The term “Cataract” refers to the eye’s lens becoming clouded as a normal part of the aging process. It is sometimes compared to a window that is frosted, steamed or yellowed. In most cases, cataracts develop slowly over a number of years. However, conditions such as diabetes and trauma may cause cataract symptoms to develop early.
Blurred vision is the most frequently noted cataract symptom. Many patients first notice blurred vision during activities such as reading and driving, particularly night driving. It is also common for cataract patients to experience a generalized haze and difficulty with color perception. Halos and glare around lights such as headlights or streetlights are also very common.
Our doctors will work with you to help you decide when cataract surgery is needed. Generally, you will want to consider surgery when your cataracts have progressed enough to seriously impair your vision and affect your daily life. Many people consider poor vision an inevitable fact of aging, but cataract surgery is a simple, relatively painless procedure to regain vision, and cataract surgery recovery is a relatively simple process.
Cataract eye surgery is very 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. As far as cataract surgery costs, they vary depending on the procedure.
Cataract eye surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis. During surgery, your doctor will remove your clouded lens and in most cases replace it with a clear, plastic intraocular lens (IOL). When the operation is over, the surgeon will usually place a protective shield over your eye. After a short stay in the outpatient recovery area, you will be ready to go home. You will be given postoperative instructions prior to your departure. Plan to have someone else drive you home.
Selecting Your Intraocular Lens Implant (IOLS)
Exciting advancements in intraocular lens implant choices are now available to our cataract patients offering you your best possible visual result. Illinois Eye Center uses the latest technology for each patient’s assessment in order to provide the most precise data possible and to help determine the best implant for your needs, lifestyle and personality.
Types of Intraocular Lens Implants
When you have cataract surgery, you receive an intraocular lens implant (IOL) at the time of your operation. There are several different types of intraocular lenses available, from the basic Monofocal lens implant to the more sophisticated Advanced Technology lens implants, also known as Multifocal lens implants. In general, the more you want to be less dependent on glasses after the operation, the more you may want to consider one of the Advanced Technology lenses.
A Monofocal Lens Implant is designed to deliver good distance vision without glasses. Glasses are generally needed for intermediate and near vision after cataract surgery.
Astigmatism is a common condition that can make your vision distorted. If you have been diagnosed with astigmatism, the Toric Lens Implant makes it possible to treat the cataract and correct the astigmatism at the same time.
Presbyopia is a condition that most people over the age of 40 experience which results in difficulty seeing up close without the aid of bifocals, trifocals or reading glasses. Advanced Technology Intraocular lens implants, also referred to as Multifocal or Accommodative IOLs, are designed to provide a full range of vision offering the possibility of seeing well at more than one distance and with less dependence on glasses after cataract surgery.
Each of these lenses use a slightly different design to help you achieve your goal of clear vision and each have advantages and disadvantages. Which one is best for you depends on the unique characteristics of your eye as well as your lifestyle needs. Our doctors will measure and examine your eyes and discuss your lifestyle and vision needs to determine which lens is more advantageous for you.