What Are Cataracts?
Cataracts are one of the most common eye conditions treated by ophthalmologists and usually occur as part of the normal aging process. Marion and Delaware Eye Center’s surgeons make cataract surgery one of the safest of surgeries. A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural crystalline lens. The lens is responsible for focusing light and producing clear, sharp images. When we were younger, the lens was clear, but as we age, it begins to harden and become cloudy. The cloudy lens diminishes the quality of vision.
Dulling of colors
Trouble driving at night
Difficulty reading fine print
Glare around lights
The exact cause of a cataract is often unknown. Most often, a cataract is simply part of the aging process, however medications, diseases such as diabetes and heart disease and environmental factors can all play a role. Some additional reasons cataracts may form include:
Excessive exposure to sunlight
Inflammation of the eye
Infection or events prior to birth
Long-term steroid use
Injury to the eye
Previous eye surgeries
Diseases such as diabetes
Cataracts are removed surgically using ultrasound to dissolve the clouded lens from within the eye (see illustrations below). The surgery is performed through a tiny incision where the white of the eye meets the colored part of the eye. After the cataract is completely removed, the surgeon replaces it with one of several types of lens implants (see below), which are situated inside the eye, behind the pupil, and allows light to focus clearly again on the retina.
Many people assume that cataract is a growth over the surface of the eye, or something that is peeled away. There is also the common assumption that the lens implant is placed on the surface of the eye or can be moved by rubbing the eye after surgery is healed. These are all false assumptions. The clouded lens is within the eye, behind the pupil of the eye and the surgery done for cataract is one that simply dissolves the clouded lens inside the eye through a dilated pupil and then replaces it with a plastic lens. The lens itself remains clear forever, so there is no necessity to ever repeat a cataract removal.
A cataract (clouded lens) is shown producing a blurred image on the retina. Cataract is a slowly progressive change in the normally clear lens of the eye, resulting in blurred vision, glare and poor contrast for reading vision.
Lens Implant Choices
Your surgeon will consider your visual goals to determine whether your vision should be focused to see best up close, far away, or a blend of the two (monovision). As an option, some patients choose a multifocal or extended depth of focus implant lens which offers the ability to see both far and near after cataract surgery. This premium option is meant to achieve the greatest independence from glasses possible. The benefits and cautions of this type of implant can be discussed with your surgeon during your visit. A better quality of vision means a better quality of life for our patients. Our history of careful, thoughtful adoption of new technologies, and unsurpassed commitment to ethical, quality care truly gives you the best opportunity to achieve your vision goals. When planning your cataract surgery, your doctor will discuss the different intraocular lens choices available to achieve your visual goals. Our surgeons use the most advanced lens technology and lens implants available and will work with you to ensure that you receive the lens best suited for your specific needs.
Standard Monofocal Intraocular Lenses
This option includes standard cataract surgery and a single-focus intraocular lens implant, usually focused to distance vision only. These lenses will improve overall clarity but will require glasses to optimize vision and see anything at near.
Astigmatism-Reducing Intraocular Lenses or Incisions
This option is designed to reduce the blurring effects of astigmatism (see illustration below). Patients who choose astigmatism reduction will enjoy sharper vision as a result of state-of-the-art intraocular lenses and/or surgical astigmatism reduction, called Limbal Relaxing Incisions (LRIs), specially designed to minimize or eliminate astigmatism.
Advanced Trifocal/Multifocal Intraocular Lenses
This option enhances the function of vision following cataract surgery. The lenses of this type are primarily focused to the distance and add a good degree of near ability as well. The near-focus function of the lens varies from person to person but a broader focus is almost universally enjoyed by all who choose this lens. The purpose of the implant is to enhance distance and near vision compared to standard monofocal implants. The lens not only performs this function but also may include correction of astigmatism when necessary.
LENS FOR ASTIGMATISM
An astigmatism-correcting (toric) lens is needed to correct higher degrees of astigmatism. This lens has a special shape and small marks on its edge to orient the implant properly to reduce blur that would otherwise be present.
INCISIONS FOR ASTIGMATISM
Astigmatism in smaller amounts may be corrected by Limbal relaxing incisions (LRIs) made where the white part of the eye meets the colored part. A special diamond-blade instrument is necessary to purchase for this.
MULTIFOCAL/TORIC LENS IMPLANT
This lens corrects both astigmatism and provides a distance focus with near ability, reducing dependency on glasses and focusing vision better than all other implant types. It is the most current and best lens technology.
New Horizons Surgery Center
Our highest priority is the safety and quality of care of our patients. New Horizons Surgery Center in Marion has a significantly lower incidence of surgical complications in ophthalmology than any other facility in the area. Special, newer equipment and an attentive staff handle the details of cataract surgery to optimize results and decrease the incidence of complications. Patient satisfaction surveys for New Horizons are among the highest in the state of Ohio. Costs are lower. This smaller, more efficient and well equipped facility is our location of choice for Ophthalmic surgery.