Cataracts – Surgical Options
Some types of cataract develop quickly, others more slowly. A change in eyeglass prescription can sometimes improve vision but eventually the cataract reaches a point where changing the eyeglass prescription is no longer helpful. At that point, the only option to restore vision is to remove the cataract. Surgically removing the cataract and replacing it with an intraocular lens implant (IOL) will remove the cloudiness and help restore the focusing power the eye had before the cataract formed. Cataract surgery is most often done as an outpatient procedure.
Types of Intraocular Lens
Although all intraocular lenses are used to restore clarity of vision, there are many intraocular lens choices available to patients today. Intraocular lenses are definitely not “one size fits all."
Standard lens implants are monofocal, meaning they are designed to correct the vision at one focal length. If a patient chooses to have IOLs implanted that correct for distance vision in both eyes, they will most likely need glasses to read. Some patients opt for an IOL that corrects their vision for distance in one eye and an IOL that corrects their vision for near in the other eye.
Premium IOLs include the presbyopia-correcting IOLs and the toric IOLs. The decision to use these lenses must be made on an individual basis.
Presbyopia-correcting intraocular lenses are designed to correct for distance and near vision. The intended goal of these lenses is to decrease the need for glasses.
Toric intraocular lenses are used for those patients with astigmatism. Astigmatism refers to an irregularity in the curvature of the cornea. Toric IOLs are designed to correct distance vision and astigmatism.
Femtosecond Laser is another option available for your doctor to use during cataract surgery. The Femtosecond laser is an FDA-approved computer-guided laser that is programmed by the surgeon. This device can aid the surgeon in the performance of some of the steps involved in the removal of a cataract. It can also be used in procedures performed to correct astigmatism.