Cataract

Stamford Eye Associates

Cataracts affect millions of people each year, including more than half of all Americans age 60 and older. A cataract is the clouding of the eye's natural lens and limits your ability to focus clearly on images. The lens in your eye works like the lens in a camera. Just as a foggy camera lens makes everything cloudy, a cataract makes it hard for you to see clearly.

Stamford Eye Associates

Cataracts can develop from normal aging, from an eye injury, from previous eye surgery or if you have taken certain medications. Cataracts may cause blurred vision, dulled vision, sensitivity to light and glare, and/or ghost images. If the cataract changes vision so much that it interferes with your daily life, the cataract may need to be removed. Surgery is the only way to remove a cataract. The alternative to surgery is to not have the cataract removed.  If left untreated, cataracts will worsen over time and may lead to progressive but reversible visual loss.

You are more likely to develop cataracts if you have any of these risk factors

  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Illness
  • Medications
  • Obesity
  • Prolonged sunlight exposure
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Family history of cataracts
  • Radiation exposure
  • History of previous eye injury

Common Cataract Symptoms

  • Clouded, blurred or dim vision
  • Double vision
  • Poor night time vision
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Need brighter light for reading and other activities
  • Seeing "halos" around lights
  • Yellowish tinged vision
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescriptions

What are the different types of cataracts?

Tests

During a comprehensive eye exam, our ophthalmologists quickly and accurately determine your diagnosis. If needed, this is confirmed using one or more of the following tests or procedures:

Cataract Surgery

Traditional Cataract Surgery

Surgical removal of a clouded lens is considered the best, most successful treatment for this condition. Working through a tiny incision in the front of the eye, the surgeon inserts an ultrasonic probe. The probe emulsifies, or breaks up, the cloudy lens into tiny pieces which are suctioned out of the eye. This lens is then replaced with an intraocular lens (IOL), a clear, artificial lens surgically implanted inside the eye to replace the natural lens. An IOL acts like the eye’s natural lens by focusing light that enters the eye through the cornea and pupil onto the retina. Similar to prescription glasses or contact lenses, the IOL is chosen to match the patient’s visual needs. If you have astigmatism, your surgeon may correct it with a Toric IOL or another procedure such as a limbal relaxing incision (LRI) to reshape your cornea. Your doctor will guide you in choosing the intraocular lens that is right for you, depending on your condition and preferences.

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LASER Assisted Cataract Removal

Laser-assisted cataract surgery offers the highest level of precision available today for this procedure. Traditional cataract surgery involves the use of a surgical blade to perform corneal incisions and anterior capsulotomies of the eye, ultimately making it possible to remove the cataract. The femtosecond laser is designed to improve precision and reproducibility during certain challenging and critical steps of cataract surgery that are currently performed manually. Because this technology allows for laser precision during these steps, the laser may contribute to improved surgical outcomes.

The femtosecond laser utilizes a beam of laser light to create the necessary incisions for cataract surgery. An advanced computer-guidance system, controlled by one of our experienced cataract surgeons, directs the laser over the eye to provide the most precise and accurate results for each individual patient. This makes it possible for the successful combination of the surgeon’s skills with state-of-the-art technology to produce extraordinary results. The femtosecond laser may also be used to better manage astigmatism than other types of cataract surgery.

After the femtosecond laser procedure is complete and the cataract has been removed, our surgeon can place a lens implant inside the eye to improve your vision. This lens implant is specifically selected by our surgeons and patient to meet their visual needs. Reducing their dependency on eyeglasses.

Lens options include

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Premium Lens Implants

A wide range of replacement lenses are available to cataract patients, each offering different advantages for post-surgery vision. The most effective lens to use depends on the patient's individual preferences and goals for their vision. The lenses eliminate the need for glasses or contacts after cataract surgery, providing most patients with convenient, effective results for their specific vision conditions.

Mutifocal And Extended Depth Of Focus Lenses

These lenses provide good vision in each eye for both near and distance. They also come in toric forms that can correct astigmatism. These lenses provide distance and intermediate and/or reading vision.

Stamford Eye Associates
Stamford Eye Associates

Multifocal Intraocular Lenses (Iols)

RESTOR® IOL

The AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® IOL is an intraocular lens that provides good near, intermediate and distance vision for patients who want to significantly decrease their dependence on glasses or contacts after undergoing cataract surgery.

The biconvex optic of the ReSTOR IOL is shaped during a process known as apodized diffraction. Apodized diffraction provides the patient with an increased depth of focus.

  • Unlike other IOLs that are made of silicone or hard plastic, the AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® IOL is a soft, foldable acrylic lens.
  • There is no need for stitches because a smaller incision is made in the eye.
  • The ReSTOR & ReSTOR TORIC IOL can correct for cataracts, astigmatism and presbyopia.
  • The implant filters blue light without affecting the quality of vision.

Extended Depth Of Focus Lenses

TECNIS SYMFONY IOL

These lenses expand the “focusing zone” putting objects in focus at varying distances from the eye.

The TECNIS Symfony® IOL mitigates the effects of presbyopia so you can see clearly across the full range of vision

The TECNIS Symfony® Toric Extended Depth of Focus IOL addresses both presbyopia and astigmatism while delivering a full range of continuous vision.

Stamford Eye Associates
Stamford Eye Associates

Toric Iols For Astigmatism

TORIC SINGLE VISION FIXED-FOCUS IOLs

These fixed focus single-vision lenses help people with astigmatism see better for distance or for near vision than they would with a non-Toric single vision IOL. Although Toric lenses improve visual sharpness at a distance or near without glasses, they do not provide both near and distance vision simultaneously.

Up until now, patients with astigmatism did not have the same opportunities that other cataract patients have had in correcting their condition with the types of IOL lenses that were available Typically, the astigmatic patient would need an additional surgical procedure, such as refractive surgery or LASIK, to correct their vision after the procedure. If the patient did not want to undergo another surgical procedure, the only option for correction would be the use of either contact lenses or glasses to address their astigmatism.

Toric IOLs are able to accommodate for the condition of astigmatism. Toric IOLs are specially designed to correct astigmatism along with overall vision during cataract surgery, offering complete vision correction.