Cataract Surgery in Southern California
A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye that affects vision. Vision through eyes with cataracts is characterized as looking through a foggy window or piece of wax paper. Cataract development is usually a very gradual process of normal aging, but can occasionally occur rapidly. Many people are unaware that they have cataracts because the changes in their vision are so gradual. Cataracts are very common, affecting roughly 60% of people over the age of 60, and over 1.5 million cataract surgeries are performed in the United States each year.
Cataract surgery is a very successful operation. As with any surgical procedure, complications can occur during or after surgery and some are severe enough to limit vision. But in most cases, vision, as well as quality of life, improves.
Some common symptoms of cataracts may include:
- Painless blurring of vision
- Sensitivity to light and glare
- Double vision in one eye
- Poor night vision
- Fading or yellowing of colors
- Frequent changes in glasses or contact lens prescription.
Quick Vision Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery is the most common eye surgery performed in the United States. At Inland Eye Specialists we offer the most advanced techniques for removing cataracts. A cataract occurs when the natural lens inside the eye turns cloudy. This usually occurs as part of the aging process, but sometimes a cataract can develop in younger individuals as well. The opacity caused by the cataract scatters the light entering the eye that would normally come to focus on the retina to provide a clear image. Cataracts can also cause glare, halos,"filmy" vision, blurring, and alter color perception.
Modern cataract surgery involves removing the cataract through a very small opening (3.5 mm or less), and replacing the cloudy lens with a clear plastic implant. The lens implants are made of acrylic, silicone, or other types of inert plastic that remain indefinitely in the eye. Furthermore, our doctors use microsurgical techniques that usually eliminate the need for any injections or stitches. This means that vision recovery is much quicker, and you can go back to most of your normal activities the next day.
A proper evaluation for cataracts begins with a complete eye examination as it is important to rule out any other underlying eye disorders. If you are diagnosed with cataracts, your doctor will discuss your treatment. Inland Eye Specialists offers advanced lifestyle lens implants that will often reduce your dependence on glasses.
Cataract surgeries are performed at our AAAASF accredited Inland Surgery Center. The experienced staff takes care of making you comfortable while making the preparations for surgery. Topical anesthetic (drops) are applied along with drops to dilate the eyes. The actual surgical procedure is relatively short (10-15 minutes). First, the area around the eye is carefully cleaned and a sterile drape is applied. The surgeon uses a specialized ultrasound to reduce the cataract to microscopic particles (phacoemulsification) which are then irrigated out of the eye. Our Alcon Infinity and Abbott Signature systems are the most advanced machines available in the United States for cataract treatment. Lasers are routinely used in a variety of other eye surgeries, but their effectiveness for cataract removal has not been fully established. The lens implant is then carefully folded and placed in the eye. The lens is positioned in the same anatomic location from which the natural lens was removed. The eye is then given medicated drops to initiate the healing process.
After surgery you will go home the same day, and may resume most normal activities the following day. Antibiotic and steroid drops are used for a few weeks after the surgery to encourage the healing process. If necessary, new glasses are prescribed 1-3 weeks after surgery. If a patient has cataracts in both eyes, the second eye can be done as soon as one week after the first eye in most cases.
Lifestyle Lens implants
Millions of people worldwide have had their vision restored with cataract surgery; however, most people have relied on glasses post-operatively to see clearly. This is because the intraocular lenses that were placed inside the eye at the time of cataract surgery were monofocal; that is, they only had one focal point and could not change as a person’s interest changed between near and far activities. Additionally, these lenses could not correct astigmatism.
Astigmatism generally results from the shape of one’s eye preventing light to focus completely onto one plane. Recently, intraocular lenses have been developed which provide multiple points of focus. This allows over 80% of recipients to never use glasses for reading, computer, TV, driving or other activities. Many more only use glasses occasionally and much less often than they would otherwise. Additionally, toric lenses have been developed which correct astigmatism. Multifocal lenses and toric lenses, combined with other surgical techniques, now provide patients with multiple options that enable them to both clear the haze, glare, and blur of cataracts and free themselves from glasses. To see if you would benefit from cataract surgery with multifocal or toric intraocular lenses, schedule an appointment with one of the Inland Eye Specialists today.