Cataract Treatment Options for Every Lifestyle

Posted By Key-Whitman Eye Center || 10-Mar-2014

Cataracts are a common eye condition affecting the lens portion of the eye. They are not a growth or film on the eye, but rather a clouding of the focusing lens, which is located behind the pupil. Cataracts are especially common in aging adults, though some younger patients can develop the condition.

In a healthy eye, light travels through the pupil where it is focused through the clear lens onto the retina. The lens, which is made mostly of water and protein, can develop clumps of protein with age. These protein deposits are what cause the lens to become cloudy. Mild clouding of the eye may not affect vision, but when a majority of the lens becomes clouded, serious vision problems develop and treatment becomes necessary.

Cataracts cannot be removed, nor can the progression of cataracts be arrested or reversed. Once cataracts begin to develop, there is no way to make the lens clear again. Cataracts will steadily limit a person’s ability to complete simple tasks such as seeing street signs, reading a book or driving at night.

Treatment for Cataracts

In order to restore vision that has been lost due to cataracts, the clouded lens must be removed and replaced with an artificial lens. There is a range of cataract treatment options, depending on the patient’s lifestyle.

High technology lenses. Patients with an active lifestyle who do not want the hassle of wearing glasses after cataract surgery have the option of high-technology lenses such as Trulign® and Crystalens®, TECNIS® Multifocal Lens or AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR®. These high-technology lens options allow patients to maintain their active lifestyle without the encumbrance of glasses or contacts after surgery.

Correction for cataracts and astigmatism. Toric lens and Limbal Relaxing Incisions are two cataract removal options for patients who also have astigmatism. These treatments may leave the patient less dependent on glasses for most activities that require distance vision, though the patient may still need glasses for reading.

Monofocal lenses or traditional lenses. Patients who don’t mind wearing glasses and do not have astigmatism may prefer traditional lens implants or monofocal lenses. These treatment options are the most basic type of lens implants. With monofocal or traditional lenses, your vision is typically in focus at only one distance, either near or far.

A monofocal lens implant can provide good vision but only at a set distance, usually for farsighted activities such as driving. A monofocal lens implant does not correct nearsightedness for doing things like playing cards or eyeballing a golf ball on a tee. The majority of patients electing to have monofocal or traditional lens implants will be dependent on glasses or bifocals either some or most of the time.

Only your eye doctor can diagnose cataracts, but symptoms to be aware of include difficulty seeing, blurred vision and seeing a halo or glare around lights. If you have experienced a change in your vision or have noticed you have difficulty completing daily tasks, contact Key-Whitman today for a comprehensive eye exam and to discuss your cataract treatment options.

Categories: Cataracts
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