Over fifty percent of people over the age of 60, and quite a few younger than that, suffer from cataracts. In fact, cataracts are so common it is said that everyone will develop a cataract if they live long enough.
A cataract is a progressive clouding of the eye’s natural lens that interferes with light passing through to the retina. Sufferers usually describe the condition as being similar to looking through a waterfall, or a piece of wax paper, with gradual blurring or dimming of vision.
Reading may become more difficult and driving a car can actually become dangerous. Cataract sufferers may also be troubled by a bothersome glare, halos around lights, or even double vision. As the cataract becomes worse, frequent changes in eye-glass prescriptions may become necessary.
Currently there is no medical treatment to reverse or prevent the development of cataracts. Once they form, there is only one way to achieve clear vision again, and that is to physically remove the cataract from the eye.
The Choice is Yours
It can take months or years for a cataract to develop. How do you know when it is time to have a cataract removed? The answer is quite simple. The time to have your cataract removed is when you believe your quality of life would be better if you could see better. Only you can decide when it is time to open your eyes to a bright, clear world.
Learn about the newest lens option from Snead Eye Group – the AcrySof IQ PanOptix Trifocal IOL
Listen to Mark and Diane describe their experiences with the new AcrySof® IQ PanOptix® Family of Trifocal IOLs after a visit to Dr. Brad Snead for a strange issue with Mark’s eye turned into a life-changing experience for both members of the couple!
Snead Eye Group Cataract Surgery Videos
LenSx Femtosecond Bladeless Laser Cataract Surgery
Snead Eye Group is committed to offering the latest technology and state-of-the-art equipment for superior surgical outcomes. Snead Eye Group is the only practice in the Southwest Florida area offering LenSx Femtosecond Cataract Laser surgery in BOTH of their surgery centers. Snead Eye Group is proud to offer the revolutionary LenSx®Femtosecond Cataract Laser which provides cataract patients with an optimized refractive cataract surgery experience. Typically, cataract surgeries are performed manually where the surgeon uses a blade to create all of the incisions during the procedure. With the introduction of the first FDA cleared custom cataract laser, the LenSx®Femtosecond Cataract Laser, the cataract surgeons at Snead Eye Group can create incisions and reduce Astigmatism with a laser. The incisions are more accurate and precise, thus eliminating some of the variables that have complicated cataract surgery results in the past. Recent results show that the laser is up to 10x more precise than manual techniques for portions of the cataract surgery. By exhibiting a high level of accuracy and precision, outcome of cataract surgery with LenSx® is more predictable. Studies have shown that with cataract surgery using LenSx® Femtosecond Cataract Laser at Snead Eye Group, patients have a better chance of seeing 20/20 or better versus manual blade incisions.
During your procedure the LenSx® femtosecond cataract laser has many advantages. Prior to cataract surgery, Snead Eye Group performs several tests to take measurements to plan your cataract surgery. While measurements are taken before your procedure, the LenSx® Cataract Laser uses a range of highly advanced technologies including integrated optical coherence tomography (OCT) to capture precise, accurate, high-resolution images of your eyes. With the data collected from these images and measurements, a customized plan can be created for your cataract surgery that had not been possible with traditional technology.
Cataract surgery with LenSx® can be performed at our Naples or Fort Myers Eye Surgery Center, as we are the first and only practice in the area that has invested in this technology for both facilities.
Your cataract will be removed with an advanced technique called phacoemulsification, or small-incision cataract surgery. Using only a topical anesthetic, a “stair-stepped” incision of about 1/8″ is made in the sclera (white part of the eye), or in the clear cornea (just above the area where the cornea meets the sclera). The cataract is then broken into microscopic particles using high energy sound waves and gently suctioned from the eye. Then, to compensate for the removal of the eye’s natural lens, an intra-ocular lens (IOL) is implanted into the eye. After using this special “stair-stepped” incision, the eye remains tightly sealed by the natural outward pressure within your eye.
Successful Cataract Surgery
Everyone heals somewhat differently, but many cataract patients report improvement in their vision almost immediately after the procedure. Because cataract surgery at Snead Eye Group only uses a topical anesthetic and a self-sealing incision, most patients return to their normal work and lifestyle routines within a day or two.
