Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss in the world; however, advances in technology have made cataract surgery one of the safest and most successful surgical procedures performed today. Cataract surgery restores vision to patients, allowing them to return to their hobbies and daily activities. Cataracts are usually age-related and can affect your vision. Other causes of cataracts include trauma, medications such as steroids, prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, and systemic diseases such as diabetes and lung disease.
What Are Cataracts?
A cataract occurs when the eye’s natural lens becomes cloudy and the light reaching the retina is reduced. Before cataracts develop, the lens is clear.
Development of a cataract can take several months to years. Some patients may not even be aware that they suffer from cataracts. Others may not be able to see well enough to perform daily activities such as reading, driving, or golfing.
Symptoms of Cataracts
The most common symptom of cataracts is vision loss.
Other symptoms include:
- Sensitivity to light
- Clouding or blurring of vision
- Poor night vision
- Frequent changes in glasses or contact lens prescription
- Double vision
- Fading or yellowing of colors
How Are Cataracts Treated?
The only treatment available for cataracts is surgery. When your cataract begins to interfere with your normal daily activities, surgery may be necessary. Dr. Tokuhara will go over the options that accommodate your individual needs, and he will help you determine when surgery is best for you.
With over four million cataract surgeries performed in the United States alone, cataract surgery has become the safest and most common surgical procedure in the world. The surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure and is generally completed in about 10-15 minutes.
Advancements in new technology, such as intraoperative aberrometry (ORA), allow Dr. Tokuhara to perform a cataract surgery customized just for you. Cataract surgery can be performed with and without laser technology. The LenSx laser helps soften cataracts prior to removal and corrects astigmatism with precise laser incisions.
During cataract surgery, the clouded natural lens of the eye will be removed. In its place, an IOL (intraocular lens), or lens implant, will be inserted.
There are several different lens implants available including premium intraocular lenses (IOLs). Dr. Tokuhara will go over all of your options with you.
Recovering From Cataract Surgery
Patients are typically concerned about what to expect while recovering from cataract surgery. Dr. Tokuhara provides the highest quality care and thoroughly explains what you can expect during the surgery and recovery process. Recovery from cataract surgery is generally very quick. Most patients go home with a clear shield (no patch needed), and are able to use their improved vision right away.
Refractive Lens Exchange
Refractive lens exchange, or lens replacement surgery, is often used for pre-cataract patients as a preventative vision correction solution. A refractive lens exchange replaced your eye’s natural, clear lens with a lens implant to correct your refractive error and reduce your need for glasses.