Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 55. Cataracts occur when protein buildup clouds the lens, causing blurred vision. In this case, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the cataract and replace the clouded lens. Cataract surgery involves a small incision, made on the side of your cornea using a blade or laser. The cataract is removed using ultrasound energy, then an artificial lens is inserted into the eye. The surgical procedure does not take long and is performed under light sedation. You will be sent home with a clear eye shield or glasses.
Laser Assisted Cataract Surgery
Some people may benefit from the use of a laser, which can be used during cataract surgery to correct astigmatism or assist in the implantation of astigmatism correcting and/or presbyopia correcting lenses, which can improve distance and near vision.
Some people may benefit from intraoperative aberrometry, which allows your surgeon to take measurements after cataract removal in order to confirm or revise the lens power choice determined during your preoperative visits with your surgeon.
Lens options include:
The standard lens covered by most insurance companies, offers high-quality vision. Some can filter UV light that may provide protection from macular degeneration. You will need glasses for computer work and reading. Some people do not need distance glasses with these lenses. It is possible to use these lenses to obtain monovision, which refers to correcting one eye for farsightedness and the other eye for nearsightedness.
Toric lenses use a special shape and targeted power to correct astigmatism as well as distance vision. This lens is typically not covered by insurance.
Multifocal lenses correct presbyopia, the loss of near vision due to aging of your internal eye muscles. Multifocal lenses distribute light over multiple optical zones, which allows for distance-, intermediate-, and near-vision correction. It may still be necessary to wear reading glasses occasionally, but most people who receive these lenses are free of glasses for many activities. This lens is typically not covered by insurance.