Cataract Symptoms and Treatments
Including IOL Care and Clear Lens Replacement
by Dr. David A. Wallace, M.D.
Los Angeles Cataract Surgery Specialist
What is a Cataract?
The lens of our eye functions much like a camera lens. It is responsible for taking the light that enters our eye and focusing it on the back of our retina. The lens is also flexible, and tiny muscles in our eye bend the lens to focus on objects at all distances, up close and afar.
Most people over the age of 65 have already developed some clouding of their lenses; it just hasn’t begun to affect their vision yet. A cataract can develop in each eye separately, or simultaneously in both eyes.
Early-stage cataracts do not need surgery, as there are several visual aids that can be prescribed to provide you with adequate sight. But eventually, the cataract will progress to the point you will need surgery.
If you or someone you love thinks they might be suffering from cataracts, have us take a look. Cataracts are easily identified through a routine eye exam, and we can then work out a customized plan that will improve your vision, and might even leave you glasses-free after treatment.
Symptoms of Cataracts
Cataracts develop differently for everyone, which most people won’t even notice at first. Gradually, your lens will become cloudier, until it begins cause:
- Blurry or cloudy vision
- Glare, halo, and increased difficulty with night driving
- Decreased comfort with prolonged reading
- Difficulty seeing clearly even after updating your glasses prescription
If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, we'd be happy to evaluate you with our comprehensive consultation, and see if it’s anything of concern.
Treatment for Cataracts
Cataract surgery and Clear Lens Replacement describe procedures to remove the eye's natural lens and replace it with an Intraocular Lens ("IOL," or lens implant). This surgery can correct extremely wide ranges of refractive error. The only permanent correction for cataracts is to have the cloudy lens removed. Powerful eyeglasses and special lighting that can delay surgery, but they don’t truly correct the problem.
View simulating cataracts: Fuzzy,
murky, and cloudy.
©2002 Robert Meyers Studio
Cataract Yellowed, turbid, light-scattering change in crystalline lens ©2002 Robert Meyers Studio
Modern cataract surgery has become one of the safest and most beneficial operations performed today. Typically, it is done on an outpatient basis under local or eye drop anesthesia. In the hands of a capable surgeon, the process should take 15 minutes or less to complete. Vision improvement can be recognized as soon as the surgery is completed, and many patients are able to see 20/20 the day after their care.
Small incision cataract surgery is done through a tiny, self-sealing incision about 1/8" (3 mm) wide. The lens, having become yellowed and clouded, is removed by breaking it into microscopic fragments with an ultrasonic instrument called a phacoemulsifier ("phaco" for short). The IOL is then implanted within the capsular bag.
After Cataract Removal & IOL Implant
©2002 Robert Meyers Studio
Lens Implant Options
Until about 2003, lens implants were all single-focus or fixed-focus lenses. So, even if distance vision could be rendered optimal, reading glasses would still be necessary. Advanced technology implants were developed because most people want to enjoy clear distance vision, clear reading vision, and clarity everywhere in between, without glasses. While that objective is still not a full reality, the evolution of lifestyle lens implants has certainly broadened our options, and expanded the attainable range of focus for those who contemplate IOL replacement.
Email your request for a Cataract Evaluation with Dr. David Wallace
or call (877) 828-2020!