Our eyes function very much like a camera. You have two natural lenses in each eye. One lens on the surface (cornea) of your eye, and a second lens within your eye, called the crystalline lens. Together these lenses focus images inside the back of your eye on the retina. At birth, our crystalline lens is clear. As we begin to age, it yellows and begins to harden. When it becomes cloudy, it is defined as a cataract and begins to interfere with the quality of our vision.
Everyone at some point will develop cataracts as they age. Age-related cataracts may develop during the middle age years, but typically they only begin to affect vision after age 60.
Cataracts are also caused by health conditions like diabetes, eye injuries, prolonged use of steroid medications, UV ray exposure and tobacco use.
Symptoms of cataracts include images becoming blurred, bright colors becoming dull, and seeing at night becoming more difficult. It may also be the reason your glasses do not seem to help keep things in focus as well as they used to. As a cataract begins to develop over time, people tend to accept and adjust to the decline in their lifestyles.
Removal of cataracts is crucial to prevent severe loss of vision and the debilitating effects that this common condition can cause. Recent innovations in cataract surgery now make it possible for cataracts to be removed with greater precision and accuracy. Cataract surgeons at Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center are some of only a few in the U.S. to offer cataract surgery treatment with the LenSx® femtosecond laser.
Traditional cataract surgery involves the use of a surgical blade to perform corneal incisions and anterior capsulotomies of the eye, ultimately making it possible to remove the cataract. The LenSx® femtosecond laser is designed to improve precision and reproducibility during certain challenging and critical steps of cataract surgery that are currently performed manually. Because this technology allows for laser precision during these steps, the LenSx laser may contribute to improved surgical outcomes.
The LenSx® femtosecond laser utilizes a beam of laser light to create the necessary incisions for cataract surgery. An advanced computer-guidance system, controlled by one of our experienced cataract surgeons, directs the laser over the eye to provide the most precise and accurate results for each individual patient. This makes it possible for the successful combination of the surgeon’s skills with state-of-the-art technology to produce extraordinary results. The LenSx® femtosecond laser may also be able to better manage astigmatism than other types of cataract surgery.
After the LenSx® femtosecond laser procedure is complete and the cataract has been removed, our surgeon can place a refractive lens implant inside the eye to improve your vision.
Removal of cataracts is only the first step in setting you on the road to better vision. Refractive cataract surgery removes the cataracts and then replaces your natural lens with an intraocular lens (IOL) implant, capable of reducing your dependence on corrective eyewear such as glasses or contacts. Our doctors can talk with you about your lens replacement options at your initial cataract surgery consultation.
Due to advances in technology, there are now many types of lenses that can be customized to your unique vision needs and lifestyle.
Advancements in Lens Replacement Surgery Intraocular Lenses (IOL) for Cataract or Refractive Lens Exchange
Today’s lens replacement patient demands excellent vision after surgery. Previous lens replacement surgery technologies provided only one focal point: distance, leaving people dependent upon reading glasses or bifocals. Recent advancements in multifocal technology now make it possible for you to read the words on prescription bottles, magazines, newspapers, and computer screens without magnifying glasses or bifocals (even trifocals), while still clearly seeing objects at a distance.
These lenses have the ability to consistently offer improved vision at various ranges – near through distance. Your doctor can discuss with you which lens will best address your visual demands and lifestyle. These lenses are not for everyone and some additional testing will need to be done to determine if you are a great candidate for these IOLs. The majority of patients who have chosen advanced IOLs are very happy with the results and would recommend the procedure to their friends and family who have cataracts.
The choice of lens is an investment that can help you maintain your standard of living and enjoy good vision during every waking moment for the rest of your life.
A Revolutionary New Technology to Optimize the Best Possible Vision During Cataract Surgery
Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center is proud to announce yet another FDA-approved technology aimed at improving vision with cataract surgery. This new device is called ORA., Optiwave Refractive Analyzer.
ORA provides an analysis of your eye during cataract surgery that is not possible with conventional measurements and instruments. The technology works by directing an invisible beam of low intensity light into the eye during the cataract surgery. This light then reflects back from the eye and sensors within the ORA device analyze the eye’s unique optical characteristics. This information then allows our surgeons to choose the most accurate intraocular lens implant and more accurately correct astigmatism for every patient who chooses to use this technology.
Ideal candidates are patients who want the most accurate results, patients who choose advanced technology implants like multifocal, accommodative, and toric implants, patients who desire more accurate astigmatism corrections, patients with prior PRK or LASIK, and in conjunction with LenSx (laser cataract surgery).
For more information about the ORA and what it can do for you please feel free to discuss this with our cataract refractive team.
Cataract surgery and removal may be necessary when the lens inside your eye has become hardened and cloudy from the formation of a cataract. During surgery, the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL) to clear your vision.
The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis at one of our ambulatory surgical centers using local anesthesia and does not require an overnight hospital stay.
The surgical treatment for cataracts has dramatically evolved over the years. Today, a process known as phacoemulsification allows the cataract to be removed through tiny, self-sealing incisions that typically do not require any stitches. Microsurgical instruments are used to gently dissolve and remove the cloudy lens. Once the lens is removed, a small foldable intraocular lens is inserted and unfolded to replace the cataract. These highly advanced IOLs can be either conventional or advanced technology lenses.
For the past 30 years, doctors at Barnet Dulaney Perkins have treated cataracts by replacing them with what is called a conventional IOL, which allows you to focus clearly at one distance only. Typically, patients would choose to have the doctor aim for the best distance vision with the understanding that glasses would still be needed for close work, and perhaps even for ideal distance vision.
Your vision will be blurry right after the operation and for a few days following the procedure. As your visual system adjusts and adapts to the cataract removal and replacement lens, your vision will become clearer and clearer. After a week or two, your vision should be back to sharp. If you continue to have issues with blurry vision and discomfort, talk to your doctor about your concerns.
Your eyes may also be red and there may be some bruising around your eye, this is normal and will dissipate as you heal.