Among the most common causes of vision loss in men and women over the age of forty are cataracts, a condition that affect more than twenty million men and women in the United States alone. While the specific reasons that cataracts form are unclear, they are usually the result when age, injury, disease, or exposure to certain environmental factors (like ultraviolet radiation) cause an opaque clouding of the lens of the eye, making it increasingly difficult to see. Once cataracts begin to form there is no way to stop them, but in most cases they progress slowly and do not seriously impair vision right away. To treat them, many patients begin by using relatively mundane measures, like new prescription eyeglasses, brighter lighting, anti-glare sunglasses, or magnifying lenses in order to counteract the earliest symptoms, which can include blurred vision, increased sensitivity to glare, and a very slight brownish or yellowish tinge to vision that makes it harder to distinguish blues and purples. However, once the cataracts grow larger and more opaque and everyday activities like reading and driving become more difficult, the lens of the eye will have to be completely removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens through cataract surgery.
At Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons, Dr. William Segal performs cataract surgery with the LenSx® laser, the newest and most advanced technology available. This sophisticated technology uses pulses of laser light to create consistent incisions and openings in the lens capsule that are up to 10 times more precise than those made during a manual cataract procedure. Moreover, sources of potential error at each stage of the surgery can be effectively minimized or even eliminated with the assistance of the Verion™ image guided system. This high-resolution computerized display instantly performs key diagnostic measurements while following the patient’s eye movements in real time, providing pinpoint targeting of the highly specific contours of each individual eye. After the incision has been made and the damaged lens removed, a new artificial intraocular lens is implanted into the lens capsule. A variety of intraocular lenses (or IOL’s) are available, ranging from the relatively simple and inexpensive monofocal IOL’s to the premium ReSTOR® multifocal lenses that can easily switch focus between close and far distances. The type of intraocular lens used is determined by the patient’s individual preferences and an evaluation of their specific vision needs.
Once the lens has been replaced the opening in the lens capsule is closed and allowed to heal. Cataract removal is actually one of the most common surgical procedures performed in the United States and enjoys an extremely high success rate. Although it may seem extensive, the surgery itself only takes about 45 minutes. Patients typically spend a maximum of three to four hours in the office and can go home that same day. If you would like to learn more about cataract surgery, or if you have any other questions or concerns about your vision, please contact Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons to schedule an eye exam with Dr. William Segal or Dr. Marc Lay today. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more information on how to keep your vision healthy.