Cataracts are caused by clouding or opacity of the naturally clear, crystalline lens of the eye, which diminishes the passage of light to the retina. Cataracts may be caused by the natural progression of aging, metabolic changes, radiation, toxic chemicals, injury or use of certain drugs.
- Progressive blurring of vision
- Loss of vision
- Glare or light sensitivity
- Double vision in one eye
- Frequent changes in eyeglass prescription
- Difficulty reading in low light
- Declining night vision
- Decreased color perception and fading or yellowing of colors.
Cataracts most commonly occur in older patients, although they can occur in people of any age. Once symptoms begin to hinder performance of daily activities, such as reading or driving, cataract surgery will likely become a good option for you.
Cataracts are usually treated with cataract extraction surgery with intraocular lens (IOL) implant. In this surgical procedure, the cloudy lens is removed through an incision in the eye, and is replaced with a clear artificial lens. The implant does not change the outward appearance of the eye, but can drastically improve vision. A variety of intraocular lens options are available depending on patient’s vision preferences and presence of astigmatism and other vision correction needs.
Intraocular lens options include:
- Standard (Monofocal or Aspheric) IOL for patients with minimal to no astigmatism. This provides good vision at one distance (typically far vision). Glasses may be required after surgery for activities such as reading or driving.
- Toric IOL which corrects blurring and distortion caused by significant corneal astigmatism. This may allow freedom from wearing glasses.
- Multifocal IOL (ReSTOR Lens) which corrects vision for near, far and intermediate distances. This may allow freedom from wearing glasses.
- Crystalens which corrects vision for far and intermediate distances, and may reduce the need for wearing glasses.
Standard IOL can be combined with Limbal Relaxing Incision (LRI) for patients with mild to moderate astigmatism. Patients with co-existing cataracts and glaucoma may be good candidates for combined glaucoma and cataract surgery, where cataract surgery is combined with istent, ECP, trabeculectomy or a glaucoma drainage device.