A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens. Our eyes work much like a camera, and the lens of our eye (like a camera lens) allows light rays to travel into our eye through the pupil . These light rays are focused through the lens onto the retina, a layer of light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye. The lens must be clear in order to focus light properly onto the retina.
As we age, the lens continues to grow layers on its surface and hardens. As proteins in the lens become cloudy in some areas, light is prevented from passing clearly through the eye. Often vision with a cataract is described as blurry, cloudy, dim and things may not be as colorful or vibrant as they used to be.
Our physicians are able to diagnose cataracts during a complete eye exam and will discuss your options with you. A cataract may not need to be removed right away if your lifestyle isn’t significantly affected. However, when a cataract causes bothersome vision problems that interfere with your daily activities, our ophthalmologists may discuss cataract surgery with you.
Cataract surgery is a simple and quick procedure during which your eye’s cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens implant (called an intraocular lens or IOL). Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure and recovery is simple and swift.
Replacement Lense Options
There are several options when it comes to making your intraocular lens decision. Many times, multifocal lenses can reduce dependency on eyeglasses after surgery! Our cataract consultants will discuss your lens options which may include the following.
This common IOL type has been used for several decades. Monofocals are set to provide best corrected vision at near, intermediate or far distances. Most people who choose monofocals have their IOLs set for distance vision and use reading glasses for near activities. On the other hand, a person whose IOLs were set to correct near vision would need glasses to see distant objects clearly.
These newer IOL types reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses. In the multifocal lens, a series of focal zones or rings is designed into the IOL. Depending on where incoming light focuses through the zones, the person may be able to see both near and distant objects clearly. The ability to read and perform other tasks without glasses varies from person to person but is generally best when multifocal IOLs are placed in both eyes.
This is a monofocal IOL designed to correct astigmatism. Astigmatism distorts or blurs the ability to see both near and distant objects. Astigmatism means that the cornea of the eye is not round and smooth, like a basketball, but curved like a football. People with significant degrees of astigmatism are usually most satisfied with Toric IOLs.