Each year, June is declared Cataract Awareness month to shed light on this leading cause of blindness in the U.S. The CDC reports that more than 20 million Americans over 40 have a cataract in at least one eye. The good news: cataracts can be easily treated with a success rate of up to 98%*.
For most of us, developing a cataract in one or both eyes is an inevitable fact of life. A cataract occurs when protein deposits accumulate in the natural lens (normal as we age). This first leads to the need for reading glasses or bifocals. If the cataract can be seen on examination and a patient is struggling with decreased vision sharpness, glare, or halos, they have a visually significant cataract, which may require surgery.
About Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery fundamentally involves removing the natural cataract lens and replacing it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) implant. There are two types of cataract surgeries we perform at Eye Consultants of Texas at our office in Grapevine, TX.
Traditional Cataract Surgery: In traditional surgery, the natural lens is replaced with a monofocal IOL to give the eye back its focusing power.
Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery: This type of surgery uses the same femtosecond laser that has significantly improved LASIK surgery precision. It gives patients the possibility of having clear distance, intermediate, and near vision versus traditional surgery.
With traditional cataract surgery, patients will do well post-operatively. Yet refractive cataract surgery can provide greater independence from glasses or contact lenses.
Technology today affords patients several IOL implants to choose from, each designed to correct specific vision problems, and we offer a wide range of advanced options. This includes the RxSight® Light Adjustable Lens (LAL). It’s unique in that patients can custom select the lens power that best suits their needs after surgery. Another example is the RayOne EMV IOL. This is for patients requiring an increased range of high-quality distance, intermediate, and near vision with less dependency on glasses or contacts.
Important Things To Know
The most important thing is to pay close attention to your vision and get your eyes checked regularly (especially if you’re over the age of 40). Like most of us, as we age decreased vision sharpness, glare, or halos can gradually make it more difficult to see. The key is to not put this off and see your doctor immediately. Left untreated for too long, cataracts can cause blindness. As with any health condition, early detection is always your best defense.
*According to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ASCRS).