According to a survey conducted by the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, more than 98% of cataract patients had their vision successfully improved after surgery. Many patients experienced vision that is actually better than before they developed cataracts. Once removed, cataracts will not grow back. However, some patients may experience clouding of a thin tissue called the capsule or “bag” that holds the intra-ocular lens (IOL.) In most cases a laser is used to painlessly open the clouded capsule and restore clear vision.
The Doctors of Snead Eye Group
Cataract Surgery Lens Options
When you choose to have cataract surgery with Snead Eye Group, you and your doctor will choose which replacement lens, or IOL, is best for you.Because there are many factors which will determine the best lens option, we will assist you in making an informed decision on the lens most suitable for your lifestyle.
Presbyopia, the Greek word for “aging eye,” is a condition that causes near vision to decrease as we age, making it difficult to see things up-close. Presbyopia is the most prevalent eye condition in America, affecting most people after the age of 40 and nearly everyone by their early 50s. While some lenses are used to see clearly at a distance after cataract surgery, multifocal and accommodating lenses are specially designed to combat the effects of presbyopia for clear distance vision plus a full range of intermediate and near vision, reducing the need for corrective lenses or even reading glasses. Multifocal lenses are for the individual who desires the least amount of dependency on glasses and for busy people on the go, they are often referred to as the best of the best.
If you are interested in being virtually free of reading glasses or bifocals, these advanced lenses are FDA approved and and give patients clear vision at all distances—near, intermediate, and far! While there are many different name brands, such as Acrysof IQ ReSTOR IOL, Tecnis® Multifocal IOL and now the PanOptix® IOL these lenses are implanted during cataract surgery to replace the natural lens, which has become clouded by cataracts. These new lens can provide enhanced visual quality and the full range of vision, giving patients an increased independence from reading glasses and bifocals.
The Tecnis® Multifocal IOL is an implant specifically designed to offer both distance and near vision after cataract surgery. This premium lens brings objects at varying distances into focus using a technology called diffraction. A series of rings on the entire inner surface of the Tecnis lens focuses the light from objects in your vision at varying distances. This allows for a smooth transition of focus between distant, intermediate, and near targets.
If you have trouble seeing at a distance as well as up close, or you require bifocals, this IOL might be a better vision solution for you!
Toric or astigmatic lenses are for individuals who desire better distance vision and the correction of their astigmatism. Astigmatism is when the eye is longer, or shaped like a football rather than a basketball. As light rays are prevented from meeting at a common focal point, images become distorted. Astigmatism is quite common and can be corrected with intraocular lenses and limbal relaxing incisions performed with the LenSx laser during cataract surgery.
Monofocal, or Standard Vision Lens implants
When considering cataract surgery, it is important to understand your lens implant options, so you can choose a lens that best matches your lifestyle.
Monofocal, or standard lens implants focus at one main point that can be set at distance, intermediate or near based on your individual needs. This implant allows for the sharpest possible vision at its set point – usually distance. Since the monofocal lens is typically set to focus at distance, reading glasses or bifocals are often necessary to give patients the best possible near vision. Our standard monofocal lenses are the most advanced in their category, designed for distance and improving image quality.
Some eyes take longer than others to grow accustomed to multifocal lenses. The potential exists for problems with halos and glare (particularly at night). However, such problems have been limited and usually improve over time. Patients experiencing these difficulties still tend to experience better vision than they did prior to cataract surgery.
When considering cataract surgery, it is important to consider surgeons and surgery centers that offers several implant options and can discuss which options best match your lifestyle. Our surgeons perform thousands of cataract surgeries every year and are dedicated to offering the most advanced technology available.
Cataract Surgery Using Self-Sealing Incision and Topical Anesthesia
Topical anesthesia and self-sealing incisions are additional improvements that have taken cataract surgery to the next level. Many patients are able to see with clear vision much sooner after the surgery than years ago. In most cases it is now possible to return to daily activities such as driving and reading almost immediately.
Sometimes after cataract surgery, the back or posterior part of the lens capsule, or lens covering, becomes cloudy or opacified. This cloudiness is usually caused by cells growing onto the back of the capsule, causing blurred vision, glare or light sensitivity. Although not a true cataract, it is often referred to as a “secondary cataract”. This procedure is done as an outpatient procedure that does not require anesthesia. It is perfectly normal and can be removed by a quick and simple laser procedure.