Cataracts are a part of the natural aging process. Over time, the cells in the natural lens of the eye become more opaque and cloudy. There are many different types of cataracts – all resulting in changes in the lens and blurry vision. Some patients compare it to looking through a hazy fog, or shower door. Lifetime exposure to UV light, certain drugs, environmental toxins, and smoking can all cause cataracts to progress faster. Once they have developed, the only treatment is a surgical procedure. Cataracts should be removed when they are advanced enough to cause visual limitations, prevent adequate examination of the eye, or cause other eye diseases like glaucoma or inflammation.
More info on cataracts and cataract surgery are available eyeSmart.
During cataract surgery, a small ultrasonic probe is inserted into the eye through a 2-3 mm incision and breaks up the cloudy lens into tiny pieces. The pieces are gently aspirated out of the eye. After cleaning up the capsular support, the lens implant is inserted into the same location as the natural lens. With the recent advance of foldable IOLs, artificial lenses can be implanted through the same small incision. These IOLs are made of a flexible material, allowing them to be folded for implantation. Once inside the eye, the lens unfolds and returns to its original shape. The incision is self sealing, without stitches. To make your procedure as painless as possible, anesthesia is a combination numbing eyedrops along with IV sedation. Injections are rarely required.
Until recently, cataract patients had to choose between distance or near vision after surgery, relying on reading or distance glasses to see clearly at all ranges, especially those with astigmatism. Dr. Wong utilizes the latest advancements in cataract surgery lens implants, allowing the option of having both distance and near vision without depending on glasses. Astigmatism is also now correctable with new lens implants. These advanced lenses are described in greater detail below.
Before the age of 40, when people start to lose their near vision or reading ability, the natural lens moves within the eye to allow both distance and reading vision. As the lens hardens, eventually becoming a cataract, bifocals are required to allow full range of vision. After cataract surgery, your distance vision is much better, however reading glasses or bifocals are usually still required for reading vision.
The Crystalens IOL is unique in that it provides a full range of vision by mimicking the accommodation movement (internal focusing ability) of the natural lens. It takes advantage of the focusing muscle within the eye to allow movement of a flexible hinge on the lens, enabling reading vision.
Most Crystalens patients are able to reduce their dependence on glasses and are able to read the newspaper, work on the computer, and see clearly for driving and TV all without the need for glasses. Your Ophthalmologist can determine if you are a good candidate to take advantage of this advancement in IOL technology.
ReSTOR® is an IOL (intraocular lens) that provides cataract patients full range of vision. In clinical trials, patients reported being “glasses free” 85 – 90% of the time following bilateral cataract surgery. The vast majority of patients who undergo cataract surgery today receive traditional IOLs, which typically require patients to use reading glasses or bifocals for near vision following surgery.
The ReSTOR® lens is a foldable IOL that represents breakthrough technology because of its unique, patented optic design, which allows patients to experience the highest level of freedom from glasses ever achieved in IOL clinical trials. It does not rely on the muscles, which weakens with age, to enable the eye to quickly change focus to see objects at near, intermediate and far distances. This allows 85% percent of cataract patients to see clearly without the aid of glasses or bifocals.
Lens implant surgery for cataracts is the most commonly performed surgery in the U.S. and has been performed for more than two decades. However, for years medical researchers have been eager to find a lens that would not only treat cataracts but give patients the range of vision they wanted. Until recently, the only lens implant available was a “monofocal” lens that enabled sight at a fixed distance, typically for distance. ReSTOR works by diffractive and refractive properties which allow full visual range and an exceptionally high degree of freedom from any form of corrective eye glasses.
For more information on the ReSTOR® Lens see www.acrysofrestor.com
Astigmatism causes blurry vision, often seen as shadows, or fuzzy images. Glasses or contacts are the usual treatment for astigmatism. Traditionally, surgical correction of astigmatism required making a series of small incisions (called LRIs) around the cornea to make it more round instead of football-shaped. Standard cataract surgery does not correct astigmatism, and glasses or contacts are usually still required to achieve the best vision.
The advanced technology behind the AcrySof® IQ Toric Intraocular Lens (IOL) offers a combined solution, not only replacing your cataract-clouded natural lens for clear vision, but also correcting corneal astigmatism, so you can see in focus.
Quality Distance Vision — Unhindered by Cataracts and Astigmatism
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. Toric IOL patients have reported having better vision than ever before even with their glasses or contacts.