Understanding Cataracts

by Dr. Robert Benza, MD 15. March 2013 09:00

Cataracts are one of the most common problems patients experience as they grow older.  At the time of surgery, patients also have more options in lens selections which may improve their vision at different distances. A cataract is a cloudy lens.  The natural lens is suspended in the eye just behind the pupil.  Many patients with a cloudy lens may present with blurred or cloudy vision.  Some may report haloes at night or difficulty reading. If the cataract advances to a point where the vision is unacceptable to the patient even with corrective eyewear, they may desire cataract removal.
 
Prior to the surgery,  many measurements are taken to calculate the appropriate power for the artificial lens. We now have further lens options which include lenses that help decrease or eliminate astigmatism (toric lenses) as well as multifocal lenses.   Multifocal lenses typically enhance the near vision after surgery reducing or possibly eliminating the
need for readers for near work.  Each of these lenses have advantages and disadvantages.  The shape of the patients eye may determine which lens might be best for you.   If your considering cataract surgery,  discuss with your physician in detail about your particular situation and which lens may be most suitable for you based on your eye shape and lifestyle.
 
Cataract surgery is one of the most common procedures performed in the United States.  With newer lens technologies, options continue to improve for patients.  I would encourage all cataract patients to explore the latest options in lens technology in order to have a detailed discussion with their ophthalmologist prior to surgery.

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