What is a Cataract?
A cataract is present when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. The lens is located behind the iris, which is the colored part of the eye. The lens helps focus the rays of light coming from an object to form an image on the retina located at the back of the eye.
More than fifty percent of people over 60 years of age suffer from cataracts. Looking through a cataract is similar to looking through a window that is frosted or fogged with steam.
Common symptoms include painless blurring of vision, need for brighter lights to read, glare or light sensitivity, double vision in one eye, fading or yellowing of colors, and frequent eyeglass prescription changes.
What Causes Cataracts?
The most common cause of a cataract is aging of the eye. Other causes or risk factors include family history, medical problems such as diabetes, smoking, injury to the eye or previous inflammation, and long term use of steroid medications. A cataract cannot be caused by overusing the eyes. This is a common misconception.
How is a Cataract Treated?
Currently there is no medical treatment shown to reverse or prevent cataracts. However, sunglasses that filter out ultraviolet light rays or regular glasses with a clear anti-ultraviolet coating may help prevent or slow the progression of cataracts.
In the early stages, stronger glasses can usually partially compensate for blurred vision from a cataract. When you feel that the cataract is starting to interfere with your quality of life, it is time to consider surgery. The decision to proceed with surgery is yours and depends on your daily activities and your lifestyle
Types of Implantable Lenses
Cataract Surgery involves removal of the cataract and replacement with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) that can restore clear vision. Many of the steps traditionally performed with a blade can now be performed with laser-precision using the Catalys® Laser System. Dr. George Khouri can provide you with a highly customized, more precise and gentle approach to cataract surgery. Dr. Khouri can also discuss options to produce your best visual outcomes using different Lifestyle Lens Implants.
Cataract Treatment with Astigmatism or Presbyopia
Two aspects of cataract treatment need to be considered: astigmatism if present, and presbyopia in order to achieve reduction or independence from glasses for distance and/or near:
The first aspect is astigmatism which is an irregular curvature of the cornea because it is shaped like a football instead of a basketball. When light enters the front part of the eye, this corneal irregularity bends and focuses light in one direction more than another which can lead to a blurred, distorted image on the retina. This condition can be treated with the CATALYS® Laser System which creates corneal arcuate incisions placed strategically to address the corneal irregularity. Depending upon the severity of your astigmatism, another option for correcting the astigmatism would be to use a Toric Lens Implant.
If you are considering cataract surgery, contact us today and schedule an appointment with Dr. Khouri to discuss your treatment options.