About Cataract Treatments at
Hudson Eye Physicians
& Surgeons, LLC
As we get older, cataracts become a problem experienced by a great number of people just like you. Cataracts are a common cause of vision problems among people in their 50s and 60s, and they are actually a major cause of senior eye problems and vision loss. More than 20 million Americans age 40 and older have cataracts and more than half of all Americans develop cataracts by age 80. A cataract is a clouding of the crystalline lens of the eye preventing light rays from passing through it easily. This results in a clouding and blurring of vision. For many patients, cataracts start out slowly and have little effect on vision at first. But, as the cataract becomes denser, so does the impact on vision.
Cataracts are caused mainly by age, trauma, heredity, and exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Cataracts can also occur as a result of eye disease, after the use of certain medications, or as a result of medical conditions such as diabetes.
Common causes of cataracts
- Getting Older – Age is a major cause of developing cataracts.
- Birth defect like abnormal conditions in the eyes of unborn babies
- Environmental factors such as disease, toxic chemicals, medications
- Accidents or Injuries
- Exposure to ultraviolet light
- Cigarette Smoking
Cataracts are the result of the eye’s lens becoming tinted and cloudy. This accounts for over 48% of the world’s correctible blindness. Sooner or later cataracts affect just about everyone.
Studies show that cataracts affect:
42% of those between the ages of 52 to 64
60% of those between the ages of 65 and 74
91% of those between the ages of 75 and 85
Most people do not realize how much cataract surgery has advanced over the last 10 years. Not only have there been developments in the equipment but also with the lens implants themselves. HEPS offers latest technology involving no-stitch, no needle cataract surgery using small incision phacoemulsification. Millions of people undergo cataract surgery every year and have successful surgeries.
When considering cataract surgery you now have new options for lens implants. Some lenses can even correct your vision at near, far and intermediate distances. Years ago the only lens implants were monofocal, now you have options for multifocal/accommodating lenses or the traditional monofocal lens implants. Be sure to discuss these options in your consultation and pre-operative eye exams.
Intraocular Lens Options
Intraocular lenses come in a variety of materials and designs. Your HEPS cataract surgeon generally chooses a lens made of a material that is best suited to your individual situation. Some intraocular lenses used in our practice are coated with UV filters. These lenses are theoretically better at blocking the light rays in the blue spectrum. UV radiation is thought to be related to the development of macular degeneration in some patients. Some intraocular lenses are designed to be multifocal, which may enable patients to see both at distance and near without the aid of glasses. Additionally, we also offer accommodating lens implants, which actually move inside the eye to emulate the natural process of the eye’s crystalline lens.
Please contact any of our ophthalmology practice locations to book your appointment for a cataract consultation.
Symptoms of Cataracts
If a cataract is making it difficult for you to carry out your normal activities most doctors may suggest cataract surgery. Even if your visual acuity isn’t severely affected, you might want cataract surgery to remove a cataract that’s causing problems with glare or double vision.
Symptoms of cataracts include:
- Painless, cloudy, blurry, or dim vision and a feeling that you might need a change of eyeglasses.
- You may notice that it is not as easy to see well and comfortably in dim illumination, such as for night driving or reading.
- You may notice that colors look faded or yellowed, and you may be bothered by glare, haloes, light sensitivity, and a continuing decrease in your vision.
- You may need frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription.
- You may experience double vision in one eye.
These are the visual symptoms that are common for those patients whose crystalline lens has clouded and formed a cataract.
If you are experiencing one of more of these symptoms, please be sure to let your eye doctor know at your eye exam. Book an eye exam today with one of our experienced ophthalmologists.
What is Cataract Surgery?
During cataract surgery, we remove the cataract and replace it with a clear permanent lens implant in order to correct your vision.
Among seniors and “baby boomers,” cataract surgery is one of the safest, most effective, predictable, and common operations performed in the U.S., with more than 2.5 million people having cataract surgery and lens implants each year.
At Hudson Eye Physicians & Surgeons, LLC, our cataract surgeons typically perform the cataract operation procedure on an outpatient basis at one of our affiliated, comfortable, AAAHC (Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care), Medicare and New Jersey licensed ambulatory surgery centers.
Cataract surgery is one of the most common procedures performed in the world. It has a very high success rate, but we know that surgery can be scary and overwhelming for anyone. This is why at Hudson Eye we constantly strive to achieve outstanding vision results for each patient by understanding their individual needs and making sure you are always comfortable. Hudson Eye offers the most advanced technologies available to help our team choose the most appropriate lens implant and treatment plan for you.
Our physicians have great experience in the treatment of complex cataract surgery problems and teach this surgery to resident physicians each week at local teaching hospitals.
Please feel free to call or email our cataract surgeons at anytime for questions or concerns.
At Hudson Eye we look forward to helping you see and live your best.
The Cataract Surgery Procedure
During cataract surgery
Preparation for your cataract operation will begin with a few sets of drops being placed in your eye to dilate your pupil. Additionally, your eye will be treated with anesthetic drops to numb the surface of your eye so that you will feel little if any discomfort during your cataract surgery. In addition, you will be given medicines to help you relax, if desired. The entire procedure usually takes less than 30 minutes and is not uncomfortable.
Modern day cataract surgery is routinely performed with small incision micro-surgery through a process known as phacoemulsification. The cataract removal and surgical process is actually done using the smallest possible incision, and removal of the lens material is accomplished using an ultrasonic probe.
