A cataract is a cloudy area in the natural lens of your eye. It develops
slowly over years. You probably didn’t have symptoms at first. But
now, you may have noticed one or more of these changes:
· Your vision is cloudy or blurry.
· Colors look faded.
· You can’t see well at night.
· You see halos around lights.
· You have to change prescription glasses often.
Do I have to remove my cataract?
Not removing a cataract may lead to blindness. Cataracts are common. Most
people in the U.S. age 80 and older either have cataracts or have had
How is a cataract removed?
Surgery is the only treatment for removing a cataract. Cataract removal
surgery is safe, and it corrects vision problems caused by the cataract.
Some people have a cataract in only one eye, and others have them in both.
If you have two cataracts, surgery is performed on different days, usually
several days to two weeks apart.
How long does the procedure last?
Cataract surgery is a short outpatient procedure. Most of your time in
the hospital will be spent in the recovery area. You will return to the
Eye Specialists clinic for a followup appointment the next day.
Choosing a lens
During cataract surgery, your eye’s cloudy lens will be removed and
replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens. Like prescription
glasses or contact lenses, these lenses come in different strengths. You
have a choice of lenses.
We offer a basic lens, toric lens and multifocal lens. For each lens, there
is a page in your folder with information and a photo simulation of how
you would see with that lens without the aid of glasses.
· If you choose a basic lens, you likely will need glasses even
if you didn’t need them before surgery.
· If you choose a toric lens (and your ophthalmologist determines
you are a candidate), you will need reading glasses for near vision even
if you didn’t need them before surgery.
· If you choose a multifocal lens (and your ophthalmologist determines
you are a candidate), you most likely won’t need glasses after surgery,
but you may want reading glasses for very small print.
Do you like wearing glasses?
If you are used to wearing glasses, you may not mind continuing to wear
them. But if you don’t like wearing glasses or don’t want
to begin wearing them, choosing multifocal lenses may be your once-in-a-lifetime
chance to to enhance your vision! Most people who choose multifocal lenses
don’t have to wear glasses.
Do you have astigmatism?
People with moderate to high astigmatism usually are happier with toric
lenses because it helps remove distortion caused by the corneas’
Is night driving important to you?
Glare and halos around lights may occur with multifocal lenses (5% to 10%
of cases). Most people adapt to these effects, but if this wold be bothersome
may be happier with basic lenses.
Do you have glaucoma, macular degeneration or other eye diseases that cause
Multifocal lenses generally are not recommended for people with these conditions.
If avoiding glasses is important and you have eye damage, monovision (described
below) may be a better option.
Is there an option for not wearing glasses with basic lenses?
If you have cataracts in both eyes, a technique called monovision may be
an option. A basic lens set for distance vision is inserted into one eye
and a lens set for near vision is placed in the other eye. The brain adapts
and provides adequate vision at all distances. However, distance and near
vision are not as good as they would be if two basic lenses were used
for one focus.
If you are interested in monovision and have never used the monovision
technique with contact lenses, you may be required to wear contacts for
a period of time before surgery to see if you can adapt to it.
Paying for specialty lenses
Insurance covers the cost of basic lenses. If you choose toric or multifocal
lenses, payment is due before surgery. If you cannot pay the entire amount
at once, you may apply for CareCredit or our Medical Expense Loan Program.
For more information, please call Patient Financial Services at 319-768-3625, option 2.