Cataracts

Cataracts are a common problem as we get older. It affects more than half of all Americans over the age of 60. In fact, cataract surgery is the most frequently performed procedure in the United States with the vast majority bringing successful results. 

Causes

While most instances of cataracts are associated with aging, the condition can be caused by other things, including:
  • Steroid medication 
  • Eye disease (glaucoma)
  • Diabetes
  • Eye injury (which is the leading cause of cataracts in children)
  • Eye surgery
  • Alcohol use
  • Extended exposure to ultraviolet light
  • Smoking
  • Family history of cataracts
  • Frequent head x-rays or radiation treatments

Symptoms

People with cataracts experience a painless loss of vision over time. Patients will often not experience symptoms in the onset of the condition. As it progresses, they may experience any of the following: 
 
  • Blurry vision
  • Double vision
  • Colors appear faded
  • Poor vision in bright light or night time
  • Halos around light sources
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass prescriptions

Diagnosing and Treating

There are a series of tests that are performed to diagnose cataracts, which might include a dilated eye exam, visual acuity test, and glare testing. If a cataract is detected early, it may be treated with one of the following non-surgical methods:

  • New eyeglass prescription
  • Anti-glare sunglasses 
  • Magnifying lenses

Cataract surgery may be a consideration if it interferes with your everyday activities. We perform minimally invasive surgery for cataracts, requiring no stitching and with a very small incision. After the cloudy lens is emulsified and removed, it is replaced with a new lens. We offer the most advanced lens implants after cataract removal. Intraocular lenses can improve your vision, sometimes eliminating the need for glasses.

  • Toric IOLs
    Alcon ToricToric IOLs are specially designed for patients with astigmatism. Traditionally, surgical correction of astigmatism required making a series of small incisions (called LRIs, or limbal relaxing incisions) around the cornea to make it more spherical instead of football-shaped. Implanting Toric IOLs often improves vision without the need for these extra incisions, and also allows patients to enjoy a faster, more comfortable recovery.
  • Multifocal IOLs
    Alcon ReStorThe advanced ReSTOR® lens improves upon ordinary IOLs by providing a full range of focusing distances. A series of 12 gradual “step heights” create seamless focusing ability from near to far, while the edge of the IOL enhances distance vision. A feature called apodization also helps the eye distribute light evenly in different lighting conditions. Best of all, up to 80% of patients who use the ReSTOR® lens don’t need glasses or contact lenses after surgery.