If you've been diagnosed with cataracts, there is no need to worry. In most cases, vision can be restored with modern one day surgery. Cataract formation is frequently a part of the eye's aging process. Today, 1.5 million patients have cataract surgery each year. The procedure is performed with a minimum of discomfort and inconvenience.
A cataract is a clouding of the lens located inside your eye behind the pupil or iris (colored part of your eye). A cataract is not a growth or "film" over the eye.
In the early stages, you can usually improve your vision by changing your glasses. When the cataract advances, changing glasses frequently does not solve the problem. When you can no longer see to do the things you need to do, the cloudy cataract lens may be removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens. This lens is made from a plastic-like material. Early signs of cataracts include decreased ability to see things from a distance or reading and particularly decreased vision with glare.
There are no medications, eye drops, or diets that can cure or prevent cataracts. There is some evidence that decreasing your exposure to ultraviolet radiation (sunlight) by wearing ultraviolet filtering glasses and eating diets with anti-oxidants may be helpful in slowing down the process. Once a cataract interferes with your activities, the only solution is surgery to remove them. Cataract surgery has a high success rate for the restoration of vision with today's modern advances and technology. Dr. Ofner performs approximately 800 cataract surgeries per year.
Cataract surgery was considered risky 25 years ago, requiring a lengthy hospital stay. Today, cataract surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and takes 15 minutes. Patients then go home and rest in the comfort of their homes.
We remove cataracts using an advanced technique called phacoemulsification, or no-stitch, cataract surgery. Using only a topical anesthetic eye drop, your eye is completely numb assisted by a mild intravenous sedative if needed. The cataract is broken up into little pieces using ultrasound waves. The cataract is gently sucked from the eye. An artificial lens is then inserted.
The doctor will see you the day after surgery and prescribe eye drops to help your eye heal. Instructions will be written out for you. There are no stitches, patches, or shots, although we usually have patients place a protective metal shield over the eye while sleeping and for the first night only.
Topical anesthesia and no-stitch surgery techniques have brought cataract surgery to a new level. Many patients are able to see with clear vision much sooner after the surgery. Most patients return to all normal daily activities almost immediately. With "eye drop" anesthesia, there is no need for a painful needle injection, patches, or stitches.
Studies have shown a 98% success rate for cataract surgery. While results cannot be guaranteed, most patients have their vision successfully improved. Once a cataract is removed, it will not grow back. The results are permanent, giving patients a lifetime of better vision.
A cataract is a cloudy lens inside the eye. This lens is located behind the pupil and iris near the front of the eye as shown in the illustration above.
A cloudy lens causes light entering the eye to be blurred by the cloudy lens that focuses the light ray to the retina in the back of the eye. This works much like the lens of a camera focusing light to the film in the back of the camera. The result is decreased vision.
|Cataract surgery is done by removing the cloudy lens with an ultrasonic instrument that breaks the cataract into small pieces (shown above) and vacuums it out of the eye. The surgery is done under topical anesthesia, except under rare circumstances. That is, no shots are given. The eye is numbed with eye drops. The surgery is painless and takes approximately 20 minutes.|
|The cloudy lens removed is replaced with a clear artificial plastic lens. The lens is smaller than a dime and fits onto the tip of a finger as shown in the above left photo. An enlarged view is shown on the right.|
|There are many different kinds of cataracts. Some are so cloudy that they can been seen with the naked eye after the pupil is dilated as shown in the photos on the left.|
|Surgery is completed in a sterile operating room on an outpatient basis. Our surgical team of registered nurses and ophthalmic surgical technicians specializes in eye surgery only allowing them to concentrate on your problems and concerns related to your eyes.|
|The freedom from blurred vision gives you the freedom to enjoy your life to it's fullest extent!|