Located behind the pupil of each eye is a natural crystalline lens which allows light to pass and focus on the back surface of the eye. As we age the lens can become opaque. Over time, this opacity becomes denser and leads to progressively blurred or indistinct vision; a cloudy lens is called a cataract. This is a normal part of the aging process, but a patient who has a cataract in one or both eyes may experience increasing difficulty with reading, night driving, and other everyday activities. In some instances, a cataract may form as a result of trauma, but the effects of decreased visual acuity are the same. In order to improve one’s normal everyday functioning a patient will often elect to have their cataract surgically removed, and replaced with an intraocular lens implant.
During surgery, your doctor will replace the cloudy lens with a custom-made artificial lens implant. Implantation of an artificial lens is essential to achieving your maximal visual acuity. Prior to the procedure, your doctor will first evaluate your eyes and assist you in selecting the best implant for your needs. For example, astigmatic correction is available with a toric lens implant, and multifocal lens implants are designed to help reduce a patient’s dependence on glasses and/or contact lenses by correcting for both near and distance vision.
Unfortunately, once you have developed a cataract it does not go away over time or with the use of eye drops. To the contrary your cataract will naturally become more opaque over time, and your vision progressively more blurry. No two patients or cataracts are identical, and it is important that you discuss the options with one of our experienced ophthalmic surgeons. Come find out more about your lens choices during a cataract consultation at Vision NYC.
Traditional cataract surgery involves making a microincision through the cornea with a blade and then applying ultrasound technology (phacoemulsification) to break up the cataract for removal.
The femtosecond laser allows for part of the procedure to be replaced with the laser. This technique minimizes the use of a blade to make certain corneal incisions. The laser also aids in softening up the cataract making it easier to remove. In patients with pre-existing astigmatism, during the procedure the femtosecond laser may be able to reshape the cornea to treat mild to moderate astigmatic defects.
LASER CATARACT SURGERY
Learn about the precision offered by the laser cataract surgery experience.
Millions of cataracts have been removed by traditional cataract surgery….it is a proven highly successful procedure with patients getting excellent visual results. Some patients, however, have concomitant conditions where utilization of the laser during their cataract surgery could offer a new level of safety and improved accuracy. Please feel free to ask any of our surgeons whether you could benefit from utilizing this laser technology for your cataract procedure.
LIGHT ADJUSTABLE LENS
The Light Adjustable Lens allows your physician to optimize your vision after your cataract surgery rather than trying to predict how the IOL will perform in your eye before your surgery.
With the Light Adjustable Lens, you will have the unique opportunity to adjust and preview your vision based on your personal desires and lifestyle requirements. This optimization is done by your eye doctor after lens implantation through a series of light treatment procedures that take only a few minutes each.
MULTIFOCAL LENS IMPLANT
When patients are told that they have developed a visually significant cataract it means that their natural lens has become cloudy and that their visual acuity has been diminished because of this condition. If the patient feels their visual acuity is impeded to the point where surgical intervention is required then cataract extraction is performed. In that procedure the patient’s cloudy natural lens is replaced with an artificial lens known as an intraocular lens implant. Standard intraocular lenses have a fixed focal length and are designed to bring all the light coming through the implant into focus at one spot….the patient’s retina. If the goal is to make the patient’s visual acuity perfect at the distance, after cataract extraction with the insertion of a standard intraocular lens, spectacle correction is required for all activities performed at intermediate and/or near range.
A recent technological break through has been the development of a multifocal implant. These implants are designed to help reduce a patient’s dependence on glasses for both near and distance vision. These implants are not indicated for all patients and our ophthalmologists can determine whether or not a multifocal implant would be considered suitable for your needs.
Multifocal IOL vs. Monofocal IOL: What You Need To Know
Over 18 million people choose to restore their vision and undergo cataract surgery every year. Cataract surgery is a straightforward outpatient procedure that removes the clouded natural lens in your eye and replaces it with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL).
When selecting a lens, there are two general types of lenses to choose from: multifocal or monofocal lenses. Both will treat your cataract and reestablish your vision, but there are a few key differences.
A multifocal IOL is designed to correct both cataracts and presbyopia. Presbyopia is a common age-related condition. Beginning around the age of 40, the natural lens inside the eye begins to harden and becomes less flexible. This reduces the eye’s ability to switch focus from near to far to in between and back again, resulting in vision loss and, in most cases, the need for reading glasses or bifocals.
A multifocal lens has several different focus regions that are designed to allow you to see clearly up close, far away and in between, and, in most cases, will eliminate your need for glasses. After surgery, you may experience an adjustment period during which you may see rings around lights at night. This is normal, and as the eye adjusts to the lens over time, the visual impression of these rings typically lessens or goes away.
In contrast, a monofocal lens has only one focus region. It allows you to see objects far away, but you will continue to need glasses for reading and other up-close activities.
What To Expect:
Simulated Vision With a Standard Monofocal Lens
Good distance vision, but vision may be blurry for intermediate and near tasks.
Simulated Vision With a Standard Multifocal Lens
Designed to provide excellent vision at all distances, under all lighting conditions—day and night.
Immediately after surgery, patients may notice rings around light when driving at night.
As the eye adjusts to the lens over time, the visual impression of rings typically lessens or goes away.
TORIC LENS IMPLANT
Astigmatism is a condition where a meridian of their cornea is either flatter or steeper than the remaining cornea. To correct this refractive error the ophthalmologist writes a prescription for glasses that are ground to the patient’s unique specifications in order to maximize their visual acuity.
If that same astigmatic patient develops a cataract that requires surgical attention a standard monofocal lens implant will not correct for astigmatism and therefore corrective spectacles may still be required post cataract surgery to optimize the patient’s visual acuity. A special implant…called a toric lens is now part of the surgeon’s armamentarium. At the time of your consultation with one of our ophthalmologists measurements will be taken to determine whether or not the use of a toric lens should be considered.
Significant technological advances in cataract surgery and lens implant design have occurred since Dr. Harold Ridley put the first intraocular lenses in a patient’s eye in the 1950’s. The sophisticated surgery that our ophthalmologists perform today has been matched by incredible changes in intraocular lens design and performance. Choices made are dependent upon your visual needs in relationship to the specific characteristics and measurements of your eye. We have the experience to help you make the right decision.