Many times as we age our vision begins to become less and less clear, most noticeably while driving at night. Many times this can indicate that a cataract has formed and needs to be evaluated by an eye care specialist. As Optometrists we do not perform the actual surgery, rather we help manage the effects of the cataract. Many times an updated glasses or contact lens prescription can improve vision. When glasses or contact don't fully correct vision or when glare becomes too debilitating a referral for cataract surgery is made. Once the surgery is performed Optometrists will see patients after they have been released from their surgeon for routine vision care.
Cataracts are a normal part of aging. As we age the cells that make up the natural lens in our eye become less and less clear, many times turning yellow. This change in color can alter our perception of color, cause blurry vision, and can result in glare.
Cataract surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure, and generally involves a local anesthetic. The procedure requires no stitches and there is generally little or no discomfort.
Before surgery the surgeon will have a discussion with you regarding a your visual demands and what type of replacement lens is to be used. The surgeon can then discuss options such as monovision which allows the correction of distance vision with one eye and the correction of near vision with the other eye. This allows a patient to virtually eliminate the need for glasses and is a very popular choice for many patients.
Additionally, there are premium lens implants that help to further restore good functional vision. This includes the ability to see more clearly for distance tasks (like driving) as well as intermediate (computer) and near tasks (reading the newspaper). Talk with your surgeon about these premium lenses before your surgery to find out which lenses may work.