As you age, you may start to notice many differences in your body. Your eyes are no exception. There are many age-related eye conditions out there, but by far the most common is cataracts.
WHAT ARE CATARACTS?
Behind the iris and pupil of your eye, there is a crystal-clear lens that aids in focusing light onto your retina. This lens must remain completely clear to maintain clear vision.
With age, the proteins that make up this lens begin to break down and clump together. As these proteins clump together, they begin to obscure the lens and cause it to become foggy. Cataracts progress very slowly over a period of many years. Eventually, cataracts lead to blurry vision and even blindness when left untreated.
Signs that you are developing cataracts include:
- Blurry vision
- Distorted vision
- Discolored vision, often with a yellow or brown tint
- Dull color vision
- Decreased night vision
- Sensitivity to glare and light
It’s not uncommon for cataract patients to assume that their failing vision is just due to getting older, so they ask for a stronger lens prescription. Many people do not realize they have cataracts until they see their eye doctor. Your eye doctor will be able to diagnose cataracts in their early stages.
Unfortunately, no prescription is strong enough to reduce the effects of cataracts. Because cataracts are located inside of the eye, surgery is the only treatment option. Luckily, cataract surgery is an extremely advanced and routine surgery.
Your doctor will be able to determine when the time is right for cataract surgery. Generally, once you notice that cataracts are affecting your ability to complete daily tasks, your doctor will suggest cataract removal.
LASER-ASSISTED CATARACT SURGERY
Cataract surgery is a fairly straightforward procedure. Before your procedure, your cataract surgeon will numb your eyes. You will be allowed a mild sedative to relax during the procedure. Your cataract surgeon will then create a series of small incisions using the Femto Laser System. This laser is extremely precise, allowing your surgeon to create corneal incisions quickly and with accuracy. The Femto laser even helps to break the cataract up, making removal easier!
Once corneal incisions have been made, your cataract surgeon will remove the cataract-affected lens using small surgical tools. Once removed, the natural lens will be replaced with an artificial lens, called an intraocular lens (IOL).
BENEFITS OF LASER ASSISTED CATARACT SURGERY
- The cornea laser incision will be self-sealing at the end of the procedure, which reduces the risk of infection.
- All incisions performed with a laser have greater accuracy and reproducibility.
- It is especially efficient in reducing dependency on glasses in conjunction with high-tech, premium implants such as astigmatism-correcting lens or multifocal lens for presbyopia correction.
- The laser cataract surgery reduces energy required for cataract breaking and makes the procedure safer to the inner eye.
Laser-assisted cataract surgery offers a great opportunity to correct your astigmatism. To reduce astigmatism, small Limbal Relaxing Incisions (LRI) can be placed in the periphery of your cornea; as the incisions heal, the cornea takes on a rounder, more symmetrical shape. It also increases the accuracy of the astigmatism-reducing procedure and increases the probability of good vision without glasses.
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