A cataract is an opacity in the lens of the eye. The lens is located behind the iris. The lens acts like a lens in a camera focusing light on the retina. The lens allows us to see images clearly at near and at distance. As we age the lens can get cloudy. This cloudiness can vary in severity from minimal opacification to completely obstructing light from reaching the back of the eye.
Cataracts can filter light leading to reduction of color perception and vision loss. Cataracts can also scatter light leading to glare and decreased contrast sensitivity. Patients may notice that their vision is blurry. They may find it hard to read or do their crafts such as threading a needle. Patients may find that colors are dulled or not as bright as before. While driving, especially at night, patients may be bothered by glare from oncoming headlights. Patients may have difficulty with daily activities such as walking down stairs. They may have difficulty recognizing people’s faces. While driving it may be difficult to see street signs. People might have problems writing checks, cooking, playing card games, playing sports games, or watching television.
Cataract surgeons utilize very high tech equipment to conduct cataract surgery. The machine that is used is called a phacoemulsification machine. A hand piece that plugs into this machine has a tip that oscillates at up to 40,000 cycles per second. This tip safely emulsifies the cataract and allows it to be removed from inside the eye. The tip can fit through an opening that is less than 3.0 mm (less than 1/8 of an inch). Because the incision is so small it can heal without a stitch. After the cataract is removed a foldable lens is placed into the eye.
Dr. Soares offers three different intraocular lens choices ( IOL’s) to correct your vision after cataract surgery.