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Cataract Surgery

Regain Your Vision

If cataracts are affecting your vision, our experienced surgeons can help. With precision and care, we perform cataract surgery to restore your vision.

A Simple, Relatively Painless Solution to an Age-Related Vision Loss

A cataract is a clouding of the human eye’s natural lens. Affecting more than 22 million Americans, it is the most common cause of vision loss in people over age 40. A cataract starts out small and has little effect on your vision. Symptoms usually progress very gradually. You may notice that your vision is slightly blurred or “cloudy.” A cataract may make light from the sun or a lamp seem too bright or glaring. Or you may notice glare from oncoming headlights when you drive at night. Colors may not appear as vivid as they once did. Eventually you may find it more difficult to see things at far distances or read in dim lighting. Your glasses may not work as well as they used to. When symptoms begin to appear, you may be able to improve your vision temporarily by using stronger glasses, magnification, appropriate lighting, or other visual aids. Cataract surgery is your only treatment option when your cataracts have progressed enough to impair your vision and affect your daily activities. Many people consider poor vision an inevitable part of aging, but cataract surgery is a simple, relatively painless procedure to regain your vision at any age. There is no doubt that the development of Premium IOLs and Laser Cataract Surgery are great breakthroughs in ophthalmology. The results are nothing short of amazing. However, every individual patient is different and not all patients are good candidates. After your cataract evaluation, please ask questions. Dr. Chiang, Dr. Patel, or Dr. Jasmeeta will give you an honest opinion as to what is best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the symptoms of a cataract?

A cataract starts out small at first and has little effect on your vision. Symptoms usually progress very gradually. You may notice that your vision is slightly blurred or “cloudy.” A cataract may make light from the sun or a lamp seem too bright or glaring. Or you may notice glare from oncoming headlights when you drive at night. Colors may not appear as vivid as they once did. Eventually you may find it more difficult to see things at far distances or read in dim lighting. Your glasses may not work as well as they used to.

The human lens works much like a camera lens, focusing light onto the retina for clear vision. The lens is mostly made of water and protein. As we age, some of the protein may clump together and start to cloud. This is a cataract. Over time, it may grow larger and cloud more of the lens, making it hard to see.

Researchers worldwide have identified factors that cause cataract development. Advancing age is by far the most common cause. Other less common risk factors include UV radiation, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, smoking, prolonged use of corticosteroid medications, statin medicines used to reduce cholesterol, previous eye injury or inflammation, previous eye surgery, hormone replacement therapy, significant alcohol consumption, high myopia, and family history.

When symptoms begin to appear, you may be able to improve your vision temporarily by using stronger glasses, magnification, appropriate lighting or other visual aids. Cataract surgery is your only treatment option when your cataracts have progressed enough to impair your vision and affect your daily activities. Many people consider poor vision an inevitable part of aging, but cataract surgery is a simple, relatively painless procedure to regain your vision at any age.

Modern day cataract surgery is highly successful in restoring vision. In fact, it is the most frequently performed surgery in the United States, with more than 3 million Americans undergoing cataract surgery each year. Nine out of 10 people who have cataract surgery regain very good vision, somewhere between 20/20 and 20/40.

Many patients have myopia(near-sightedness), hyperopia(far-sightedness), or astigmatism all their lives.  Also, most patients develop presbyopia(the need for reading glasses or bifocals) in their 40’s.  All of these can finally be corrected using Premium IOL implants.

Of course, myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia can be corrected with glasses, bifocals, progressive lenses, or contacts.  Patients who don’t mind wearing glasses after surgery can always choose a basic monofocal IOL implant.  However, patients who want to rid themselves of the burden of glasses can opt for a Premium IOL implant when having cataract surgery.  The IOL is permanent so this is a once in a lifetime decision.

A Toric IOL implant is designed to correct astigmatism.  This IOL gives patients with astigmatism the best possible distance vision without the need for glasses.  Over-the-counter glasses can be used for reading and near vision after surgery.  The AcrySof® IQ and TECNIS® Enhance Toric IOL are currently the most advanced toric implants available.

A Presbyopic or Multifocal IOL implant is designed to correct presbyopia.  These IOLs give patients excellent distance and near (reading) vision without the need for glasses. PanOptix® and Vivity® and the TECNIS® Multifocal and Symfony® IOL are currently the most advanced presbyopic implants available.

Dr. Chiang, Dr. Patel, and Dr. Jasmeeta are experienced with all types of Premium IOL implants.  If you are a candidate, they will discuss all the options with you.

With laser refractive cataract surgery or femto-laser assisted cataract surgery, a femtosecond laser is used for the critical steps of the surgery, including the corneal incisions, astigmatic keratotomy, capsulotomy, lens fragmentation, and imaging/alignment of the IOL. Many patients opt to have laser cataract surgery to increase the safety and precision of the surgery, and to treat minor astigmatism. Studies have shown less eye swelling postoperatively with laser, which helps to speed up healing and vision recovery after surgery.

Manual cataract surgery without using laser, along with a basic monofocal IOL implant, is covered under medical insurance. Other costs may include insurance deductibles, coinsurance, and prescription medications.

Surgery with a Premium IOL is considered a refractive procedure with the goal of reducing the need for glasses. It is not considered a medical problem. Therefore, implanting these IOLs is not covered by medical insurance. Costs include the IOL implant, additional testing, equipment needed to implant the lens, and any enhancement procedures done afterwards.

Laser cataract surgery with astigmatic keratotomy and/or imaging/alignment of the IOL is also considered a refractive procedure and not covered by medical insurance. Payment for using the laser and/or Premium IOLs is due prior to surgery.

Most patients can partially recoup these extra costs by not having to buy prescription glasses or contacts after surgery. For example, a patient who normally spends over $400 every 2 years on prescription glasses will save some money in the long run.

Monovision is a common and often effective technique used to reduce the need for reading glasses. It can be achieved using contact lenses, laser refractive surgery, or using a monofocal or toric IOL implant with cataract surgery. The goal of monovision is to correct one eye for distance vision and the other eye for near vision. Not everyone is a good candidate for monovision, and the results can vary. Your doctor will determine if you are a candidate.

The surgery is performed as a same-day outpatient procedure. A family member or friend will need to drive you home afterwards. You will be given some sedation to relax you and topical anesthesia to numb the eye. Your surgeon will remove your clouded lens and replace it with a clear, intraocular lens (IOL) implant. There are typically no needles or stitches used. The surgery usually takes 7 to 15 minutes. During surgery, you will see bright lights and colors and have minimal to no discomfort. Afterwards, a patch is placed on the eye. Complications from surgery are very rare. Most patients recover very quickly and can drive and resume normal activities the day after surgery. You will be on eye drops for about a month and will require 2 to 3 follow-up office visits per eye. Vision will be restored as soon as the next day, but may take up to a week for improvement.

Still Have Questions?

If you have any further questions about cataract surgery you can simply call us and speak with a doctor. Or you can come in for a free consultation.

Patient Education

Your eye health is as important to us as it is to you. We want you to understand everything about your eyes, including at-home eye care, diagnoses, and treatment options. We’ve created this blog to ensure you have all the information you need.
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