What are cataracts?
Cataracts are usually related to aging and according to the National Institutes of Health, more than half of all Americans will either have a cataract or will have had cataract surgery by the age of 80.
What causes cataracts?
Is treatment right for me?
- Is your vision yellowing?
- Do you see a lot of glare?
- Are colors less vibrant than you once remember?
- Are you having difficulty driving, reading, or recognizing faces?
What is it like to have cataract surgery?
Cataract surgery at Spivack Vision Center is highly successful in the safe restoration of vision. We have helped many patients throughout the Colorado area. Our cataract eye surgery is considered one of the most successful surgical procedures in all of medicine.
During cataract surgery, the cataract-affected natural crystalline lens is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). IOLs are typically made of flexible material, allowing your surgeon to fold and insert the IOL through a very small incision on the side of the cornea called phacoemulsification. Cataract surgery using phacoemulsification involves a small (3-millimeter) (less than 3.0 mm) incision that is made with an ultrasonic tip that vibrates at 40,000 times per second to remove the cataract from the eye surgically. The incision is self-sealing, requiring no sutures. We have performed thousands of small incision cataract surgeries in Colorado.
After the natural lens has been removed the lens often replaced by an artificial lens, called an intraocular lens, or “IOL.” A permanent intraocular lens (IOL), which is individually selected for each eye care patient, replaces the cataract lens. This IOL is a plastic lens that requires no care and becomes a permanent part of the eye. The IOL also has an ultraviolet filter to protect the retina, in the back of the eye, from sunlight injury. Cataract surgery is generally a relatively simple outpatient procedure with little discomfort, requiring only a few hours and a topical anesthetic.
Frequently Asked Questions
A cataract can be the reason sharp images become blurred, bright colors become dull, or seeing at night becomes more difficult. It may also be why the reading glasses or bifocals that used to help you read and do other simple tasks no longer seem to help.
Vision with cataracts has been described as seeing life through old, cloudy film. But a cataract is not a “film” over the eyes, and neither diet nor lasers will make it go away, nor can it be prevented. Eye injury, certain diseases, or even some medications can accelerate the clouding, but the majority of cataracts are simply a result of the natural aging process. The most common way to treat a cataract is with surgery that removes the old, clouded lens and replaces it with a new, artificial one to restore your vision and help you get back to the activities you enjoy.
After making a very small incision outside your field of vision, your eye surgeon will insert a tiny probe and use ultrasound to break up the clouded natural lens. With suction, the pieces are easily removed, and through the same incision, the IOL is inserted and positioned correctly. You may have a protective shield to wear during sleep for about a week, and your eye surgeon will prescribe eye drops to be used several times each day for several weeks. For best results, it is very important that you follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions exactly.