CATARACTS


What is a Cataract? Home Cataract
A cataract is a clouding of the naturally clear lens of the eye. This lens is like the focusing lens of a camera. While the cornea does most of the focusing for the eye, the lens helps to clear the image at different distances.
When there is a cataract in the natural lens, the rays of light cannot be focused on the back of the eye, and images become cloudy.
 
What are the symptoms of a Cataract? Home Cataract
If you are experiencing difficulty reading or seeing objects up close, difficulty driving, especially at night because of halos and glare around lights, frequent change in glasses prescriptions or difficulty with contrast and colors, you may have a Cataract. Our doctors can do a thorough evaluation to rule out other causes for these symptoms.
 
 
Where do Cataracts come from? Home Cataract
In over 90% of cases, Cataracts are a normal consequence of aging. But they can also develop as a consequence of injuries, certain diseases, medications or long-term exposure to sunlight. 
 
What can be done about Cataracts? Home Cataract
Sometimes the blurriness caused by very early cataracts can be corrected with spectacles or contact lenses. However, as cataracts advance, there is an uncorrectable compromise in visual acuity that interferes with the patient's needs to perform activities of daily living.
 
There are no medications, eye drops, lasers or eye exercises to treat cataracts or prevent them from forming or progressing. Surgery is the only way to remove a cataract and should be considered when activities of daily living are compromised.
 
How is the surgery performed? Home Cataract
Cataract surgery begins with a preoperative visit in our office. Measurements of your eyes are taken and instructions for your medications is done with one of our technicians. A discussion of the procedure and intraocular lens options will be done with your doctor.
Cataract surgery is done on an outpatient basis. We perform our procedures at the Gainesville Surgery Center. You may be asked to skip breakfast depending on the time of your surgery. Before your surgery, you will be given eye drops and the anesthesia team will provide some medicine to help you feel comfortable and less anxious. An anesthetic drop will numb your eye and the skin around your eye will be cleaned thoroughly. Sterile coverings will be placed around your head keeping your eye uncovered for the surgery. You might see light and perceive some movement, but you will not be able to see the surgery clearly while it is happening.

The surgical procedure takes between 15 and 45 minutes. Under the microscope, the cloudy lens is “vacuumed” out of the eye with a special technology, through a very small incision in the front of the eye, which does not routinely need suturing. In almost all cases the cloudy lens is replaced by a permanent intraocular lens (IOL) implant made of a special polymer material.  You will be able to resume almost all of your normal activities shortly after your surgery.
 
What options do I have for my final visual acuity range? Home Cataract
There are a variety of different intraocular lenses and it is very important for the patient to carefully evaluate these options before a final choice is made. A brochure is available in our office which has information to help you in making this decision. Here is an introduction to these choices:
 

Monofocal Intraocular Lenses
   - Targeting distance vision for both eyes
   - Targeting Blended Vision or Monovision
 
Toric Monofocal Intraocular Lenses
- Targeting distance vision for both eyes
    - Targeting Blended Vision or Monovision
 
Multifocal Intraocular Lenses
 

Monofocal Intraocular Lenses can only correct vision to be sharp at a specific distance. During the preoperative evaluation, specific calculations are made to determine what power this lens implant needs to have in order to achieve sharp vision at a specific distance. Focusing at other distances will require glasses.
The most common scenario is when both eyes are targeted for sharp distance vision and there will be a need for spectacles for all near tasks, such as reading, sewing, and any other activities within the near range.

 
Some patients choose to target their dominant eye for a sharp vision at a distance, and to target their non-dominant eye for a sharp vision at near. This way, the brain eventually learns to rely on the distance-targeted eye for distance tasks, and on the near-targeted eye for near tasks. This strategy is called Blended Vision or Monovision. 
 
Some people are not able to tolerate the difference in prescription between their eyes. These people often use spectacles or contact lenses to correct the near eye to match their distance eye, or occasionally, if they are good candidates can undergo refractive surgery for the same purpose. People that have used this strategy with contact lenses are excellent candidates for monovision because they have already proven that they can tolerate the difference in the prescription between their eyes.
 
A thorough discussion should take place between the patient and the doctor to determine what the patient's goals and expectations are.
If you have significant amounts of corneal astigmatism the standard monofocal implant will not give you clear vision at any distance.
 

Toric Monofocal Intraocular Lens is a high technology lens implant that can correct for Astigmatism to improve uncorrected vision at a particular distance.

There are certain pieces of information, such as your glasses prescription and a picture of the front of your eye (Topography) that will determine if you are a candidate for this type of lens. This information will be obtained in a routine evaluation for cataract surgery in our office, and we will let you know if you would benefit from this type of lens.


The Multifocal Intraocular Lens gives the greatest freedom from glasses to patients with presbyopia. They have multiple areas built in for focusing up close and far away. Not everyone is a good candidate for these lenses. Dim light makes the near vision more difficult and the multiple focal points create rings around lights at night. Most patients report the ability to see at different distances without glasses outweighs these characteristics of the lens. It takes six to twelve weeks to achieve the full near vision benefit from these lenses.
 

What is the recovery period after Cataract Surgery? Home Cataract
You will be seen by your doctor the day after the surgery, and, if everything is as expected, two weeks later, then three week after that. Any need for glasses will be evaluated then.

The majority of patients recover visual acuity quickly, but each patient is different, and your vision may take longer to achieve the complete results after the surgery. You will need to avoid heavy lifting, strenuous exercise and use of makeup for one week after the surgery. We recommend no eye rubbing for 4 weeks after surgery and no soap or water in the eye for 4 days.
 
 

Preoperative and Postoperative Instructions:
Click here to Download or Print Preoperative and Postoperative instructions