More than 24.4 million Americans aged 40 or older suffer from cataracts; a clouding of the eye’s lens that can lead to vision loss or blindness. Some people are born with congenital cataracts while others develop the condition as a result of aging, injury, or repeated exposure to environmental and lifestyle factors such as UV radiation, diet, alcohol, or cigarette smoke. Whatever the cause, cataracts can be debilitating, limiting not only the affected person’s vision but their quality of life as well.
Luckily, cataract treatment is available, and it usually takes the form of an artificial intraocular lens implant, or IOL.
What Is an IOL?
Patients with cataracts often report the same range of symptoms: cloudy vision, images that are out of focus or blurry, double vision, halos around lights or light sensitivity, and difficulty seeing at night. For those who opt for cataract surgery (the only way to effectively restore sight once prescription glasses or contacts no longer work), the impaired lens is removed and an artificial intraocular lens implant, or IOL, is put in its place. Surgery is quick, relatively pain-free, and generally conducted on an outpatient basis. It can take about eight weeks for the eye to heal, though most patients are back into their normal routine the very next day.
Options for Cataract Surgery
- Basic Cataract Package: This package includes the standard cataract-removal surgery most often covered by insurance companies and Medicare. Patients receive a basic monofocal IOL that improves distance vision, however, there may still be a need for prescription contacts or glasses after surgery.
- Astigmatism Package: Patients with astigmatism who would prefer not to rely on contacts or glasses after surgery may choose our Astigmatism Package. An upgraded toric monofocal IOL (“toric” refers to the donut-like shape of the lens) is used to reduce distortion, and although glasses may still be necessary for close- or intermediate-distance vision, items in the distance appear sharply in focus. Essentially, this package is a two-pronged approach that treats the astigmatism and cataract simultaneously.
- Presbyopia Package: When the lens of the eye loses its innate flexibility, the resulting eyestrain can cause blurred vision. This condition, called “presbyopia,” typically requires corrective measures in the form of bifocals. Our Presbyopia Package uses a uniquely designed aspheric multifocal or accommodating IOL to correct the cataract and reduce or even eliminate the need for additional eyewear. Ideally, patients choosing this surgical path will be able to see clearly at multiple distances without bifocals.
You and your vision deserve the very best care. If you’re battling cataracts and find yourself longing to see clearly again, it may be time to consider the cataract surgery. To explore your options and decide which path is right for you, give us a call at 243-2400. A new outlook awaits!