Our eyes function very much like a camera. You have two natural lenses in your eye. One lens is on the surface (cornea) of your eye, and a second lens is within your eye, called the crystalline lens. Together, these lenses focus images on the back of your eye (retina). At birth, our crystalline lens is clear. As we begin to age, it yellows and begins to harden.
When this lens becomes cloudy, it is referred to as a cataract and begins to interfere with the quality of our vision. Everyone at some point develops cataracts with age.
The most common cause of cataracts is the normal aging process. As we grow older, the lens of the eye tends to gradually lose its clarity and become cloudy. The result is a decrease in the quality of vision. The time to consider lens replacement surgery is when the quality of your lifestyle begins to suffer.
A cataract can be the reason why images become blurred, bright colors become dull, and seeing at night becomes more difficult. It may also be the reason that your glasses do not seem to help keep things in focus as well. As a cataract begins to develop over time, people tend to accept and adjust to the decline in their vision and how it affects their lifestyles.
Lens Replacement Surgery is the only way a cataract can be removed. This surgery involves a very small incision through which the natural crystalline lens is removed. Once the lens is removed, it is simply replaced with a new clear lens. The time to consider lens replacement surgery is when you are no longer satisfied with your vision or the quality of your vision begins to put limits on your lifestyle. With advancements in technology, you now have choices of what type of lens will be used for your Lens Replacement Surgery.
What to Expect During Surgery
The surgical treatment for cataracts has dramatically evolved over the years. Today, a process known as phacoemulsification allows the cataract to be removed through tiny, self-sealing incisions that typically do not require any stitches. Microsurgical instruments are used to gently dissolve and remove the cloudy lens. Once the lens is removed, a small foldable intraocular lens is inserted and unfolds to replace the cataract. These highly advanced lenses are known as IOLs, or Intraocular Lenses, and can be either conventional or advanced technology lenses.
For the past 30 years, doctors have treated cataracts by replacing them with what is called a conventional IOL, which allows you to focus clearly at one distance only. Previous Lens Replacement Surgery technologies provided only one focal point: distance, leaving people dependent upon reading glasses or bifocals. Typically, patients would choose to have the doctor aim for the best distance vision with the understanding that glasses would still be needed for close work, and perhaps even for ideal distance vision.
Today’s Lens Replacement patient can expect excellent vision after surgery. Recent advancements in multifocal technology now make it possible for you to read the words on prescription bottles, magazines, newspapers and computer screens without magnifying glasses or bifocals (even trifocals), while still clearly seeing objects at a distance. These lenses have the ability to consistently offer improved vision at various ranges – near and far. Your doctor can discuss with you which lens will best address your visual demands and lifestyle. FBN
By David McGarey, MD
To read more about David McGarey and Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center, visit http: http://www.goodeyes.com/our-doctors/david-mcgarey-md/