TREATMENT OF CATARACTS
CATARACT DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
Cataracts are the leading cause of visual loss in adults age 55 and older and the leading cause of blindness worldwide. By age 65, about half of the human population has a cataract, and by age 75, almost everyone has a cataract. However, cataracts are highly treatable, and through advances in both cataract surgery and intraocular lenses (IOLs), more people are experiencing full restoration of their vision than ever before.
Dr. Gerald Clarke & Dr. Eric Larson perform cataract surgery at OptiVision’s own outpatient surgery center. They specialize in laser assisted cataract surgery to obtain the best possible distance vision.
If the natural lens of the eye becomes cloudy it is typically removed and replaced with an artificial lens (intraocular lens or IOL). This procedure is called cataract surgery. It is performed with topical anesthetic (numbing eye drops) in an outpatient setting and typically does not require patching or the use sutures (or stitches). In the hands of experienced surgeons like Dr. Gerald Clarke & Dr. Eric Larson, this no needle, no stitch, no patch, NO-DROP technique makes surgery safe, effective and pain free. It’s also relatively fast, with procedure times under 10 minutes.
Below is a basic description of the procedure.
Eye drops are used to dilate the pupil and give the surgeon better access to the cataract. The eye is then numbed using local anesthetics and a micro-incision is placed in the cornea. A very small probe is then inserted into the incision to reach the affected area to allow the surgeon to access the cloudy lens (or cataract). In laser assisted cataract surgery the first part of the surgery is performed by laser.
The lens is then gently removed from the eye using a process called phacoemulsification. The inserted probe produces ultrasound waves to liquify the cataract and break it apart into smaller fragments. The pieces of the cataract are then suctioned out of the eye through the micro-incision.
The artificial lens implant, or IOL, is then folded and placed inside the eye behind the pupil in the same area that the natural lens was previously. The rear portion of the natural lens is left untouched and is used to support the new artificial lens. The incision is self-sealing without the need for sutures.
The newly implanted artificial lens requires no maintenance and will not be able to be seen or detected. It now functions as a seamless part of your eye. There are many different artificial lenses made from a variety of different materials and with many different functions. The ideal IOL for you will be selected by you and your doctor. OptiVision eye surgeons performed the first microincision no-drop cataract surgery and laser surgery for secondary cataracts in the area. Dr. Gerald Clarke & Dr. Eric Larson have more collective experience performing cataract surgery than any other practice in the Fox Valley. If you or someone you know has cataracts that are interfering with daily life, call an OptiVision office today to schedule an exam and evaluation with one of our surgeons.