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 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 some or all of the following symptoms listed.
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 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.
Several different types of intraocular lenses may be used to replace the eye’s natural lens. This acrylic intraocular lens is very small and sits inside the eye after surgery. A single-focus (or monofocal) lens can be implanted, providing clear distance vision, but will require eyeglasses for near and intermediate tasks, such as looking at a cell phone, wristwatch or dashboard, and for astigmatism correction. To reduce dependency on glasses after cataract surgery, a trifocal or extended depth of focus intraocular lens can be implanted into the eye. Patients who choose these lens implants use glasses much less than those who choose a monofocal IOL.
“Choosing the Vision You Want for the Rest of Your Life”
You are choosing the vision you want for the rest of your life. The decision you make is permanent so understanding your options and considering all factors is important. Options may include standard cataract surgery, laser-assisted surgery or advanced refractive surgery. So, what is right for you and where do you start? The best way to begin is to come in for a consultation with Dr. Carlson. He will perform a comprehensive evaluation of the health of your eyes, determine if you are a candidate for cataract surgery and identify your surgery options. Dr. Carlson will explain your options based on the exam, testing and information you provide about your lifestyle to make the best recommendation for surgery.
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