Cataract Surgery &
Cataracts are a problem experienced by a great number of people just like you. Cataracts are a common cause of vision problems among people in their 50’s and 60’s and they are actually a major cause of senior eye problems and vision loss. More than 20 million Americans age 40 and older have cataracts and more than half of all Americans develop cataracts by age 80. A cataract is a clouding of the crystalline lens of the eye preventing light rays from passing through it easily. This results in a clouding and blurring of vision. For many patients, cataracts start out slowly and have little effect on vision at first. But, as the cataract becomes denser, so does the impact on vision.
Symptoms of Cataracts
If you are developing a cataract or already have cataracts you may experience symptoms such as a clouding or blurring of your vision and perhaps feel that you might need a change of eyeglasses. You may notice that it is not as easy to see well and comfortably in dim illumination, such as for night driving. You may notice that colors look faded and you may be bothered by glare, haloes, light sensitivity and a continuing decrease in your vision.
- Blurring or Clouding of Vision
- Glare, or Light Sensitivity
- Poor Night Vision
- Double Vision in One Eye or a Shadowy Image
- Needing Brighter Light to Read
- Fading or Yellowing of Colors
These are the visual symptoms that are common for those patients whose crystalline lens has clouded and formed a cataract. If you are experiencing one of more of these symptoms please be sure to let your eye doctor know at your eye exam.
About Cataract Surgery
During cataract surgery we remove cataract and replace it with a clear permanent lens implant (IOL) in order to correct your vision. Among seniors and “baby boomers,” cataract surgery is one of the safest, most effective, predictable and common operations performed the U.S with more than 2.5 million people having cataract surgery & lens implants each year. At Outlook Eyecare our cataract surgeons Colleen Coleman, M.D., Noah Saipe, M.D. and Joseph Shovlin, M.D. typically perform the cataract operation and lens implant surgery on an outpatient basis which offers comfortable and convenient same-day surgery.
The Cataract Surgery Procedure
Preparation for your cataract operation will begin with a few sets of drops being placed in your eye to dilate your pupil. Additionally, your eye will be treated with anesthetic drops to numb the surface of your eye so that you will feel little if any discomfort during your cataract surgery. In addition you will be given medicines to help you relax if desired. Our Outlook Eyecare cataract surgeons perform a small incision, “no stitch no patch no needle” technique that can be combined with the femtosecond laser to provide you with laser cataract surgery in a comfortable, convenient and close to home AAAHC, Medicare and State of New Jersey certified ambulatory surgery centers. These centers are dedicated to the performance of state-of-the-art eye surgery. The actual surgical procedure is painless and takes less than 20 minutes, and the entire process usually requires only two hours of your time from start to finish. Our nurses and staff are present to help us with your actual surgery as well as to assist you and make your experience pleasant.
About Laser Cataract Surgery
For some patients our cataract surgeons may recommend laser cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is a technically complex type of eye surgery, requiring tremendous surgical skill to manually perform a number of steps. Depending on your cataract type, eye health and other factors determined by your surgeon it may be beneficial to incorporate the femtosecond laser into the cataract surgery and lens implant procedure for you. This can be advantageous and helpful to the surgeon in:
- Creating “perfect” incisions-without using a blade or knife-in terms of size and architecture, which is important in order to have the incision seal properly without the use of stitches and to prevent infection.
- Creating a perfectly centered and sized “capsulotomy”, which is the “opening” prepared in the front of the crystalline lens through which the cloudy lens material is removed.
- Liquefying, softening or “chopping” the crystalline lens, in order to allow the cloudy material to be removed so as to deliver a gentler eye surgery procedure.
- Creating the possibility of precisely sized and placed corneal incisions, such as might be performed with Limbal Relaxing Incisions (LRI), to correct pre-existing astigmatism.
Laser cataract surgery allows eye surgeons to deliver a number of the skill intensive steps of cataract surgery in a safe, more precise and gentler manner. This increased safety and accuracy may provide more predictable clinical results with quick visual recovery for certain patients.
About Lens Implants
During your cataract exam and preoperative measurement visit, Drs. Coleman, Saipe, Shovlin and the staff will discuss choosing a cataract lens implant to correct your vision and help you see clearly. Your cataract surgeon can use multifocal cataract lens implants to correct vision at range of vision-distance, arm’s length and up close-such as the AcrySof® IQ PanOptix™ Trifocal Lens Implant, the TECNIS Symfony Lens Implant (IOL), the AcrySof™ IQ Vivity™ Extended Vision Intraocular Lens, as well as providing lens implants for astigmatism including the AcrySof® Toric Lens Implant and the TECNIS Toric Lens Implant so that you can reduce your dependence on glasses, bifocals and reading glasses after cataract surgery. We will take the time necessary to answer all of your questions so you can relax on the day of your surgery.
We will arrange to see you within 24 hours of your cataract & lens implant procedure so we can examine you in order to confirm that you are healing and seeing as planned. We will also prescribe some eye drops for you to use and will ask you to wear a protective shield, mainly at night, to remind you not to accidentally rub your eye. Although each patient will heal a little bit differently, the majority of patients having cataract surgery with the cataract surgeons at Outlook Eyecare are able to see well enough to return to their routine daily activities within a day or so after their procedure.
Important Note about Cataract Surgery
Many men in their 50’s and 60’s and beyond experience an enlarged prostate as part of the aging process. Today, many of men are taking the prescription medication Flomax® or other similar medications that are members of the class of drugs called “alpha-antagonists” or “alpha blockers”. These may include Hytrin® (terazosin), Cardura (doxazosin), Flomax® (tamsulosin), Uroxatral® (alfuzosin) and Rapaflo® (silodosin).
IT IS TO NOTIFY OUR STAFF BEFORE YOU HAVE CATARACT SURGERY IF YOU ARE TAKING ANY MEDICATION FOR AN ENLARGED PROSTATE
Certain medications commonly used to treat an enlarged prostate can cause abnormal movement of muscles controlling the opening and closing of the Iris. During cataract surgery, the pupil must stay enlarged or dilated to allow your cataract surgeon to easily view the Crystalline Lens. Flomax® and certain other alpha-blockers including Hytrin®, Cardura and Uroxatral® in particular can interfere with pupil dilation, creating a condition known as Intraoperative Floppy Iris Syndrome (IFIS). If you are taking one of these medications and alert any member of our staff, and we will be able to take extra care to make sure the pupil stays dilated to prevent unexpected complications during your cataract surgery.