Symptoms and Early Signs of Cataracts
If you’re over the age of 50, you might have noticed a few changes in your eyesight in recent years. Early cataracts may not affect your vision or have a mild effect on the quality of your vision. An increase in your glasses prescription may temporarily help improve your vision. However, as cataracts progress, your vision will continue to get worse. It may be time for cataract eye surgery when vision problems begin to interfere with your daily life. Any number of symptoms could dictate the need for cataract surgery, including:
- Blurred vision
- Glare and halos around lights
- A feeling of “film” over the eye(s)
- Difficulty reading in ordinary light
- Sensitivity to bright lights
- Difficulty driving at night
- Double vision in one eye
- Difficulty with color and contrast
- Difficulty seeing street signs
- Colors becoming faded
Our board-certified ophthalmologists, Dr. Baynham and Dr. Tammaro, can determine whether you have early signs of cataract development using what’s called a “dilated eye exam.” The operation to remove cataracts can be performed at any stage of their development and can restore visual acuity that has not been experienced for years.
Cataract Surgery Procedure
Cataract eye surgery has become an incredibly sophisticated and safe procedure now – about 3 million Americans undergo cataract surgery every year. Dr. Baynham and Dr. Tammaro perform a no-stitch cataract procedure that allows for faster healing with less downtime. This results in better outcomes, increasing the likelihood of seeing clearly without glasses. Any eye surgery can stir up anxiety but the realities of cataract surgery are sometimes surprising to patients:
- Surgery is performed one eye at a time, on different days.
- Cataract eye drops numb the eye
- It usually takes 90 minutes total from walk-in to walk-out.
- Patients are cleared to leave 10 minutes after the cataract surgery procedure is finished.
After the procedure, vision may be slightly blurred with a mild foreign body sensation for the first few days; however, cataract surgery recovery is usually fast with many patients returning to normal day-to-day activities or work by the next day. Over 98% of patients obtain a significant improvement in vision after the cataract surgery procedure.
Cataract Surgery Lens Options
During cataract surgery, an intraocular lens (IOL) is implanted in the eye to restore clear vision. Today, there are a variety of lens implants that a patient can choose from. These include; Distance vision implants (monofocal), Bifocal implants, and Astigmatism correcting implants (Toric).
Monofocal Lens Implants are fixed lenses designed to improve your vision at one distance. Most patients who have this lens implanted will have improved distance vision and will need to wear glasses for reading. You can also choose to have better close vision for reading, but will then need glasses for distance, such as driving. Your medical insurance covers this lens.
Bifocal Correcting Lens Implants are intraocular lenses that improve both near, intermediate, and far vision. Presbyopia is a natural age change, whereby a person loses the ability to focus from far to near objects. Two types of implants, Accommodating, and Multifocal implants reduce the need for glasses and increase the chance of living a life without the hassle of glasses. Our team of surgeons will discuss these lenses in more detail and will determine which lens implant is best for your eye’s specific needs.
Toric Lens Implants correct astigmatism that is natural to many people. Astigmatism is a common condition where there is an abnormal shape to the cornea or lens. Instead of being more rounded, the shape of the eye is more oval, like that of a football. Astigmatism causes blurred and distorted vision in people who have higher amounts present in their eyes. Astigmatism is corrected in your glasses or contact lenses. If astigmatism is not corrected after cataract surgery, then patients will need to wear corrective lenses to see clearly. For those with higher levels of astigmatism, the Toric lens implant will reduce or eliminate astigmatism allowing for a higher quality of vision without glasses.
Whether you’re experiencing the onset of cataracts or a long-time sufferer finally seeking solace, a life free of blurred sight is possible with the latest cataract surgery advancements. By replacing a blurred natural lens with an intraocular lens implant, you will improve your vision and could be bifocal, glasses, or contacts-free after cataract surgery. Recognizing the importance of staying on the cusp of technological innovation, Walton Eye Care offers a variety of lens implant options, including standard Monofocal, Multifocal Restor® , AcrySof IQ®, or AcrySof IQ ® Toric lenses.