Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss worldwide. A cataract is most often the aging process to the natural lens in your eye but can also be caused from an injury, medications or other medical conditions, such as diabetes. The lens, a transparent structure located behind the iris (the colored part of your eye) bends the light and images to help you focus.
As we age, the lens also ages resulting in blurry, hazy, and less colorful vision. You might also have increased glare with lights or issues with depth perception. If the cataract is interfering with the functions of your daily life, your doctor may suggest cataract surgery.
You should consider cataract surgery when the cataract interferes with your normal activities. Cataract surgery may also be recommended by your surgeon to help treat other ocular issues. For example, if a cataract makes it difficult for your eye doctor to examine the back of your eye to monitor or treat other eye problems, such as age-related macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy, surgery may be recommended.
When considering cataract surgery, these are a few questions to keep in mind:
- Can you see to safely do your job?
- Is driving difficult due to decreased vision or glare at night?
- Do you have problems reading, watching television, cooking, climbing stairs taking medications or enjoying your hobbies because of your decreased vision?
- Do vision problems affect your level of independence?
Cataract surgery is a procedure to remove the natural lens of your eye and replaces it with an artificial lens. The artificial lens allows a clearer view and, in most cases, less dependency on glasses.Cataract surgery is performed by an ophthalmologist in an outpatient surgical center, is very common and is generally a safe procedure.
As with any surgery, there are risks that should be considered. Complications are uncommon, and most can be treated successfully. Risks include: Inflammation, infection, bleeding, swelling, drooping eyelid, dislocation of artificial lens, retinal detachment, glaucoma, and loss of vision. Your risk of complications is greater if you have another eye disease or a serious medical condition. Occasionally, cataract surgery fails to improve vision because of underlying eye damage from other conditions, such as glaucoma or macular degeneration.
If you feel that cataract surgery might help you regain your independence, enjoy your daily activities or see more clearly, please call to set up a cataract evaluation.
If you are interested in upgrading the intraocular lens to a multifocal lens that will help you focus at multiple distances, please ask your surgeon if you would be a good candidate for this elective lens upgrade.
LASIK (Laser in Situ Keratomileusis) and PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) are types of refractive surgeries to treat vision problems caused by refractive errors. A refractive error is when your eye does not refract or bend light properly causing dependency on glasses.For you to see clearly, light rays travel through your cornea and lens and lands on the retina. The retina turns light into signals that travel to your brain and become images. With refractive errors, the shape of your cornea or lens keeps light from bending properly causing your vision to be blurry.
With LASIK or PRK, your ophthalmologist uses a laser to change the shape of your cornea. This laser treatment improves the way light rays are focused on the retina. LASIK and PRK are used to treat myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism.
The goal of LASIK or PRK is to correct your refractive error to improve your vision and to reduce your dependency on eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Before choosing to have LASIK, it’s important to do your homework to ensure you are a good candidate, understand the potential risks and benefits, and have realistic expectations about what your vision will be like following surgery. A comprehensive examination and testing will be needed to see if you are a good candidate for either of these refractive procedures.
As with any surgery, LASIK and PRK carries risks and complications you should consider. Some people have side effects which usually go away over time. However, in rare cases, they may not go away. Side effects and complications, either temporary or permanent, could include eye pain or discomfort, hazy or blurry vision, scratchy eye, glare, halos and light sensitivity, small pink or red patches of blood on the white of the eye that go away over time, eye infection, worse vision even with glasses or contacts or blindness.
Together, you and your ophthalmologist can weigh the risks and benefits of LASIK or PRK to see if this is the right option for you.
If Lasik or PRK is not right for you, a refractive lens exchange (RLE) may be an alternative elective procedure to reduce your dependency on glasses. This procedure removes the natural lens in your eye and replaces it with an intraocular lens implant which can reduce your dependency on glasses.
As you age, the collagen and elastin production decreases in your skin and may result in sagging of the eyelid skin. When this excess skin becomes clinically apparent, it is referred to as ptosis.Sometimes, the fibers that connect the muscles that open the eye become detached which causes your upper eyelid to droop. This is called blepharoptosis.
The upper eyelid dropping due to excess skin or weakened muscle may be severe enough to obstruct the upper field of vision making it difficult to see superiorly. If surgery is needed due to this decreased visual field, it may be covered under your insurance plan.
Blepharoplasty is performed on an outpatient basis. As with any surgeries, there are risks that should be considered before deciding if this is the right procedure for you. Bruising and swelling are common after surgery. Possible complications include infection, bleeding, swelling, asymmetry, problems closing your eye completely, acne around the surgical site, temporary vision problems, such as double or blurred vision may occur and typically lasts for just a few days following the surgery in rare cases, additional surgery may be required.