What is a Cataract?
HOW WE SEE
Our eyes work just like a camera. When we look at an object, light rays reflect off that object and enter our eyes through the cornea. The lens behind the cornea focuses the rays onto the retina which, in turn, converts the rays into electrical impulses that travel through the optic nerve to the brain. The brain converts the electrical impulses into images.
Seeing depends on this entire chain of events. But seeing clear, focused images depends largely on the lens.
COMMON VISION PROBLEMS
People who are nearsighted can see up close, but have difficulty seeing objects at a distance. Myopia is typically caused by an eye that is too long, which causes light to focus in front of the retina.
Farsighted people can see objects at a distance, but have difficulty seeing up close. Hyperopia is typically caused by an eye that is too short, which causes light to focus behind the retina.
Presbyopia is an age-related condition that blurs near vision. It is caused by a gradual loss of flexibility in the eye’s natural lens and surrounding muscles.
Sometimes the surface of the cornea is curved more like a football than a basketball, with both flatter and steeper curves. This common irregularity, called “corneal astigmatism”, causes blurred or distorted vision. This occurs when light rays are not focused at one spot to provide clear vision.
Cataracts: A Natural Part Of Aging
A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens inside your eye. This lens, located behind the iris, works just like the lens of a camera – focusing light images on the retina, which sends images to the brain. A cataract can be the reason sharp objects become blurred, bright colors become dull, or seeing at night is more difficult. It may also be why reading glasses or bifocals are used to help you no longer seem to be effective. Vision with cataracts has been described as seeing life though an old, cloudy film. Eye injury, certain diseases, or even some medications can cause clouding, but the majority of cataracts are simply the result of the natural aging process. The best way to treat a cataract is with surgery that removes the old, clouded lens and replacing it with a new, artificial lens to restore your vision and, in many ways, significantly improve your quality of life.
Monofocal lens technology is performed in general for patients having cataract surgery and lens implantation. This technology has been around for many years and has improved millions of patient’s vision. Using a monofocal IOL, your surgeon is able to choose the post-operative power of your eyes. This means that you can have improved distance or near vision, but not both. The monofocal IOL corrects your vision for one distance only. This means that you will continue to be dependent on glasses for some tasks.
Toric lens implants are used in patients who have astigmatism in their eyes. Astigmatism is when your eye is shaped more like a football than a basketball, causing blurred vision in all distances. The unique design of the new Acrysof® Toric IOL makes it possible to reduce or eliminate astigmatism and significantly improve uncorrected distance vision. Not all patients are good candidates for the IOL and more advanced measurements may need to be taken prior to your surgery. This lens does NOT allow you to read at near without your glasses. More Information.
ReSTOR lens implants are designed to improve your vision to see near, far, and everything in-between. Based on FDA clinical data, there is an 80% chance you will not have to wear eyeglasses again. This does not imply a perfect visual system, however. Because of the multifocal nature of the lens, you will see halos, especially at night. This lens is best when it is implanted in both eyes in a timely fashion. There is an adaptation period after insertion where your brain has to adapt to the new implants. This lens performs best in people who tend to not be Type A, detailed oriented people. This lens will give you good vision at all distances MOST of the time. www.reclaimyourvision.com
The CrystaLens is the first and only FDA approved accommodating lens. It is designed like your natural lens. Working with the eyes natural muscle, CrystaLens flexes to focus at near, intermediate, and distant objects. This lens works best for patients who have a higher demand for intermediate vision, such as working on a computer. You may still depend on reading glasses for fine or near work. www.crystalens.com
Shoreline Vision is proud to be the first eye surgeons in West Michigan to offer Alcon’s LenSx laser; laser assisted cataract refractive surgery.
A Blade-free Laser is the newest technological breakthrough and available for use in cataract surgery. The LenSx femtosecond laser offers a number of advantages compared to standard cataract surgery. For unparalleled precision, the LenSx laser pulses in femtoseconds which are one quadrillionth of a second.
- Allows for the correction of low to moderate amounts of astigmatism with the accuracy of a computer-controlled laser. This is an important part of optimizing vision.
- Provides greater surgical precision, particularly for some of the most challenging parts of cataract surgery.
- Eliminates the need for blades and needles for corneal incisions and the anterior capsulotomy.
- Allows your doctor to customize a treatment plan for optimizing your vision to meet your lifestyle and visual goals.