An Introduction to Cataracts
Developing a cataract doesn’t mean a permanent loss of vision quality. You no longer have to give up the activities you love due to poor vision. Cataract surgery is safe and effective way to improve your vision.
Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed surgery in the United States and well over 2 million people have cataract surgery each year. This type of surgery is almost exclusively performed on an Outpatient basis. Cataract surgery is considered microsurgery, whereby the natural lens is removed and is replaced with an intraocular lens implant (IOL). Topical anesthetic is used and there are no stitches involved, so recovery is quick and painless! In most cases, you will be able to resume normal activities the day after surgery!
For many years, patients undergoing cataract removal surgery had limited choices as to how to correct their vision after surgery. Most would have a monofocal intraocular lens implant that would only allow them to focus on one segment of the vision spectrum – usually for distance, or would wear very thick glasses, or contact lenses. Glasses were still required for near and middle vision tasks, such as reading or computer work.
Advanced developments in vision technology are starting to make the old monofocal lenses obsolete. A new generation of intraocular lens implants, or Premium IOLs, are rapidly becoming the GOLD STANDARD for people undergoing cataract removal surgery today. These lenses give the patient the ability to focus at near, middle, and far distances, without the need for additional correction such as glasses and bifocals.
Laser Cataract Surgery with CATALYS®
The doctors at Maynor & Mitchell Eye Center offer laser cataract surgery using the CATALYS® laser. Laser cataract surgery provides more precise, accurate results than traditional surgical techniques. The CATALYS® features the INTEGRAL GUIDANCE System™, which creates 3-D images of patients’ eyes before and during surgery so our doctors can provide the best possible results. In addition to offering greater precision, laser cataract surgery results in cleaner incisions, reducing recovery time and enhancing healing.
By age 55, 10% of Americans develop cataracts. By age 65, one in four will be affected. A cataract is the clumping of proteins in the natural crystalline lens of the eye, causing vision to become blurred. When symptoms of cataracts first become noticeable, patients can usually compensate by wearing stronger lenses or using brighter lights. But as time goes on, surgical intervention will become necessary. If you suffer with cataracts, laser cataract surgery performed by the doctors at our Huntsville location can restore your vision. At Maynor & Mitchell Eye Center, we use advanced laser technology and a range of intraocular lenses, making this procedure extremely safe and effective. If cataracts have begun to affect your quality of life, contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Traditional cataract surgery (phacoemulsification) is an outpatient procedure requiring only topical anesthetic and very small incisions. A high frequency ultrasound probe is used to break apart the clouded lens into smaller pieces. These pieces are then removed through the incisions using gentle suction. After these pieces have been removed, your surgeon will replace the natural lens with an intraocular lens (IOL), a synthetic corrective lens that will help you see more clearly.
Because of breakthroughs in IOL technology, there is now a full line of premium lenses that can reduce or eliminate the need for corrective eye wear. The Crystalens® HD Accomodating IOL can provide you with full range of vision because like your natural lens, it moves with the muscles in your eye. The ReSTOR® lens can be used to improve near, middle, and distance vision. In addition, astigmatism can be corrected during laser cataract surgery by implanting the AcrySof® IQ Toric Lens. Talk to one of our doctors today to find out which lens is right for you.
In CATALYS® laser cataract surgery, the procedure becomes even more gentle and efficient. Similar to LASIK surgery, CATALYS® creates a 3-D map of each eye and the surgery is tailored specifically to those unique specifications. Using an INTEGRAL GUIDANCE® System, CATALYS® establishes a “safety zone” of treatment, and the laser is restricted only to that area. CATALYS® has also created a liquid optics interface, which allows the procedure to take place while minimizing intraocular pressure. This feature is especially beneficial for older patients and those who also suffer from glaucoma.
Similar to traditional cataract surgery, topical anesthetic is first administered to numb the eye. The laser then creates small incisions in the cornea. Next, the laser breaks up the cataract. Ultrasound breaks the lens into even smaller pieces that are removed through the incisions. After the removal is complete, the surgeon places your chosen IOL. The result is a more precise treatment with little or no discomfort, and a much quicker recovery time since inflammation and irritation to the eye is minimized.
Most cataract patients are good candidates for laser cataract surgery. Even if you have undergone LASIK previously, our doctors are able to perform cataract surgery without disturbing your earlier corrections. If you or a loved one suffer with cataracts, schedule a consultation with one of our doctors today to learn more about your treatment options.
AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® IOL
Now there is another way for presbyopic patients to restore near, middle, and distance vision: AcrySof® ReSTOR® implantable lenses. ReSTOR® lenses use a patented design that employs adopization, diffractive, and refractive technologies. Diffraction refers to the process of “bending” light to focus on different points, while adopization refers to the tiny steps or changes in diffraction radiating out from the center of the ReSTOR® lens. In simple terms, adopized refraction means that the ReSTOR® lens interprets the level of light entering the eye and focuses the light on the appropriate part of the retina to give you clear, accurate vision at all distances. The end result is true freedom from glasses!
In clinical trials, 80% of patients receiving ReSTOR® implantable lenses did not need to wear glasses, compared with 8% of patients receiving single-vision implantable lenses. If you are interested in learning more about how ReSTOR® lenses can help you get rid of those reading glasses, give us a call today!
AcrySof® IQ Toric IOL
Until recently, the only viable solution to correcting astigmatism after cataract surgery was glasses or contact lenses. Both of which can be uncomfortable, inconvenient, and expensive. Now with the technology of the AcrySof IQ Toric IOL, most corneal astigmatism can be corrected at the time of surgery with the implant itself! This allows the patient to see clearly at distance with only the need for over the counter reading glasses after surgery.
The technology behind the AcrySof® IQ Toric IOL offers cataract patients with preexisting astigmatism precise vision correction that reduces or eliminates corneal astigmatism and delivers significantly improved distance vision without the need for glasses or contacts. You’ll also be able to enjoy improved image quality thanks to the lens’ new aspheric design.
With the AcrySof® IQ Toric IOL, your distance vision can be clear, vibrant and in focus, all with just one lens!
Crystalens® HD Accommodating IOL
The Crystalens Accommodating IOL is the first and only FDA approved accommodating lens implant. Accommodating means that it works in conjunction with your eyes natural ciliary muscle to “flex” the lens – giving you a full range of vision! You’ll be able to see again at all distances much like you did in your 20’s and 30’s… distance, near, and in between!
Most Crystalens patients are able to reduce their dependency on glasses, and are able to read the newspaper or magazine without glasses.
Intermediate Vision – Most Crystalens patients are able to see their computers, dashboards, and anything at arm’s length without glasses.
In a recent FDA study, 92% of Crystalens patients were able to see 20/25 or better after surgery, so the clock across the room or the TV are clearly in sight! 98% of Crystalens patients were able to pass a driver’s test without glasses!