Today’s technology can actually help you become less dependent or even eliminate the need to wear eyeglasses, bifocals or reading glasses after cataract surgery.
The latest in cataract surgery lens implant options, the multifocal IOL (Intraocular Lens), draws upon decades of expertise and technology to help cataract patients see it all – near, far, and everything in between. Many cataract surgery patients these days are saying that, following the procedure, their vision is better than ever before.
Described as a natural clouding of the eye lens, cataracts are quite common, affecting about 20 million people worldwide. Cataracts are actually considered an inevitable part of aging and are widespread among people ages 55 years and older.
Contrary to popular belief, a cataract is not a film over the eye. Rather it is a gradual thickening and hardening of the lens. This causes it to become so clouded that light is either distorted or cannot reach the back of the eye for transmission to the brain. As a result, you end up with vision that’s blurry or dim, as colors appear faded (with a yellowish or brownish tint). Reading or driving in low light may become difficult with cataracts as night vision fails, and halos can sometimes appear around headlights. It may even become painful to walk outside into bright sunlight and see the exaggerated glare off of reflective surfaces like windshields.
For an early cataract, it may seem that using different eyeglasses, magnifying lenses, or stronger lighting improves your vision. These measures do not effectively treat the problem, as cataracts tend to change over time. Surgery is the only effective treatment. The surgical treatment of a cataract involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with a substitute implantable lens, an Intraocular Lens (IOL). If left untreated, cataracts can lead to blindness. Cataracts are already the leading cause of vision loss in adults over age 55 and the most common cause of blindness worldwide.
A cataract needs to be removed when it interferes with your everyday activities, such as driving, reading, or watching TV. It is important that you and your eye care professional make that decision together. In most cases, waiting until you are ready to have cataract surgery will not harm your eye. If you have cataracts in both eyes, they are removed one at a time in order to achieve the best possible results and minimize any potential complications.
Years ago, cataract surgery was a cumbersome procedure for many patients. In fact, for most people with cataracts, it required overnight stays in the hospital and a lengthy recovery process to fully restore their vision. Today, advanced surgical techniques offer “no stitch, no patch, no needle” cataract surgery. The groundbreaking IOLs are a soft, foldable acrylic, which makes implantation easier for the surgeon and more comfortable for the patient. With the help of nearby outpatient facilities, such as MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, your cataract surgery experience will be comfortable and convenient, with minimal discomfort and interruption of your daily activities and lifestyle. For most people, this means faster recovery times and clearer, more youthful vision.
To optimize your cataract surgery results, first select a surgeon with years of experience and a good reputation in the community. Consider a surgeon who offers the very latest AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® IOLs. This family of lenses is the most frequently used intraocular lenses (IOLs) in the world, largely because physicians appreciate the long-term clinical results and unmatched stability. With this lens, patients with both cataracts and reading vision problems can have both conditions corrected at the same time, often eliminating the need for eyeglasses after surgery. A companion lens, the AcrySof® IQ Toric IOL corrects for cataracts with pre-existing astigmatism simultaneously by delivering more precise, predictable outcomes and quality distance vision.
Discuss with your eye care professional all the options that are available to you and your individual eye care needs. Remember to ask about all the latest IOL options and any additional costs to correct your cataract, distance vision, reading vision or astigmatism. Your doctor will thoroughly review the procedure, lens choices and all the risks/benefits of surgery. Making an initial appointment is easy, and the first step in exploring with your doctor the stage of your cataract and when surgery is the right option for you.