Cataracts and Co-Management of Cataract Surgery in Eatontown NJ and surrounding area
What are Cataracts?
Cataracts are a progressive, painless, and common cause of vision loss. They are caused by the lens of the eye becoming more opaque, usually over time. This clouding of the lens can progress to the point of obscuring vision by blocking light from the retina.
Cataracts do not cause discomfort and will not permanently damage vision. Think of them as a windshield that has ice on it obscuring seeing through it.
More than half of Americans over 65 have cataracts. Many cases eventually necessitate laser surgery to regain vision limited by the clouded lens.
Symptoms of Cataracts
Because they typically develop slowly, early symptoms of cataracts often go unnoticed, but can be detected by an optometrist during a comprehensive eye exam.
Later signs can include:
- cloudy or blurry vision
- sensitivity to light
- severe glare from others’ headlights when driving at night
- double vision
- colors appear faded
- significant change in glasses prescription.
Prevention of Cataracts
Though aging is the chief reason for developing cataracts, people can reduce the risk of developing them by diligently wearing ultra-violet and blue-light protection, abstaining from smoking, and limited alcohol and sugar consumption. Injury and prolonged use of corticosteroids medications can also increase the risk of cataracts.
Cataract surgery replaces the natural lens in the eye with a permanent artificial lens. This can greatly improve vision that was impaired by the clouded natural lens.
It is typically an outpatient procedure that can be done in under an hour.
Artificial lenses can correct myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. There are even multifocal artificial lenses that function like bifocal eyeglasses. Your optometrist and cataract surgeon can advise on the ideal lens implant to achieve clearer vision.
There are two types of cataract surgery:
Small Incision Cataract Surgery
Known as “phaco(emulsification)” or “ultrasonics”, this is the most common type of cataract surger. A tiny incision in the side of the cornea is made for a micro probe to be inserted and emit ultrasound waves that break ups the lens for removal.
Extracapsular Cataract Surgery
In this less common procedure, usually an approach to advanced cataracts, a larger incision in the cornea allows the central portion of the lens to be removed in one piece rather than breaking it up first.
Risks of Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery is extremely common, safe and effective. The surgical procedure rarely causes any complications but if an issue arises it can likely be treated, though vision loss can occur. The risk of complications is higher if patient has other eye diseases or medical issues.
Complications may include:
- inflammation or infection
- bleeding inside the eye
- cornea swelling
- Retinal detachment
- increased eye pressure
- dislocation of artificial lens
- accumulated fluid in the retina
Cataract surgery can potentially contribute to the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Patients with AMD and cataracts should discuss at length with their optometrist and eye surgeon the risk of central vision loss compared to the benefits of improved vision that cataract surgery can offer.
Co-Management of Cataract Surgery
Cataracts can be treated with laser eye surgery. Dr. Beegle’s optometry team works closely with qualified local New Jersey eye surgeons to provide full service co-management of cataract surgery. We ensure you are informed and comfortable every step, from detection of cataracts to post surgery healing.
It does not cause damage to the eyes to wait to have cataract surgery. Our doctors monitor progression of cataracts closely and can advise on the potential benefits and risks of cataract surgery.
If and when to have cataract surgery performed is a decision you and your eye doctor can make together, taking into consideration to what degree impaired vision is affecting your job, safety, quality of life and independence.
Our knowledgeable optometrists can refer patients to local surgeons, and post surgery oversee the healing process, and if necessary prescribe medication and/or post-surgery corrective eye wear in some cases.
To learn more about cataracts, symptoms, and cataract surgery options in the Eatontown NJ area, call William F. Beegle Optometry at 732-460-1001