A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s naturally clear lens. Cataracts occur when proteins that make up the lens clump together, creating cloudy or hazy areas. This causes vision to blur or become hazy; it can also cause other visual symptoms such as dulled colors.
The only way to treat cataracts is to surgically remove the eye’s lens and replace it with an intraocular lens (IOL) implant. As with any elective surgery, there are important decisions to make. Read on as the team at Vista Eye Specialists reveals four of the most important decisions you will face when considering cataract surgery.
When To Have Surgery
Not all cataracts need to be surgically removed. In the early stages of a cataract, it may not cause noticeable changes to your vision, or you may be able to manage blurry vision with a new glasses prescription. Under those circumstances, you may feel more comfortable taking a “watchful waiting” approach to monitor the development of the cataract, instead of going ahead with surgery.
Cataracts slowly mature, and the visual effects gradually start to interfere with activities of daily living (e.g., night driving, reading). Eventually there comes a point where surgery is necessary to reclaim clear vision and a better quality of life. The timing is different for everyone.
Traditional vs. Laser-Assisted Approach
Cataract surgery can be performed one of two ways: the traditional approach with manual instruments or the laser-assisted approach. Both approaches are safe and have a low rate of complications; it is up to you to decide what type of surgery to have. The laser-assisted approach adds the potential of less post-operative swelling, better vision outcomes and added safety.
The IOL you choose will determine the type of vision you have after surgery. Some lenses restore clear vision at distance only, and glasses are required to see at intermediate and reading distances. Other lenses restore clear vision at multiple distances, and the need for glasses for reading or intermediate distance vision after surgery is low. Your IOL choice will depend on your personal preferences, lifestyle and particular vision needs.
Who Performs the Surgery
Perhaps the most important decision you will make is who you trust to perform your surgery. There are a lot of factors to consider — primarily, the surgeon’s qualifications, years of experience, number of surgeries they have performed, skill set and the approaches he or she offers.
Let Us Help Make Your Decisions Easier
Allowing Vista Eye Specialists to help you during the decision-making process can help you feel confident and secure in your choices. When you trust our team, you can rest assured that we have your safety and satisfaction in mind.
To request a consultation with our cataract team, please call or email our practice today.