Cataract Surgery in Ft. Worth, TX
Over 50% of people aged 65 and older have a cataract in one or both eyes. As the cataract progresses, vision deteriorates, leading to a decreased quality of life.
Fortunately, cataract surgery can easily treat this condition. This common surgery has a high success rate, with over 95% of all cataract surgeries free of even mild complications.
Cataracts are one of the leading causes of vision loss in people aged 65 or older. This condition develops as the eye ages, meaning that by the time we reach 80, more than half of us will have developed a cataract or will have undergone cataract surgery.
Without cataract surgery, millions of people around the world would be unable to see clearly.
What Are Cataracts?
A cataract is a clouding of the lens in your eye which is normally transparent. The lens, located inside the eye, behind the iris and the pupil, focuses light onto the retina at the back of your eye, where it is converted to nerve signals that are passed to the brain, thus enabling you to see.
When your lens becomes cloudy, the images projected onto your retina become blurry and unfocused and therefore the signal to the brain is also unclear.
What Causes Cataracts?
Cataracts are part of the natural aging process of the eye. While the majority of cases develop in old age, there are instances of congenital cataracts, present at birth. Further, secondary or traumatic cataracts can occur at any age as a result of eye injury, surgery, or disease.
Certain medical, genetic, and behavioral risk factors can also accelerate its development, such as diabetes, a family history of cataracts, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
What Are the Symptoms of Cataracts?
Symptoms of a cataract may develop slowly at first, or may not even be noticeable.
The most common symptoms include:
- Blurred or double vision
- Trouble seeing at night
- Sensitivity to glare
- Colored halos around lights
- Colors appearing more faded
- Requiring brighter light for reading
When To Consider Cataract Surgery?
Cataracts don’t suddenly develop overnight. They generally start off small and only begin to noticeably affect your vision as they grow. You should consider getting cataract surgery once the condition begins to seriously impair your vision and adversely affects your daily life, impacting your ability to:
- Play golf or tennis
- Watch TV
- Recognize faces
Surgery should also be considered if it’s preventing the treatment of another eye problem, such as glaucoma. The good news is that cataract surgery successfully restores vision in the vast majority of cases.
There are many types of IOLs, and consulting with our experienced surgeon
There are many types of IOLs, and consulting with our experienced surgeon can help you choose the right lens that best matches your lifestyle. The basic monofocal lens will allow you to see clearer in the distance, but you would still need glasses to correct for astigmatism and for intermediate and near vision.
Astigmatism is caused by the shape of the front of the eye (the cornea) meaning that is more shaped like a football instead of a basketball. This condition can be corrected at the time of surgery by reshaping the cornea or by placing a Toric IOL in the eye thus optimizing your distance vision without glasses.
Advanced lens technologies allow more freedom from reading glasses
Advanced lens technologies allow more freedom from reading glasses. The FDA has approved 3 different presbyopia-correcting lenses, and each lens has its own advantages and weaknesses. The ReStor lens by Alcon and the Technis Multifocal by AMO, both have multiple zones to focus light for both distance and near vision similar to a lined bifocal. The main difference between the two lenses is that the Technis Multifocal is designed with a close near focus point compared to the ReStor. In contrast, the Crystalens by Bausch and Lomb has a clear optic with hinges that provide great distance vision and an increased depth of focus for intermediate and near vision. This lens uses your own eye muscles to flex the lens thus changing its position.
All three lenses have proven to be of great benefit to patients, and matching each lens’ strength to patient needs and having realistic expectations are paramount to a successful outcome.
What Our Patients Are Saying...
Before cataract surgery, I'll admit, I was depressed, full of anxiety and I did worry a lot about losing my vision. Also, I was scared because I live by myself. But it's the best ever, and so many people encouraged me saying it's not that bad.
The PanOptix lens makes me feel like a young person again. Read up real up close & see like I used to along time ago. Kind of like a second chance.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cataract Surgery
What is a Cataract? What are the symptoms? When are they ready for removal? The lens in the eye can become cloudy and hard, a condition known as a cataract. Cataracts may cause blurred vision, dulled vision, sensitivity to light and glare, and/or ghost images. Some patients describe cataracts as “a film” across their eyes.If the cataract changes your vision so much that it interferes with your daily life, the cataract may need to be removed.
How are Cataracts developed? Who is at risk for Cataracts?
Cataracts can develop from normal aging, from an eye injury, or if you have taken medications known as steroids.Older people are generally more at risk of developing cataracts than younger people. Approximately 60% of people ages 60 and older have their vision significantly affected by cataract formation. For people over age 55, cataracts are the leading cause of reversible vision loss. Diabetes, heredity, eye trauma, and certain medications can accelerate cataract development, and there is some evidence that smoking can also accelerate cataract development.
Is removing the Cataract surgically my only treatment option? Can I elect not to have surgery?
