A very common problem, cataracts are essentially the clouding of the eye’s lens. When cataracts develop, they blur vision. However, cataracts can be effectively treated with cataract surgery, the most frequently performed surgical procedure in the United States. Cataract surgery, which involves the removal of the cloudy lens and the implantation of a plastic artificial lens, is successful in over 98 percent of cases. Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia, SC offers the latest in cataract surgery treatment and technology.
How is Cataract Surgery Performed?
Commonly labeled as a degenerative problem, cataracts typically begin to appear as people age. However, cataracts may also result from trauma and eye disease and can occur at any age, even during infancy. When cataracts develop, patients experience a gradual deterioration of vision - blurring of images , loss of color clarity , reduced night vision, and increased light sensitivity are the norm. Cataract patients describe difficulty in seeing to drive, especially at night or in the rain, and they may also have difficulty seeing to read fine print. As the cataracts progress, eyeglasses prescriptions change frequently and, eventually, daily visual function becomes impaired. At this time, most patients are urged to undergo cataract surgery.
The current technique for cataract surgery called phacoemulsification. During this procedure to remove cataracts, a small incision is made at the junction of the clear cornea and the white sclera. The cellophane thin membrane called the lens capsule, which surrounds the lens and holds it in place, is opened. An ultrasound instrument is then used to shatter the lens into tiny fragments and simultaneously to suction this debris, removing the cataract-laden lens. A plastic artificial lens called an implant or intraocular lens (IOL), is then inserted into the eye and is supported by the lens capsule. Since a self-sealing small incision is used, it usually does not require suture closure, thus the term “no stitch cataract surgery.” The entire process is rapidly completed in less than ½ hour and is performed under IV sedation and local anesthesia.
Before performing cataract surgery, the eye is measured to determine the proper prescription power of the implant lens. Most often the power is selected to significantly reduce or even eliminate the original refractive error of the eye. Therefore, myopia or hyperopia can be eliminated in conjunction with lens replacement surgery. New, innovative intraocular lens technologies, multifocal intraocular lenses, are now being offered as an option for patients who wish to minimize their dependency on glasses or contacts, and toric implants for those with regular astigmatism.
This revolutionary technology of multifocal IOLs is designed to allow patients to see clearly at multiple ranges. These lenses (AcrySof®, ReSTOR®, Tecnis SymToric®, Tecnis Symfony®) can be used in place of a standard monofocal IOL which is used to only restore either distance or vision. Post-operatively, there is little discomfort, and vision is recovered rapidly. Often within the first few days after cataract removal the vision is quite good, and most patients enjoy a full recovery. Most cataract surgery patients are able to return to normal daily function almost immediatel. Patients may notice halos around light sources with these IOLs.
Complications following cataract surgery may occur, although they are infrequent. Pre-existing corneal disease may lead to corneal swelling. In addition, infection, edema, wound leak, hemorrhage, glaucoma, or retinal detachment may occur very rarely, but most of these complications can be repaired surgically or controlled with medications. For more information on the risks and benefits of having cataracts removed, contact Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia.
Why Choose Us to Remove Your Cataracts?
The cataract surgeons at Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia are board-certified and specifically skilled in removing cataracts. They are also experienced in the recognition and treatment of complications of cataract surgery.
If you are having vision problems because of cataracts, contact our practice in Columbia, SC for a cataract surgery consultation today.