Laser Precision and Great Vision
The science of cataract surgery is getting better all the time. Innovative technology designed to make the procedure more accurate and comfortable is now available. You may qualify for a new surgical method designed to provide you with the full potential of precision laser technology. Plus, new, more advanced options for lenses give you more choices than ever before.
At Minnesota Eye Institute, we offer the following types of cataract surgery:
Traditional Cataract Surgery
This procedure uses a blade and then sound waves, suction, and irrigation to break up and remove a cloudy lens and prepare the eye for the new clear lens.
Laser Cataract Surgery
This procedure uses a precision laser beam to facilitate the removal of the cloudy lens. New laser technology enables precision performance while minimizing the use of sound waves. Your doctor's skills are complemented by the computer-guided accuracy and consistency of the laser. Our practice is proud to offer the advanced VICTUS laser.
We also feature a variety of lens options; consider these points to select the right lens:
Standard Intraocular Lens
IOL gives you excellent distance vision after cataract surgery, but you may still need glasses for some activities.
Advanced IOL Lens
This lens offers a more natural range of vision. That means you can see better in many different situations, including exceptional vision clarity at the intermediate range that is so important for today's active lifestyles. There is an extra cost for this type of lens. But if you're like many advanced IOL patients, after surgery you may find that you seldom need glasses.
The eye's natural crystalline lens is the clear part of the eye that helps focus incoming light rays on the retina to form an image, which is then transmitted to the brain through the optic nerve. The crystalline lens is made primarily of water and protein, allowing the structure to change shape to focus on near and distant objects.
A cataract is a painless clouding of the eye's natural lens. Since a cataract affects the clarity of the lens, it prohibits the light from passing through the lens easily. This causes the retina to receive blurred or distorted images. Because the brain cannot receive clear images of objects, vision gradually becomes impaired. As a cataract progresses, the possibility of cataract eye surgery should be strongly considered. As a cataract, if left untreated, could lead to blindness. In fact, cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world. Cataracts affect nearly 20.5 million Americans over age 40.
Cataracts are a natural part of aging, but you don't need to be a senior to get a cataract. Many people in their 40s and 50s have early cataracts that don't affect their eyesight yet. Regardless of your age, the time to talk to your doctor is when cataracts start to interfere with your vision.
Cataracts are painless and may occur in either or both eyes. If you have a cataract, you may notice some of these symptoms:
- Disturbance of vision
- Cloudy, blurry vision
- Double vision
- Ghost images
- The need for brighter light when reading
- Faded colors
- Poor night vision
- Glare and halos around lights at night
- The need for frequent changes to your eyeglass prescription
Cataract surgery is one of the most common operations in the world. It is often outpatient surgery, and you remain awake during the procedure.
If you need cataract surgery in both eyes, your doctor will talk to you about the best time to schedule surgery for each eye. One eye is done at a time - usually can be done a week apart.
Deciding when to have cataract surgery depends upon how well you can see during routine activities. You may be able to drive, watch TV, and work at a computer for quite a few years after you are first diagnosed with cataracts. Some cataracts are mild and don't affect your vision. But when cataracts start to cause vision problems - such as when you are driving - it's time to discuss your options with your doctor.
Many people believe cataracts have to be "ripe" before they can be removed. This is no longer true. Today, cataract surgery is a routine procedure that can be performed as soon as your vision interferes with the quality of your life.
Over time, the clouded areas of your lens can become larger and more dense, causing your sight to become worse. This could take anywhere from a few months to many years. Eventually your lens can cloud over and cause blindness
Once a cataract has been removed it cannot return. However, over time, patients may complain that their vision has become cloudy again. This condition is known as a secondary cataract. It can easily and rapidly be treated by a simple laser procedure performed in our office.
Patients who opt for cataract surgery are often excited about the clear vision they experience after the procedure. The new lens that is inserted into a patient's eye during the procedure can be adjusted for distance so that glasses are often not required to pass a driving test!
Cataract surgery is usually an outpatient procedure. On the day of surgery, we will give you some medicine to help you relax, plus special numbing eyedrops to ensure that your surgery is as comfortable as possible. The surgery itself takes only a short time. You'll be ready to go home after a short stay in the recovery room.
Be sure to have someone with you who can drive you home.
You may be given eyedrops to use every day for the next few weeks. Also, for about one week following your surgery, you may need to wear a protective eye shield while taking a nap or sleeping. And you should wear sunglasses during your recovery to help protect your eye in bright light.
You may notice an improvement in your vision almost immediately after surgery, although some people have blurry vision for a few days.