As our bodies age, once easy tasks may become difficult to accomplish. We often take our eyesight for granted, and many people don’t expect vision problems to “happen to them.” The truth is that you are more likely than not to deal with some form of vision problem as you age, no matter what. For a lot of people, this vision problem ends up being cataracts. Luckily, with modern medicine, you don’t have to live a life with blurry vision!
What are Cataracts?
When people enter their fifties or sixties, they may start to notice that their vision is no longer as clear as it used to be. This change in vision could be a sign of cataract development. Cataracts affect a large amount of the older population, but they are completely treatable with surgery.
As we age, the naturally clear lens behind the eye begins to opacify or “fog up.” This is the result of protein build up on the natural lens. Cataracts form slowly, often over the course of several years. Many people do not notice any changes in vision for quite a while. As cataracts form, they allow less light into the eyes. This results in blurry, discolored vision. Cataracts, when left to progress, eventually lead to blindness.
What are the Treatments?
Cataracts are only treatable through cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is one of the most common surgeries performed in America, and is considered both safe and highly effective. During cataract surgery, your surgeon will remove the natural lens of the eye and replace it with a new, artificial lens to improve vision.
Before receiving cataract surgery, it’s important to have a comprehensive eye exam. This tells your doctor how far progressed your cataracts are, and if you have any other vision problems. After you’ve received a comprehensive eye exam, you will be able to discuss getting cataract surgery with Dr Fay. He will work with you to determine the best IOL (intraocular lens) for you! These options could be standard monofocal implants, astigmatism correcting implants, or bifocal implants.
Before your cataract surgery procedure, your eyes will be numbed. You will receive a small amount of IV sedation. Numbing your eyes ensures that you are fully comfortable during the surgery. Dr Fay will make several tiny incisions in your eye to reach the old, cloudy lens. Dr Fay will then break up the lens with a small ultrasound device and remove the cataract. After the cataract has been removed, an IOL will be inserted where the old lens was located. Because the incisions are so small and the cornea is self-healing, your doctor will usually not have to suture them after surgery. After your cataract surgery is complete, your eyes will need time to recover.
After surgery, it is important to not rub or press on your eye, as it can impede recovery. You may then be required to place antibiotic and steroid eyedrops in the eye for the next number of weeks. Most patients are back to work and other activities the next day.
Cataract Surgery Technology
For the most precise surgery experience possible, Dr Fay uses ORA (Optiwave Refractive Analysis) when performing cataract surgery. ORA gives your cataract surgeon an incredibly accurate and real time view of the eye during surgery. Having this available gives patients the best possible outcome from cataract surgery, and highly improved vision. ORA also helps your surgeon understand how effective the surgery is, before it’s even complete. Faster accuracy also leads to better recovery, and less complication.
If you are experiencing blurry or cloudy vision, please contact Attleboro Ophthalmological Associates to find out if cataract surgery is in your future. Dr. Peter Fay is an experience cataract surgeon who has been performing this procedure for over seventeen years. Call, 508-226-1809 to reserve an appointment for a cataract evaluation today!