You probably know people who have had cataract surgery. Did you know that we all eventually develop cataracts and that they are one of the leading causes of visual impairment?
To combat these symptoms many individuals look to surgery, this is where the Eye Care Institute can help you get your vision back!
What Are Cataracts?
A cataract is the clouding of the eye's natural lens that affects vision. Most cataracts happen as part of the normal aging process, but they can also be caused by injuries or diseases such as diabetes. Over time, cataracts may cause painless vision loss and affect your ability to watch television, drive a car, or read the newspaper. If you have cataracts, working with a professional at the Eye Care Institute in Santa Rosa, CA, is a great way to learn more about the condition and what can be done to resolve it.
Symptoms Of Cataracts
Cataracts typically result in:
- Blurred vision
- Inability to see in dim light
- Seeing halos around lights
- Vision loss
What are the Treatment Options for Cataracts?
We discuss cataract surgery with patients when their best-corrected vision is not adequate for their needs and the cataract is the primary reason for their visual loss. For example, cataract surgery is considered when an individual has difficulty with driving, reading, or other activities of daily life. It is performed as an elective (non-emergency) procedure.
Understanding Cataract Laser Surgery
In laser cataract surgery, an advanced femtosecond laser replaces for the following steps in your cataract surgery:
- The corneal incision
- The anterior capsulotomy
- Lens and cataract fragmentation
How Is Cataract Surgery Performed?
The use of a laser can improve the precision, accuracy, and reproducibility of each of these steps, potentially reducing risks and improving visual outcomes of cataract surgery.
The surgeons at ECI are thrilled to be able to offer advanced femtosecond laser cataract surgery with laser-guided astigmatism management and quicker vision.
We perform microincisional cataract surgery that is done under topical anesthesia and does not require the use of stitches in most cases. After the bulk of the natural lens is removed, an intraocular lens implant is implanted. We have excellent results in selecting the proper power of lens implant for each patient to provide them with optimal post-op vision. Read more here
What Age Do Cataracts Usually Start?
Cataracts commonly form in people as they age, but sometimes they appear in younger persons due to other medical conditions such as diabetes or trauma. Regardless of their cause, cataracts can be extremely harmful to your eyesight. This is why it is vital to fully understand what cataract surgery entails and when you should get treatment.
When Should a Cataract Be Removed?
Cataracts are usually first detected during a routine eye exam. These regular vision examinations are recommended by our team at the Eye Care Institute if you are over the age of forty, as many cataracts start developing around this time. How quickly a cataract forms and how rapidly the condition progresses will vary between individuals. In general, the cataract surgery should be considered when the vision impairment is negatively impacting your quality of life and your ability to participate in normal activities such as reading a book or driving a vehicle.
What Happens if Cataracts Are Left Untreated?
Generally speaking, people with cataracts typically notice a gradual reduction in their vision over the years. They may see glare or have difficulty seeing at night, depending on how advanced the cataracts are. If you exhibit these symptoms and they become bothersome, the issue should be discussed with your eye doctor to determine if surgery is the best option. If cataracts are untreated, they can cause permanent visual impairment.
What Can I Do To See Better With Cataracts?
Cataract surgery is one of several common vision surgeries performed in the United States, with over three million cataract procedures performed each year. Cataract surgery is typically performed by an ophthalmologist at the Eye Care Institute, who will remove the cataract lens from the eye so that a new artificial lens can be installed. You do not need to stay in the hospital and are sent home the same day. This is the only treatment available for cataracts at this time and is often done for those with moderate to severe vision impairment.
How Do You Slow Down the Development of Cataracts?
There are several recommendations that our team may advise you if you would like to slow the development of cataracts with time:
- Protect your eyes from ultraviolet light exposure (UV rays)
- Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet
- Stay active and within your ideal weight
- Reduce or avoid alcohol
- Avoid smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco
- Have regular eye examinations with a qualified professional at the Eye Care Institute
- Manage other health issues, including diabetes and high blood pressure
What Our Patients Have to Say
"I have been a patient of Dr. Daniel Rich for well over 20 years. He is a fabulous ophthalmologist. His doctor-patient interactions are comfortable. He is affable and friendly. He is also no-nonsense i.e. straight to the point. He has completed my bilateral cataract surgeries both of which went very smoothly. I strongly recommend Dr. Rich."
The intraocular lens (IOL) is a lens implanted in the eye as part of cataract surgery. These are implanted during cataract surgery after the cloudy eye's natural lens (colloquially called a cataract) has been removed.
Our patients often desire freedom from glasses and contact lenses for all of their activities. Newly developed technologies over the years have moved us all closer to that goal. Advances in laser cataract surgery with implantable intraocular lenses (IOLs) have greatly improved the quality of life of our patients. Read More here.
Causes of Cataracts
Cataracts often develop due to aging or when an injury occurs to the tissue that makes up your eye’s lens. There are several types of cataracts, but all of them are essentially a clouding of the lens of the eye, scattering light that enters the retina, thereby reducing overall visibility. Read More Here.
Schedule a Cataract Consultation at The Eye Care Institute!
If you are interested in learning more about our Cataract Surgery services, or if you wish to determine whether you are a candidate for the procedure, please be sure to set up an appointment with one of our accomplished eye care specialists! Call 707.546.9800 or fill out the appointment request form in our contact page. Our practice serves Santa Rosa, CA and the surrounding areas.