When it comes to the timing of cataract surgery, advancing technology has changed the calculus. Before the newest laser techniques, patients were advised to wait until a cataract was said to be “ripe” — mature enough to be easily removed from the surface of the eye. Now cataracts can be removed at any stage of development. Increasingly, it is your decision to make.
Below, the experienced vision care professionals of Mack Eye Center review some of the factors you’ll want to consider when making this important choice.
Clouds From Both Sides Now
Although it is now possible to remove cataracts at very early stages, a conservative approach is prudent. If a patient has normal vision, and doesn’t experience some of the activity-limiting symptoms such as cloudy vision, trouble reading or glare during nighttime driving, there is no need to remove the cataract quickly.
It is also true that patients should not ignore cataracts. As a cataract develops beyond the “ripe” stage, it becomes harder, making it more difficult to remove in a surgical procedure. Left untreated long enough, cataracts can inflame the eye or cause elevated eye pressure. High intraocular pressure often leads to glaucoma, the serious condition that damages the optic nerve and may result in total loss of vision.
Time to Decide
Fortunately, the timing of cataract surgery is not a life-or-death decision. Removal of cataracts and replacement with an intraocular lens implant is the world’s most commonly performed surgical procedure. There are no real negatives to replacing your clouded cataract with the intraocular lens implant. The implant is designed to become a permanent part of your eye. It will not be rejected by your body or wear out. And because it is made of a special material, it will remain clear for a lifetime.
As a leader in vision care and eye surgery, Mack Eye Center offers the most advanced cataract surgical procedures to patients in Hoffman Estates and throughout Illinois. Originally performed with the use of a miniature blade, cataract removal can now be done using a femtosecond laser to make incisions. The Mack Eye Center uses the LenSx laser, an ultra-precise instrument that makes possible greater precision for the surgeon and faster recovery for the patient.
Once you’ve made the decision to schedule your cataract surgery, the choices have just begun. Gone are the days when surgeons implanted the same type of lens for every patient. New varieties not only replace clouded cataracts, but also feature the ability to focus the field of vision from near to far.
These advanced lenses may reduce or eliminate a patient’s need for glasses or contacts after cataract surgery. For example, the ReSTOR and Tecnis Multifocal lenses provide a full range of vision, using a special surface design that brings close and distant objects into focus without eye muscle assistance. The CrystaLens performs this same function by using your eye’s natural muscle.
If you would like to learn more about cataract surgery and available lens options, schedule an appointment today at Mack Eye Center, conveniently located in Hoffman Estates.