Is your vision blurry, foggy or are your glasses no longer effective? Are you having difficulty reading street signs or writing on the TV or small print? Do you need more light to do everyday tasks? Does the sunlight or other lights seem overly bright or glaring? Do you have difficulty driving at night or see halos around lights? If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you most likely have cataracts.
What is a cataract?
A cataract is the clouding of the natural lens of your eye. The lens focuses light and images on the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive layer of tissue lining the back of the eye. In a healthy eye, light passes through the clear lens to the retina sending signals to the brain. When the lens is clear the retina receives a sharp, focused image. A clouded lens due to a cataract produces a blurred, dull image.
Eye injury, diseases, and medication can cause cataracts, but the most common cause is the result of our natural aging process. Cataract development is usually a very gradual process. Many people are unaware that they have cataracts because the change in their vision is gradual. Cataracts are very common, affecting roughly 60% of people over the age of 60.
Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most effective surgical procedures. Over 1.5 million cataract surgeries are performed in the United States each year. Dr. Schneider performs no-stitch clear cornea cataract surgery in about 10-15 minutes; however, you are at the surgery center for 2-3 hours. The surgery is performed with topical anesthesia with IV sedation. There are no shots given around the eye. The only needle stick you will have is for the IV.
A microscopic incision, 2.4 millimeters in size, is created in the cornea as a self-sealing valve so that no stitch is required. The cataract is gently removed from the eye with phacoemulsification which utilizes ultrasonic power, vibration and then aspiration. A soft foldable acrylic intraocular lens, IOL, is placed in the eye. Dr. Schneider will choose the appropriate IOL for your eye after a thorough pre-operative discussion of the options: Monofocal IOL, Multifocal IOL or an Astigmatism correcting Toric IOL.* The lens is safely inserted through the 2.4-millimeter corneal incision. This completes the procedure. Most patients are back to their normal routine the following day. Cataract surgery has a success rate of over 98%. Continuous innovations and techniques such as those employed by Dr. Schneider make the procedure safer than ever.
Cataract Surgery Lens Options
Monofocal IOLs provides clear focus at one distance and are usually implanted to provide excellent distance vision. Patients with Monofocal IOLs typically require reading glasses for near activities such as reading or sewing.
Multifocal IOL, extended depth of focus IOL, is a premium IOL that provides a fuller range of vision with minimal, if any, need for glasses. If you have Astigmatism as well, there is now a combination Multifocal with Astigmatism correcting/Toric IOL.
Most patients who chose a Multifocal IOL find that they can read a book, work on the computer and drive a car day or night usually without the need for glasses. In fact, 78% of patients in a clinical study reported complete freedom from glasses. You may, however, experience some visual disturbances that are unique to this IOL. Approximately, 10-15% of patients implanted with the Multifocal IOL experience mild to moderate halos around lights at night. This disturbance diminishes with time. Additionally, under low lighting conditions, many will require additional light for near activities. Despite these visual disturbances, patients with a Multifocal IOL are so pleased with their vision that over 93% say they would have the Multifocal IOL implanted again.
Astigmatism Correcting/Toric IOL
The Astigmatism correcting/Toric IOL is a premium IOL is for patients with astigmatism. If you have astigmatism and chose the standard Monofocal IOL, you will need glasses or contact lenses after cataract surgery to see clearly because the standard Monofocal IOL does not correct astigmatism. The unique design of the Astigmatism correcting/Toric IOL reduces or eliminates astigmatism and significantly improves uncorrected distance vision.
The Astigmatism correcting/Toric IOL platform has been implanted in over 70 million eyes worldwide. This IOL offers freedom from glasses and/or contact lens for distance vision, however, you will still require glasses for near vision activities.