How cataract surgery can improve every type of vision
Cataracts are a common eye condition, especially as you age. In fact, more than half of people over 80 have had cataracts, according to the National Eye Institute.
Other than normal changes from aging, you can get cataracts for several reasons:
- You’ve had retina surgery.
- You’ve had an eye injury.
- You’re a smoker.
- You have high blood sugar.
- You spend a lot of time in the sun.
- You’ve had radiation treatment on your upper body.
Regardless of the cause of your cataracts, you’re likely familiar with the main symptom: blurry vision. This happens when the proteins on the lens of your eye stick together and form cloudlike structures. You may also notice a yellow or brown tinge, a painful glare in bright lights, halos around light sources, double vision, or worsening vision, according to Healthline.
While a stronger glasses prescription can help in the short-term, the best long-term solution is surgery. Your ophthalmologist — an eye doctor who can perform surgery — will replace your cloudy lens with an artificial one that will give you the clear vision you need.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all artificial lens, though. Instead, you can choose the one that best fits your needs.
The most common intraocular lens — the artificial lens your ophthalmologist will use to replace your clouded lens — is the monofocal lens.
“It has one focusing distance,” the American Academy of Ophthalmology says. “It is set to focus for up close, medium range or distance vision. Most people have them set for clear distance vision. Then they wear eyeglasses for reading or close work.”
If you need help seeing at only one distance, the monofocal lens could work for you.
If you are active and want good vision for all of your daily activities at a range of distances, Schwartz Laser Eye Center recommends the PanOptix intraocular lens.
“This revolutionary IOL provides a comfortable and continuous range of near, intermediate and distance vision without the need for glasses after surgery,” Schwartz Laser Eye Center says. “It was designed with today’s active adult in mind, and enables the vision people need to carry out their daily tasks.”
Trifocal lenses will give you clear vision at an intermediate distance, which can help with cooking, gardening, texting, sewing, and using the computer, for example.
People who have chosen PanOptix lenses have reported fewer side effects, including problems with glare from bright lights, compared to other lens wearers, according to Schwartz Laser Eye Center. It’s no surprise, then, that 99% of patients have said they would choose that lens again.
Additionally, the PanOptix lens has a version that is made for people with astigmatism, a condition that causes blurry vision and other visual problems.
No matter the lens you choose, during surgery, a laser can improve safety, accuracy, and recovery time, compared to traditional instruments. That’s why Schwartz Laser Eye Center uses the Victus femtosecond laser during key steps of the procedure, including to creating an incision and to soften and fragment the lens.
“The laser is specifically calibrated based on the individual patient’s eye anatomy for better accuracy,” Schwartz Laser Eye Center says. “Also, replacing a handheld instrument with a laser eliminates many of the risks associated with traditional cataract surgery.”
An experienced ophthalmologist can guide you through every step of cataract surgery, from choosing the right lens to surgery and recovery. Visit Schwartz Laser Eye Center for a consultation with one of Arizona’s most experienced eye doctors.