Professional Eyecare Associates has been providing quality eye care for over 20 years. The following is information explains some of the surgical procedures we offer. If you have any questions, or would like further information, please contact us. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.
A cataract is a cloudy area in the lens in the front of the eye. There is no pain associated with the condition but there are other symptoms, including:
- Blurred/hazy vision
- Spots in front of the eye(s)
- Sensitivity to glare
- A feeling of “film” over the eye(s)
Most people develop cataracts simply as a result of aging, with the majority of cases occurring in people over the age of 55. Other risk factors include eye injury or disease, a family history of cataracts, smoking or use of certain medications.
For people who are significantly affected by cataracts, lens replacement surgery may be recommended. During cataract surgery, a small ultrasonic probe is inserted into the eye, which breaks up, or emulsifies, the cloudy lens into tiny pieces and gently sucks, or aspirates, those pieces out of the eye. Phaco surgery requires a small incision of 3.2 mm or less. To make your procedure as painless as possible, anesthesia is a combination of local and/or topical along with IV sedation.
With the recent advance of the foldable intra ocular lens (IOL), artificial lenses can be implanted through the same small incision that is created in the phaco procedure. These IOLs are made of a flexible material, allowing them to be folded for implantation. Once inside the eye, the lens unfolds and returns to its original shape.
There are several different kinds of IOLs available for candidates of cataract surgery. Your doctor will let you know what the best options are for you, and together you will decide which IOL will be used. Some of the different lens types are:
Accommodative lenses work naturally with muscles in the eye to retain the eyes’ ability to focus on nearby and distant objects and everything in between. With traditional IOLs, patients lose this ability after cataract surgery and often require corrective measures such as glasses or contact lenses.
Toric IOLs are specially designed for patients with astigmatism. Traditionally, surgical correction of astigmatism required making a series of small incisions (called LRIs) around the cornea to make it more spherical instead of football-shaped. Implanting toric IOLs often improves vision due to astigmatism without the need for these extra incisions, and also allows patients to enjoy a faster, more comfortable recovery.
Until recently, IOLs were only available to correct distance vision. These monofocal lenses helped improve distance vision after cataract surgery, but patients still needed glasses or contact lenses for near vision activities like reading and playing cards. Now, advancements in technology have produced multifocal IOLs that allow patients to see clearly at all distances — near, far and many distances in between. Multifocal IOLs such as ReStor®, ReZoom™ and Crystalens™ preserve distance vision and correct presbyopia so cataract surgery patients — and patients seeking treatment for presbyopia alone — can enjoy clear sight without relying on glasses.
By removing excess fat, skin and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids, blepharoplasty can rejuvenate puffy, sagging or tired-looking eyes. It is typically a cosmetic procedure but it can also improve vision by lifting droopy eyelids out of the patient’s field of vision.
The procedure is usually performed in an office with local anesthesia and lasts 45 minutes to a few hours depending on how much work is done. Incisions are made along the eyelids in inconspicuous places (in the creases of the upper lids, and just below the lashes on the lower lids). The surgeon removes excess tissue through these incisions and then stitches them closed with fine sutures. In the case that no skin needs to be removed, the surgeon will most likely perform a transconjunctival blepharoplasty, where the incision is made inside the lower eyelid which leaves no visible scars.
Stitches are removed after three or four days and most people return to work in ten. Contact lenses may not be worn for two weeks. Eyes can be sensitive to light and wind and may be slightly irritated for a short while; your surgeon may prescribe eye drops and cool compresses to counteract these discomforts.
Complications from the procedure are uncommon, but can include: infection, reaction to anesthesia, double or blurred vision for a few days, temporary swelling of the eyelids, tiny whiteheads, and difficulty closing eyes when going to sleep. Uneven healing and scarring, and ectropion (pulling down of the lower lids) are very rare and may require surgical correction. Patients with thyroid problems, dry eye, high blood pressure, diabetes, detached retina, glaucoma or other health problems should consult with an ophthalmologist about eligibility.