Cataract Information

What is a cataract?

  • A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens of the eye. It is most often caused by the natural aging process.
  • The lens of the eye is normally clear and allows light to filter through to the retina or back layer of the eye.
  • When a cataract is sufficiently dense, it blocks the light getting to the retina and the vision decreases gradually over time.

What type of treatment is available for cataracts?

  • There are two options when deciding on treatment for cataracts.
  • One option is to observe the cataract. Although it may impair vision, it generally does not cause any damage to the eye structures. Changes in glasses prescriptions may be beneficial.
  • The second option is to remove the clouded lens. Most patients opt to have an intraocular lens implanted for optimum sight recovery.
  • Intraocular lenses now provide options for multifocal correction (near & distance) as well as for astigmatism

What is cataract surgery?

  • An effective way to treat a cataract is to remove the clouded lens of the eye and replace it by implanting an artificial lens.
  • We use the most advanced form of cataract surgery called phacoemulsification. This technique uses a small incision with no stitch required.
  • Topical drops are most commonly used for anesthesia, which reduces the risk of complications with surgery.

When should I consider having surgery?

  • Cataract surgery should be considered when the patient feels that their visual decrease is interfering with their lifestyle. It may inhibit their ability to work or perform daily tasks such as driving or reading.
  • Cataracts do not damage the eye. It is recommended to have surgery only when the patient feels they desire better vision.

Where is cataract surgery done?

  • Cataract surgery is done in one of our two ambulatory surgical centers.
  • The surgery itself takes about 15 minutes and the average stay at the facility is two hours.

Will I have to wear a patch or have other restrictions after surgery?

  • A patch is generally not required. Vision is usually vastly improved within a day of the surgery.
  • Patients can generally resume their normal activities the day following surgery.

What is a secondary cataract?

  • A secondary cataract is a film that grows behind the artificial lens implant. This is a common event following cataract surgery. This clouding can be removed in the officer using YAG laser procedure.
  • This is a relatively simple, safe procedure with a minimal postoperative period. Visual improvement is achieved almost immediately.