Most standard artificial lens implants only correct for one focal point and do not restore your ability to see both near and far. When we are younger, our natural lens allows us to accommodate and focus on close object and far objects. This means that after cataract surgery, you will need a prescription to see object up close. Many times, patients can simply buy over-the-counter readers from the drug store when they need to see up close. For patients who desire to see up close and far away without the need for glasses, Dr. Switch offers the option of implanting a premium lens implant which can correct near and far vision.
Cataract surgery is one of the most successful procedures in America. With success rates well over 98%, cataract surgery is one of the safest procedures performed today. Dr. Switch, with years of expertise in cataract surgery, utilizes the safest methods and most advanced technology to further reduce the already minimal risks associated with cataract surgery.
The exact causes remain unclear. Cataracts have been diagnosed and treated for thousands of years, though the methods to treat it have advanced considerably, nothing has been developed prevent cataracts. Though rare, some forms of cataracts are a result of blunt trauma to the eye or exposure to radiation. Medications such as steroids can cause cataracts after prolonged exposure. For most people, it is believed that exposure to ultraviolet light will speed the development. As with nearly every medical condition, smokers have higher incidence of cataracts. Even the person who manages to avoid every risk factor will likely develop cataracts at some point as a result of age. Symptoms of Cataracts Although people describe many different visual changes, several common themes have come to be recognized as the most frequent changes due to cataracts. Often time, a loss of clarity of colors will be the first symptoms. Later, patients often notice that sunlight or the lights from oncoming traffic at night produce a sever glare. Additionally, a frequent change in eyeglass prescription may signal the start of worsening cataracts.
The time to undergo cataract removal is based on several factors. When a cataract starts to limit the activities and normal activities of a patient, it is time to start talking about correcting the cataract. For some individuals, such as airline pilots, even the slightest decrease in vision may indicate time for surgical intervention. Others can safely wait for further progression before undergoing surgery. Typically, vision less than 20/40 will cause significant challenges to most activities of daily living. Safety must always be considered. Many states have strict legal driving guidelines, and when a person’s vision falls below these limits due to cataracts, it is time for cataract surgery. During your yearly eye exam, your ophthalmologist should be able to help you decide if cataract surgery is right for your current condition.
Modern Cataract Surgery has done away with the necessity of a long post-operative healing phase. In the past, large incisions required suturing, overnight hospitalizations and resulted in the need for very powerful corrective eyeglasses. Today, Dr. Switch’s patients are sent home from the surgery center usually within an hour of the surgery. They receive several eye drops and a shield to wear at night then will see Dr. Switch in the morning.
Most patients see an immediate improvement in vision while in the recovery room. After two to three weeks, the eye has healed and is ready for new glasses.
- Color Vision will be improved after surgery. Often, colors are much more vibrant after surgery.
- Clarity is typically improved. Many people notice that they no longer struggle to read road signs or the fine print on the television.
- Restoration of lost function. Many people wait to have cataract surgery until has affected their ability to drive, do their hobbies, or simply do the many activities of daily living. After surgery, these patients find many of these limitations have been removed and they can return to life the way they remember before their vision was impaired.
Although rare, there are several risks, which may be associated to cataract surgery.
- Infection. Fortunately, due to modern sterilization techniques and the use of powerful antibiotic eye drops before and after the procedure, the risk of infection from modern cataract surgery is extremely low.
- Bleeding. Dr. Switch uses an advanced technique, assisted by a femtosecond laser, to create an incision that is less than 3milimeters at the edge of the cornea where there are not blood vessels. This all but eliminates the risk of bleeding from cataract surgery.
- Swelling. Swelling (edema) of the clear corneal tissue is a common side effect of cataract surgery. This swelling is temporary and often develops within several hours of the surgery. It generally will improve on its own, but drops may be prescribed which speed the resolution of this mild swelling.
- Elevated Pressure. Rarely, the pressures inside the eye will be elevated after surgery. This is a form of post-operative glaucoma and patients complain of a headache around the eye. If this occurs, a pressure lowering eye drop may be temporarily prescribed until the pressure has returned to normal.
- Macular Edema. Very rarely, patients may develop swelling in the back of their eye, which can cause blurry vision. If this complication arises, Dr. Switch will have you continue taking anti-inflammation eye drops until the swelling has resolved.