Before a new man-made intraocular lens can be implanted, the hardened cataract needs to be removed. After the eye is cleaned and proper dilation of the pupil has been achieved the surgeon is ready to make the incision. A micro-incision about the size of 2 millimeters is created at the junction of the cornea and the white part of the eye known as the sclera. The lens capsule is then opened and the ultrasonic probe is inserted so that the cataract can be removed. The ultrasonic probe pulverizes the cataract and suctions out the cataract material.
After the cataract is removed the surgeon is ready to implant a man-made intraocular lens. This is a crucial point of understanding for patients. Patients can either have a monofocal lens which will only correct vision for one distance or they can opt to upgrade to a premium lens implant that can reduce or eliminate their need for glasses after cataract surgery. There is an additional cost to upgrade to premium IOLs, while traditional monofocal lenses are covered by Medicare and private insurance providers.
Recovering from cataract surgery
Patients are typically concerned about the cataract surgery recovery process. The doctors and staff at Hudson Eye provide the best quality care and thoroughly explain what you can expect after cataract surgery.
Recovery from cataract surgery is generally very quick. Most patients obtain better vision within the first 24 hours of the procedure. Itching and mild discomfort are normal after cataract surgery. Some fluid discharge is also common. Your eye may be sensitive to light and touch. If you have discomfort, your doctor can suggest treatment. After one or two days, any moderate discomfort should disappear.
We will arrange to see you within 24 hours of your cataract and lens implant procedure, so we can examine you in order to confirm that you are healing and seeing as planned. The doctors will also prescribe some eye drops for you to use and will ask you to wear a protective shield, mainly at night, to remind you not to accidentally rub your eye. Although each patient will heal a little bit differently, the majority of patients having cataract surgery with the cataract surgeons at Hudson Eye Physicians & Surgeons, LLC, are able to see well enough to return to their daily routine activities within a day or so after their operation.
Learn more about our ophthalmology surgery center Pavonia Surgery Center
Types of Lens Implants
The standard IOL used in cataract surgery is called a monofocal IOL and it provides excellent vision for either distance or near, but not both. Most patients choose to correct their distance vision and then wear reading glasses for near work.
The newer, “premium IOLs” can decrease your dependence on glasses and in some cases, eliminate it. Our surgeons will first need to establish if you are a candidate for these IOLs.
In addition, there is no guarantee that you will be completely free of glasses for all activities after surgery with a premium IOL. However, for those patients who value the opportunity to be less dependent of their glasses, premium IOLs are often a good choice. It is important to know that there is an extra charge for these premium implants, which is not covered by Medicare or private insurances.
Type 1: The Basic Monofocal Lens Implant
The Basic Monofocal Lens Implant A basic intraocular lens is a fixed lens (it doesn’t move) that is designed to deliver improved vision at just one distance. The potential drawback is that after surgery you will probably need to wear glasses, even if you didn’t wear glasses before surgery. The advantage of the Basic Monofocal Lens is that it is covered by insurance plans.
- Excellent if you want to wear eyeglasses after surgery
- Requires no period of adjustment
- Covered by insurance
- Does not correct astigmatism
- Does not correct presbyopia
- At least 90% of patients have to wear eyeglasses, at least part of the time
Type 2: The Premium Lens Implants
There are two categories of premium lens surgery:
- Astigmatism-Correcting Surgery
- Presbyopia-Correcting Surgery
Category 1. A Toric IOL is proven to have a clinically significant reduction in astigmatism as compared to a non-Toric IOL during cataract surgery in patients with astigmatism.
Category 2. Presbyopia-Correcting IOLs (Accommodating and Multifocal) have been shown to reduce dependency on eyeglasses significantly, with slightly more than 90% of patients using eyeglasses either never or only occasionally. About 95% of patients indicate that if they had to do it over again, they would once again select a presbyopia-correcting IOL.
Astigmatism-Correcting Surgery (Toric Lens Implant)
Astigmatism is a common condition that can make your vision distorted. The distortion is because the eye’s cornea or lens has an irregular shape. Patients with moderate or high degrees of astigmatism almost always experience blur unless the astigmatism is corrected. A Toric IOL is proven to have a clinically significant reduction in astigmatism as compared to a non-Toric IOL during cataract surgery in patients with astigmatism.
Presbyopia Type 1 – The Accommodating Lens Implant
An Accommodating Lens Implant not only treats your cataract but can also reduce your dependence on glasses. It does so by recreating accommodation similar to your eye’s natural lens. It can reduce or eliminate glasses for most activities, including reading a book, working on the computer, and driving a car. An Accommodating Lens “flexes” within the eye using the eye’s natural muscles to focus on subjects at various distances, delivering a continuous range of vision: far, intermediate, and near.
- Provides seamless focusing from far to near
- More than 90% of patients reduce their dependency on glasses
- Near vision depends on your eye’s ability to flex the lens
- Scar tissue can prevent the lens from flexing
- If you read for a long time your eye muscle may tire
Presbyopia Type 2 – The Multifocal Lens Implant
Multifocal Lens Implants are essentially tiny implantable bifocals. They are manufactured with very fine rings that divide the lens into multiple focus points so you can see well at a variety of distances. These are passive lenses, and do not require any muscular activity in your eye for focusing. From the moment you leave the operating room you have the ability to see both far and near.
- Does not depend on muscle activity for its effect
- Will begin to work immediately
- Compared to Accommodating lenses, they usually are more effective for very close work
- More than 90% of patients reduce their dependency on glasses
- Glare and halos may make night driving difficult
- It transmits far and near images simultaneously
- You may have difficulty seeing an object against a dark background