Why can I not see up-close as well as I could when I was younger?
All of us notice an important change in our up-close vision sometime around the age of 45. This condition is called presbyopia and comes from the gradual hardening of the lens in the eye. As we age, the lens doesn’t flex well to shift focus between distance and near, and reading becomes difficult without magnification. Presbyopia afflicts everyone over the age of 45.
What is a cataract?
Our eye functions much like a camera. The natural lens focuses images onto the back of the eye so we can see clearly, much like the lens of a camera focusing images onto film for a clear picture. At birth, our natural lens is clear, but as we age it yellows and hardens. In addition, the lens may become cloudy. This condition is called a cataract, and is usually a result of the natural aging process. Everyone over the age of 60 will at some point develop cataracts. As the lens becomes cloudier, vision becomes more blurred.
Do I have cataracts?
Symptoms that could indicate the presence of a cataract include a gradual dulling of colors, halos around lights or glare when driving, difficulty reading in low light, blurred or double vision, and a frequent need to change your glasses prescription. A cataract can progress until eventually there is a complete loss of vision in your eye. Surgery is the only way a cataract can be removed. You should consider surgery when cataracts cause enough loss of vision to interfere with your daily activities.
How will I see after cataract surgery?
Once the cloudy lens is removed, you will see a dramatic improvement in the clarity of your vision. Colors will be brighter, more vivid. And advanced lens implants, such as Tecnis, ReSTOR, and Crystalens, can deliver vision that is uniquely suited to your lifestyle. Dr. Warren or Dr. Alfred will talk with you to understand your vision needs and can recommend a lens implant that gives you a fuller range of vision, allowing you to spend most of your day without glasses.
I don’t have cataracts. Can I still have lens replacement?
If you are over 45 years old, lens replacement should be an option you consider along with contact lenses, glasses, and Lasik. Lens replacement provides a balanced distance and near vision solution, unlike blended vision with contacts or Lasik. It is the only permanent vision correction procedure that, through replacement of your natural lens, corrects near and distance vision issues.
How is the procedure performed?
Your lens replacement procedure will be performed in an outpatient surgery center. You will be in the center for approximately two hours on surgery day. You will be given medications to relax you and numb your eyes. A local anesthetic will make the operation virtually painless. The skin around your eye will be thoroughly cleansed, and sterile coverings will be placed around your head. Under an operating microscope, a small incision is made into the eye and your natural lens will be gently removed using an ultrasound instrument. The new lens will be placed in your eye through this same tiny incision.
After a short stay in the outpatient recovery area, you will be ready to go home. Plan to have someone drive you home. You will return to our office for a postoperative visit the next day. You will notice an improvement in your vision at that time which will continue to sharpen over the next 30 days.