Cataracts are a very common cause of visual impairment in older adults. Cataracts are considered an inevitable part of aging, and are relatively common among adults older than 55 years of age. In fact, half of all Americans have them, or have had cataract surgery, by age 80.
A cataract is a cloudy area in the lens of the eye. A normal lens is clear and focuses light to the back of the eye. As we age, the lens hardens and becomes cloudy, blocking some of the light. As a cataract develops, it becomes increasingly difficult for a person to see. Symptoms of a cataract include:
- Blurred nighttime or driving vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Glare from sunlight or the headlights of cars
- Halos around light
- Change in glasses prescription and/or distorted images
- Needing more light to read
Early detection through an exam can determine the presence and the extent of a cataract. When symptoms first appear, your doctor may be able to temporarily alleviate the effects of cataracts and improve your vision by prescribing glasses, strong bifocals, or other visual aids. However, cataracts may continue to advance leaving surgery as the only option to restore your good vision.
Types of cataracts:
Nuclear cataracts occur in the center of the lens. When it is first developing, it may actually cause a slight improvement in near or reading vision, called "second sight." This "second sight " vision disappears as the cataract worsens. This type of cataract can also create a sense of double vision.
Cortical Cataracts begin as wedge-shaped spokes in the cortex (outer portion) of the lens. When the spokes approach the center, they interfere with the transmission of light and cause glare and loss of contrast (Low light) vision. Sub-capsular cataracts begin as small opacities under the capsule (the outer membrane of the lens), and develop slowly. Vision is significantly affected as the cataract develops. Diabetes, injury, retinitis pigmentosa, and steroids are common causes of this type of cataract.
Cataract surgery is performed when your quality of vision affects your quality of life. When you are unable to enjoy daily routine activities such as working, driving, reading, hobbies, etc., because of cataracts, one should consider cataract surgery.
Cataract surgery is considered one of the most popular and highly successful procedures for improving vision. In fact, a recent study by the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons reported that 98% of cataract patients had their vision successfully improved following surgery. Many patients report that their vision is even better than it was before they developed cataracts due to the vision-correcting nature of the surgery.
The procedure begins with a single tiny incision, one so small it needs no suture to heal. This “no-stitch” technique is used because sutures can sometimes alter the shape of the cornea, causing delayed recovery and/or astigmatism. Through the incision, Dr. Schumer inserts an ultrasonic microsurgical instrument that breaks the cloudy lens into pieces. He then vacuums these tiny pieces out of the eye and implants the lens.
Cataract Surgery Ohio with treatment options available at ReVision Advanced Laser Eye Center serving Mansfield, Columbus, and the surrounding areas.
What Happens During Cataract Surgery?
Cataract surgery at Revision in Columbus, Ohio is a two-step procedure—first the cataract eye surgeon removes your cloudy lens, and second, a new lens implant is inserted into your eye. The cloudy lens is removed with a tiny instrument that enters your eye through a small incision—usually one-eighth of an inch or smaller—and gently breaks the cataract into tiny pieces that are then removed from the eye with a miniature vacuum cleaner.
Once the cataract is out, you will need a new lens in order to focus after surgery. Artificial lens implants—made of plastic-like materials—are used to restore your ability to focus after surgery. These implants come in many different strengths, like glasses, and before your cataract operation, your doctor will perform several measurements to determine the appropriate lens implant strength for your eye.
Once your cataract is out and your implant is in, the operation is over. Most people see better within a day or two after cataract surgery, but it is not abnormal or worrisome if your vision seems blurry for a few weeks after surgery as your eye heals. Your eye doctor will prescribe some eye drops for the healing period after surgery, and if you need new glasses after surgery, these will be prescribed for you once your eye is completely healed, usually about a month after surgery.
If you are seeking a Columbus Cataract Surgery expert we invite you to come in for a cataract screening. Our expert cataract surgeon will be happy to discuss your options for seeing better after cataract surgery.