Data from the Centers for Disease Control estimate U.S. cataract cases have risen by 10 million since the year 2000, causing a rise in demand for cataract surgery in Jacksonville and across the country. Cataract surgery is one of the most common procedures performed in the U.S. As demand for surgery has increased, around 4 million procedures are now performed every year.
Cataracts are a clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye. They are a normal part of aging and can begin to develop even in a young individual in their 40s and 50s. Now is the perfect time to review the signs of cataracts and how to know when cataract surgery may be right for you.
The Signs of Cataracts
Despite being one of the most common eye diseases in the world, cataract disease often goes unnoticed at first. This is due to the lack of pain and subtle loss of sight. Signs of cataracts include cloudy or blurry vision, sensitivity to light and glare, difficulty driving at night, trouble reading the fine print, double vision and frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription.
The longer cataracts are left untreated, the more difficult it is to restore vision. We recommend that patients ages 55 and older have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once every two years. In addition to cataract, your eye care professional can check for signs of age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and other vision disorders.
How to Know When It’s Time for Cataract Surgery
Cataracts develop slowly and painlessly over time, but they can grow to the point where they can get in the way of living an active, independent life. With all the time we spend looking at phones and other devices, traveling, playing golf and reading, our vision needs are more demanding than ever. Fortunately, cataract surgery offers patients the opportunity to not only restore vision, but to possibly see better than ever before. It can reduce dependency on glasses and make daily activities like reading and driving easy again.
With advances in technology, cataract surgery today is safer and provides better outcomes than ever, so patients can have surgery at younger ages. That means you don’t have to live with impaired vision. The time for cataract surgery is when you are ready to see clearly again.
New Technology and Cataract Surgery Options
The technology for cataract surgery has come a long way in recent years, so it’s important to discuss your options with your eye surgeon. One of the ways cataract surgery has improved is through a technique called laser cataract surgery. Unlike traditional cataract surgery, where a scalpel is used to make an incision in the eye by hand, laser cataract surgery is computer guided. This results in a safer, gentler procedure. The laser also creates a more precise and accurate outcome, which allows eye surgeons to correct a wide range of vision problems, including astigmatism, far, and near sightedness at the time of cataract surgery. This gives you the option to correct two eye conditions with one procedure and reduces the need for glasses.
In addition to laser cataract surgery, the latest technology in premium cataract surgery are the advances in intraocular lens (IOL) technology. An intraocular lens is the artificial lens that is implanted in the eye during cataract surgery after the eye’s cloudy natural lens has been removed. While surgeons have been using these lenses for decades, today’s versions offer crisper, higher quality vision and more function than they’ve ever provided before.
With the many kinds of intraocular lenses now available, eye surgeons can choose the best fit for each patient. At Florida Eye Specialists, our practice focuses on each individual’s needs in order to choose the best lens. We see patients that need better vision during night conditions, patients who have had prior refractive surgery, golfers who may need better vision during daylight hours and more. We try to customize the lens to the patient’s lifestyle, as it’s not a one size fits all.
If cataracts are impacting your daily life, you don’t need to live with impaired vision or wait for surgery. Make an appointment with a cataract consultant today.
Dr. McGregor N. Lott, M.D., is an ophthalmologist at Florida Eye Specialists, the first practice in Northeast Florida to introduce laser cataract surgery. For more information on Dr. Lott and his specialty treating cataracts, visit FloridaEyeSpecialists.com.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here