Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss among adults 55 and older. Usually they are a natural part of aging, but eye injuries and certain medications also can cause cataracts.  

Cataract surgery is the type of surgery most frequently performed by Eye Clinic doctors, at a rate of about 2,500 a year.


A cataract is a clouding of the eye's natural lens. The lens focuses light on the retina at the back of the eye. A clear lens produces clear, sharp images. If a cataract clouds the lens, light is absorbed or scattered, which can cause visual images to look fuzzy and blurry.

Innovations in cataract surgery have made the procedure much simpler and the recovery time much quicker than in years past.

 

 
CATARACT SYMPTOMS INCLUDE:
  • Blurred or fuzzy vision not corrected by glasses.
  • Difficulty driving on bright, sunny days because of glare.
  • Colors appear faded.
  • Newspaper or magazine print runs together or is blurred.
  • Halos around lights at night.
  • Difficulty driving at night.
 

CORRECTING CATARACT

To correct cataracts, the surgeon used to make a large incision and removed the entire clouded lens of the eye. This procedure, known as intracapsular cataract surgery, involved a lengthy hospital stay and a long visual recovery time. Thick cataract glasses corrected vision.

The next improvement was extracapsular cataract surgery. With this technique, the surgeon removed just the inner clouded part of the lens, leaving the outer membrane or "bag" in place to support an intraocular lens implant.

A lens implant within the eye was one of the most important medical advances in recent history. The intraocular lens replaces the need for thick glasses or contact lenses. However, many cataract patients do wear glasses for reading after surgery.

Today, there is additional technology available to the surgeon called phaco-emulsification, or "phaco" to break up and gently remove the clouded inner lens. A refinement in the "phaco" technique is a smaller incision in the eye. This allows the surgeon to close the incision with a single stitch or no stitch. There is also the possibility that you can have the surgery with only the use of topical anesthesia, which can mean a no-shot, no-stitch surgical procedure.  A combination of these advancements results in faster visual recover time and a quicker return to normal activities.

Your surgeon will select the best procedure to meet your needs.