What is a Cataract?
A cataract is a loss of transparency or a “clouding” of the lens within the eye. The normal job of the lens is to focus incoming light onto the retina of the eye so that we can see sharp and clear images.
Cataracts are the number one cause of vision loss in people aged 55 and older. A cataract is the result of the normal aging process and depending upon our individual “genetic codes,” there is a point in our lives when each and every one of us would develop a cataract. Other things including injuries, certain types of medicines and diseases such as diabetes can cause or hasten the development of cataracts.
However, cataract surgery is only required when the cataract affects the patients daily visual functions such as reading, driving, watching television or causes significant glare at night or in bright sunlight.
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Cataract surgery has made tremendous advances in recent years. Today, it is the most frequently performed surgery for senior citizens in the United States. Cataract surgery has also become one of the most comfortable surgical procedures for a person to experience and the results are overwhelmingly positive with the outcome being the restoration of useful eyesight.
The doctors of the Chicago Eye Institute offer the latest breakthroughs in cataract surgery technology. The cataract can be removed by traditional techniques or using the LenSx laser. No stitches, injections or patches are required in nearly every procedure and the patient usually notices a visual improvement almost immediately.
As part of the cataract operation the cloudy lens that has been removed is replaced with an intraocular lens implant (IOL) to focus the patients eyesight. Chicago Eye Institute patients are now offered various types of IOL’s to meet their personal visual desires. Some patients enjoy mono vision in which one eye is set for distance and the other set for near.
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Premium IOLs offer other options. The implant can be chosen to focus your eye at the distance you desire. Most people choose to have the focus sharpest in the distance. A multifocal IOL gives the patient improved vision at both a distance and near without glasses. If a patient has significant astigmatism that can also be corrected at the time of surgery with either the use of a toric IOL or with incisions created by the lenSx laser.
Based on your lifestyle, measurements taken during the pre-op examination, and your eye health, your doctor will recommend the right intraocular implant for you. IOLs can be monofocal or multifocal. The monofocal lens would focus the image at one distance, usually the far distance, which is to be preferred. Reading glasses would be required for close-up tasks like reading and using computers, otherwise, objects will be blurred up close through arm’s length. Another option is a ‘multifocal’ lens implant. At long distances, images will be great, while near and intermediate-range images will be good. With a multifocal implant option, most people can function without glasses for distance or near work.