Cataracts occur when there is a change in the clarity of the crystalline lens located behind the iris and the pupil. There are many possible causes for cataracts, including heredity, age, ultraviolet light, chronic diseases such as diabetes, and chronic use of corticosteroids.
When your vision becomes blurred to the extent that it cannot be corrected by changes in your eyeglass prescription, cataract surgery may be necessary to improve your vision. Modern cataract surgery is performed with the assistance of an operating microscope, fine instruments, and is truly a medical miracle. In a very short time, the clouded lens is removed using ultrasound energy (phacoemulsification) and an artificial lens is inserted in its place. A ‘femtosecond laser’ may sometimes also be utilized in order to minimize astigmatism and decrease the amount of ultrasound energy required in the cataract removal process. Recovery is relatively quick and usually painless. Often the need for glasses can be reduced or even eliminated by choosing a certain type of intraocular lens. Your doctor will determine what options are best suited for your surgery and will discuss these at the preoperative consultation. Other tests may be needed to determine if you suffer from glare or loss of contrast sensitivity. When these tests have been completed, we will schedule your surgery at an outpatient facility such as the Phillips Eye Institute or the Eye Center at Fairview. You will need to see your primary care doctor for a pre-operative physical exam, typically one to two weeks before your surgical date. You will also use special eye drops for a few weeks after the surgery.
We will be happy to discuss the advantages of cataract surgery with you.