
Cataract Surgery Recovery
This industry-standard approach is effective, safe, and quick, and recovery time is minimal. You will require an escort to take you home from our office, but your vision improvement will be noticeable almost immediately, and you will be able to return to normal activities just a couple of days after surgery. Full healing may require up to eight weeks. There may be some irritation following surgery, but this is normal. The eyes will likely be sensitive to light and touch as well, and there may be some marginal fluid discharge. To promote healing and alleviate discomfort, eye drops will be prescribed.