Cataract Evaluation & Treatment
What are cataracts?
Inside our eyes we have a natural focusing lens, similar to a camera lens, that brings all outside light into focus in our eyes. A cataract is the clouding of this natural lens, and can decrease the quality of vision. Cataracts are considered a normal aging process and most develop gradually over a period of years. Cataracts typically develop later in life, but can occur earlier in the setting of family history, trauma, certain medication use, and presence of other medical conditions such as diabetes. Cataracts are diagnosed with a full eye examination that includes dilation of pupils. This is important because there are many reasons for having blurred vision, and it is important to rule out other causes of vision problems that may not benefit from surgery.
How do we treat cataracts?
In many circumstances, cataracts can be monitored for years before any intervention is required beyond the usual glasses prescription update because most cataracts grow slowly over time. There is a point in time when glasses will not improve vision quality and the symptoms of cataracts prevent people from doing all the things they need or want to do. Cataract surgery is the only treatment option once this occurs.
During cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens. This procedure is considered very safe and effective, although no surgical procedure is ever considered risk-free. It is an outpatient procedure performed by Dr. Szeles at an ambulatory surgery center. Restrictions are minimal compared to other surgical interventions. It is important to note that cataract surgery is generally covered by most medical insurances, along with the implantation of a standard artificial lens (Monofocal Lens). Not all lens options are covered by insurance.
The artificial lenses used during cataract surgery are made of silicone or acrylic plastic compositions and are designed to last a lifetime. It is very rare for these lenses to need replaced once they are implanted. These lenses come in different strengths, similar to glasses prescriptions. Dr. Szeles performs measurements of all patients eyes to determine the correct strength lens to use in each patient.
There are a variety of lens options available to patients that can help them achieve their vision goals. There are artificial lenses that provide near and distance focus simultaneously (Multifocal lenses). There are also lens options that can help correct astigmatism (Toric Lens). Not all lens options are covered by medical insurance and some options may incur an additional out of pocket cost to patients. It is important to communicate your vision goals and expectations prior to surgery, so that Dr. Szeles can work with you to help you achieve those goals.
Specific preoperative and post operative instructions are provided to every patient personally by Dr. Szeles. Dr. Szeles is committed to being with you every step of the way and being available 24 hours, 7 days a week for all surgical patients.
What are Secondary Cataracts?
People that have had cataract surgery in the past may find that their vision becomes blurred again over time. This can happen as the part of the eye that holds the lens in place becomes cloudy with scar tissue. In this setting, Dr. Szeles can use a laser treatment to clear the cloudy lens and improve vision. This procedure is a safe and effective outpatient procedure with minimal activity restrictions. It is called a Yag Laser Capsulotomy.