Cataract is the most common cause of impaired vision among seniors. Typically, vision is described as hazy, blurry, or dim. Glare, night vision impairment, and multiple images are also seen. Sometimes a large and rapid change in glasses is a result of cataract. A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye. The lens is located behind the iris or colored tissue of the eye. There are several types of cataracts resulting in different visual symptoms. While generally seen in older patients, cataracts can be symptomatic in some patients during midlife. Some will arise even earlier due to injury, inflammation, poor nutrition, or steroid use. The age of development of typical cataracts is genetically predetermined. Their formation is influenced by nutrition and ultraviolet light exposure, usually in the form of sunlight. While antioxidants and UV blockers may be a good idea, there is no strong scientific evidence to suggest they can prevent or delay cataracts. N-acetyl carnosine eye drops have been used in Eastern Europe to retard cataract but also are not proven to be helpful and are unavailable here in the US.
Cataract surgery is the only repair for this condition and is extremely successful. In the surgery the lens is removed and replaced with an acrylic lens. Surgery is generally brief, lasting about 15 minutes and done in the operating room under a microscope using local anesthesia. It is done using ultrasound, what is known as phacoemulsification. Either eye drops or injection of anesthetic can numb the eye. The procedure is painless. Usually, no sutures are required. Dr. Williams performs clear corneal small incision surgery allowing for quick recovery. This allows complete return to normal activities by the next day.
Custom Cataract Surgery
Today, several choices of custom lenses are available to maximize your visual function after the cataract is removed. The most common lens replacement is a monofocal implant that is focused best in one distance, usually for distance vision. This allows for excellent vision but requires the patient to use glasses for near and intermediate tasks. Newer lenses can improve the near vision or the intermediate vision as well as the distance vision. We are currently offering 2 lens styles that comprise “custom cataract surgery.” These lens replacements offer patients great freedom from spectacle correction even if they are losing their ability to read up close. Glasses will still be needed for some limited tasks. This type of surgery minimizes dependence on glasses but may not eliminate their need entirely.