Blurred sight from cataracts is a common vision problem. Fortunately, surgery is available to remove the cataract and restore good vision. Cataract surgery is used to replace a patient’s natural lens when it becomes cloudy and difficult to see through. There are several different lens options including Monofocal (focal distance), Toric (astigmatism lens) or Multifocal (fuller range of vision and less dependency on glasses).
What is a cataract?
A clear lens inside the eye normally helps focus light, allowing images to be seen clearly. With age, the lens gets cloudy. Clouding of the lens, especially when it interferes with vision is called a cataract. With cataracts people often have difficulty with driving, reading, watching television, or glare at night or in bright sunlight. Sometimes in the early stages a change in your glasses prescription can help you see better. As the cataract progresses and begins to interfere with your daily activities, surgery may be suggested to remove the cataract and replace it with a lens implant, as glasses may no longer help.
Can cataracts be removed with lasers?
Yes and No. Portions of cataract removal can be done with the femtosecond laser. This can be used to provide more precise incisions and decrease the energy needed to remove the lens and improve recovery.
Can cataracts come back?
No, however, a laser is used for “after cataract” or after your lens has been inserted. This refers to a condition that may occur months or years after cataract surgery. The natural capsule of the lens is left in the eye intentionally at the time of cataract surgery to hold the new lens implant in place. This membrane can become cloudy in time, resulting in blurry vision similar to that caused by the cataract. The laser is used to make a small opening in this capsule, restoring vision painlessly and immediately.
Cataract Surgery with Intraocular Lens Implantation
Removing cataracts with surgery is the only option. Our doctors perform cataract surgery at Longs Peak Surgery Center and Longmont United Hospital in Longmont, and Foothills Surgery Center in Boulder. Surgery is performed on an outpatient basis. We use the latest, most up to date surgical techniques available. Unless a cataract is very advanced, a procedure called Phacoemulsification is used.
With this small incision surgical technique, the machine uses sound waves (ultrasound) to break apart the cataract and remove it. An intraocular lens (implant) is inserted at the time of cataract removal as a replacement for the natural lens that was cloudy.
Small incision cataract surgery, with or without laser, usually does not require any stitches and usually means a shorter recovery time. After your eye has healed from the surgery, a change in your eyeglasses will be necessary to insure the sharpest vision.
Call us today at 303-772-3300 if you have questions about cataracts or to schedule a consultation and exam.