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A cataract is an opacification of the human crystalline lens. Normally, light passes through a clear lens and is focused onto the retina. However, as a result of the ageing process or for other reasons, the human lens can become cloudy and lose its youthful suppleness. This cloudiness can change the vision by scattering or blocking light, in effect decreasing visual acuity and one’s ability to perform tasks of daily living. The loss of ability to focus with age is called presbyopia, a condition that usually manifests in one’s mid-forties.

At Ocean Ophthalmology, our physicians, both perform no-stitch, micro-incisional cataract surgery. This technique utilizes ultrasound technology to fragment and remove your cataract. After the cataract is removed, an appropriate intraocular lens (IOL) is selected and injected through the small, 2-3mm corneal incision. This surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, usually in less than 15 minutes, and patients return home the same day a couple of hours after the procedure.

There is typically little post-operative discomfort associated with the procedure. Visual recovery is rapid and complications are rare. After surgery, most patients are less dependent on glasses for many tasks, although many still require refractive correction for near work. There are specialized, premium lenses available that may also help not only with cataract, but also with the process of presbyopia (near and intermediate defocus).

Understanding Intraocular Lenses (IOLs)

Vital to clear vision is the ability of light to pass through a clear intraocular lens (IOL). The IOLs selected by our physicians share some common properties including the ability to correct near and far-sightedness, and block harmful light from damaging the retina. Moreover, most IOLs they utilize are considered aspheric lenses, which counteract peripheral refractive errors from the cornea and may assist in improving contrast sensitivity and night vision. While there are many similarities in IOLs, you, in conjunction with our physicians may decide on other, more specialized lenses to better help with your visual needs. Here are some premium IOL examples:

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What to expect the day you have cataract surgery

The day of the surgery it is best to relax, and listen to your doctor’s instructions. The procedure is quick and will most likely be over before you know it. Following the procedure, you should not drive; it is best to bring a friend with you or arrange for a ride (we can do that for you). During the first week after surgery, you should experience significantly improved vision. It will be important to place drops in the operated eye and keep a protective shield on it at night.

Are you a candidate?

The criteria for the ideal cataract surgery patient is variable, as cataracts present at all ages and for a variety of reasons. Typically, however, when you are experiencing difficulty with daily visual tasks, or experiencing glare at night, surgery may be an option. People with certain medical conditions or pregnant and nursing women are not good candidates. Candidates should also have a good understanding of the risks and rewards from cataract surgery. The best way to find out if you are a good candidate is to arrange for a complete eye examination at Ocean Ophthalmology Group. You will know in minutes whether this procedure is right for you. During the evaluation we will answer any questions you may have and discuss your expectations. We look forward to meeting you!

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