Yes, surgery is the only way to remove a cataract. You can decide not to have the cataract removed, however, if you don’t have the surgery, your vision loss from the cataract will continue to worsen.
How will removing a Cataract effect my vision?
The goal of cataract surgery is to correct the decreased vision that was caused by the cataract. During the surgery, Dr. Chu will remove the cataract and implant a new artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL). Cataract surgery will not correct other causes of decreased vision, such as glaucoma, diabetes, or age-related macular degeneration. Many people still need to wear glasses or contact lens after cataract surgery for either near and/or distance vision and astigmatism. An advanced technology presbyopia-correcting IOL can be implanted allowing more range of vision and spectacle independence.
Why use a lens implant?
When we perform a cataract surgery, the ultrasound dissolves and removes is the natural lens of the eye containing the cataract. Therefore, we use a special intraocular lens (lens implant) to replace the natural lens that was removed. This lens implant is inert to your body and should not need to be replaced.
What types of IOLs (Inter Ocular Lenses) are available to me?
Dr. Richard Chu will help you decide on the type of IOL that will replace your cloudy lens. There are IOLs available to treat nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. IOLs usually provide either near or distance vision: these single focus lenses are called monofocal IOLs. Some advanced IOLs can provide for near, intermediate, and distance vision: these multiple focus lenses are called presbyopia-correcting or technologically advanced IOLs. IOLs that treat astigmatism are called toric IOLs.
Is the lens implant permanent? Will I feel a difference with the lens implant?
The lens is intended to be permanent and in most cases will not need to be removed.No, the lens becomes a part of you. It is as natural in appearance, comfort and durability as your natural lens had been prior to the development of the cataract.
Will injections or stitches be needed?
The eye is desensitized without injections. We use anesthetic drops to numb the eyes. This eliminates the pain and bruising of the eye associated with injections. Because the incision is so small, it usually does not require stitches.
Will I be put to sleep for surgery?
A qualified anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist will administer a local anesthesia to keep you relaxed but awake. Most cataract surgeries take approximately 15 to 30 minutes.
Can both eyes be done on the same day?
No. Only one eye is operated on at a time. The second eye can be treated approximately two weeks later.
What is Astigmatism? Are there other treatments for it?
Patients with nearsightedness and farsightedness often also have astigmatism. An astigmatism is caused by an irregularly shaped cornea; instead of being round like a basketball, the cornea is shaped like a football. This can make your vision blurry. In addition to toric IOLs, astigmatism can be corrected by glasses, contact lenses, and refractive surgery (LASIK or PRK). There is also a procedure called a limbal relaxing incision (LRI), which can be done at the same time as the cataract operation, or as a separate procedure. A limbal relaxing incision (LRI) is a small cut or incision the ophthalmologist makes into your cornea to make its shape rounder. Any attempt at astigmatism reduction could result in over- or under-correction, in which case glasses, contact lenses, or another procedure may be needed.
What are possible side effects of cataract surgery?
As with any surgery, pain, infection, swelling and bleeding are possible. Very few patients have serious problems or cataract surgery complications. Dr. Chu may prescribe medications for these effects. Retinal detachment also occurs in some people. Be on the lookout for excessive pain, vision loss, or nausea, and report these symptoms to us immediately.
What happens after surgery?
Recovery time after cataract surgery is usually about four weeks. Immediately following surgery, the patient may experience some pain and irritation of the eye. Due to strong dilation, you may experience increased light sensitivity and a small amount of fluid discharge. Tylenol or Advil are preferred for pain or headaches and over the counter, moistening drops such as Systane or Optive for irritation. Follow-up exams allow the physician to monitor patient progress. Eye shields must be worn for the first week to protect the eye while sleeping. Restrictions include no lifting ANYTHING over 20 LBS, no bending at the waist, and no eye make-up for 1 week. NO SWIMMING for 2-4 weeks.
When will I be able to return to work?
Most patients can return to normal activities including driving, work within a few days. However, some patients may take longer to achieve their final visual clarity. This is at your level of comfort.
Will a cataract ever come back?
No, a cataract will never return once it is removed. However, sometimes a cloudy membrane forms in the capsule or “sack” behind the lens implant. Fortunately, that is able to be removed with a simple laser treatment. This clouding has been known as a "secondary cataract" and may form weeks to years after cataract surgery.
Cataract surgery, a relatively quick and painless procedure, is one of the most common surgeries performed in North America.
This surgery involves removing the clouded natural lens and replacing it with a clear, plastic intraocular lens (IOL) that becomes a permanent part of the eye.
IOLs are usually made of plastic and most of them are monofocal lenses or single power lenses to correct for distance vision. As technology advances, specialized IOLs continue to be developed. From multifocal IOLs to IOLs that block UV and blue light radiation, patients have greater options available to them now than ever before.
If you or a loved one has cataracts and would like more information on cataract surgery, please contact Dr. Richard Chu today.