A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens in the eye that distorts vision. Cataracts affect millions of people each year, including more than half of all Americans over the age of 65.
Cataract Symptoms: Pre-Surgery
The symptoms of a cataract include:
- unclear or blurry vision
- diminished color vision
- glare with poor night vision
- (sometimes) double or multiple images in one eye
The good news is that all of these symptoms can be fixed in minutes with outpatient cataract surgery.
Cataract Surgery: What You Need to Know
Cataract surgery consists of breaking up and removing the cataract and replacing it with a lens called an intraocular lens or IOL.
Premium Lenses Can Correct More than Cataracts
In the past, intraocular lenses could correct distance vision or reading vision — not both. Today’s premium lenses can correct both with little or no side effects.
Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery can also correct Astigmatism, a common imperfection in the curvature of the cornea that causes blurry vision.
About the Surgical Procedure
When performing traditional cataract surgery, the initial incisions are done by hand with a scalpel (blade).
In Laser-Assisted surgery, a device is placed over the eye to map its surface. It gathers information to program the laser with the exact location, size, and depth for the incision. It can also make the incision into the cornea, open up the capsule where the lens sits, and soften the cataract.
You may have heard the term “Femtosecond” or “Femto.” These refer to the speed of the laser which is one quadrillionth of a second (or one millionth of a billionth of a second). That’s fast!
After the laser has done its job, the cataract is removed, and the new intraocular lens / IOL is inserted into the eye.
Cataract Surgery: Post-Operation
Whether cataract surgery is done traditionally or with a laser, the incision generally closes on its own without the need for stitches. You can return home the same day as your procedure, but you’ll need someone else to drive you.
For the next few days, you may experience itching, mild discomfort, fluid discharge and sensitivity to light and touch. Your doctor may prescribe eye drops to help the healing process and to reduce the risk of infection.
If you’re located in Central New Jersey and are suffering from the symptoms of cataracts, schedule an appointment with our office. When you’re here, ask Dr. Scharfman about premium lenses and Laser-Assisted Femtosecond surgery for your cataracts — you’ll be glad you did.