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:
- Trouble with night driving, seeing halos around approaching headlights from other cars
- Daytime “foggy vision” like a foggy windshield
- Trouble seeing well in low light
- Increased sensitivity to sunlight or a favorite lamp
- Frequent changes in your glasses prescription
- Decreased vibrancy of colors, they look muted or faded
Cataract Surgery Explained
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.
Cataract Surgery Restores Vision
Recent advances in IOL technology give cataract patients the option of choosing a lifestyle 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.
Multifocal lens implants, such as ReSTOR® are designed to provide a fuller range of vision, without glasses. 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 this lens is to enable you 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.
Astigmatism lens implants are designed to correct pre-existing astigmatism at the same time as the cataract removal. Previously, this was a two-step process, done with a surgical knife. Now, the precision of an astigmatism-correcting lens implant improves surgical accuracy, and your resulting vision is crisp.
Laser-assisted cataract surgery can create incisions more precisely and soften the cataract lens decreasing postoperative healing time and increasing safety.
- It is most advantageous for lifestyle lens procedures as they require exquisite central placement and the femtosecond laser can reduce several variables affecting placement.
- It is also very effective for patients with minor astigmatism as it can precisely produce relaxing incisions in the cornea to reduce small amounts of astigmatism allowing for better unaided distance vision after surgery.
LENSTAR LS 900
Our advanced LENSTAR LS 900 is the first optical biometer on the market and 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 monofocal and multifocal IOL’s as well as previous laser vision correction patients.