Cataract Surgery in Raleigh, NC
Have you been told you have a cataract? Want to know more about your treatment options? The experienced cataract surgeons at Raleigh Ophthalmology have performed thousands of cataract surgeries and are excited to help you achieve better vision!
At your initial consult, you will meet with your cataract surgeon, who will assess your cataracts’ severity and discuss how your vision affects your quality of life and your daily activities. This will help your surgeon determine if you are a candidate for cataract surgery and how they can customize the procedure to meet your specific needs.
At Raleigh Ophthalmology, we are excited to offer the latest, state-of-the-art treatment options to our patients. Your cataract surgeon will discuss with you the type of technology and lens implant options that might best suit your needs.
What Are The Symptoms Of Cataracts?
Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. When cataracts cloud vision, it may feel like you are looking through a fogged-up window.
It can become difficult to read or drive a car, especially at night. Other cataract symptoms can include double vision, eye pain, sudden headaches, flashes of light, seeing halos, or having a strong sensitivity to light.
Objects may look blurry or hazy. The most common cause of cataracts is aging.
Vision changes start occurring around the age of 40. By the age of 60, it is common for people to have cloudy lenses due to proteins in the lens of the eye breaking down.
Cataracts can grow larger over time, and if they remain untreated, they will block more and more light that enters the eye, causing vision loss and possibly blindness. However, cataract surgery is a common and safe procedure that is quite effective in restoring vision.
The experienced eye physicians at Raleigh Ophthalmology can remove your cataracts and replace them with fully functional artificial lenses, known as intraocular lenses. It is vital to schedule an eye exam with a qualified eye doctor who can diagnose your cataracts and talk to you about your treatment options.
What Is Cataract Surgery?
Cataract surgery is a procedure that removes the clouded natural lens and replaces it with an intraocular lens or IOL. Before you can have cataract surgery, you will need to undergo a cataract screening with one of the experienced ophthalmologists at Raleigh Ophthalmology.
Part of the screening will determine how nearsighted, farsighted, or how much astigmatism you have before cataract surgery. This will help determine what kind of intraocular lens you’ll get to replace your natural lens.
Your eye doctor will also take measurements of your eyes to determine the length and curvature of the eye and identify any risk factors before surgery. While cataract surgery is generally safe, your eye doctor will want to ensure that conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease are under control before you have the procedure.
Be sure to tell your ophthalmologist about any medications you are taking, particularly anti-clotting drugs or aspirin.
Cataract surgery typically lasts around 20 to 30 minutes and is done under a topical or local anesthetic. You will need someone to drive you home after the procedure.
Be prepared to come in the next day for a follow-up visit so your eye doctor can check on how your eye has started healing. After surgery, your doctor will ask you to wear an eye patch while your eye heals.
You’ll also receive prescription eye drops to use during healing to prevent infection and reduce inflammation. For patients who need cataract surgery on both eyes, the procedure won’t be done on both eyes simultaneously. Instead, your eye doctor will operate on one eye first, which is usually the eye you are having the most difficulty seeing out of. Once the first eye has healed (after about two or three months), you’ll then have cataract surgery on the second eye.
Depending on the IOL chosen, you may still need to wear glasses after you have cataract surgery, but you’ll be able to see clearly!
Is Cataract Surgery Necessary?
Cataracts do not go away on their own. Though you may manage them at first using stronger light and glasses, these are only temporary fixes.
Eventually, your vision will become impaired and interfere with your everyday activities. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness and visual impairment in the world. Fortunately, cataract surgery is a safe and effective method of restoring vision.
What Are The Different Types Of Intraocular Lenses That Are Available?
Your eye doctor will help you decide what intraocular lens is right for you. They will take your lifestyle and visual needs into account when helping you make this choice.
For example, an ophthalmologist may ask if you spend much time working at your computer or looking at digital devices. If so, your lifestyle may be more reliant on near vision, and you may want to consider getting a monofocal IOL for near vision and use glasses for tasks that require distance vision.
IOLs are safe and will restore your vision after cataract surgery. While certain IOLs reduce the need for glasses or contact lenses, results vary from person to person. Some lenses correct for near vision, some for far vision, and others for both.
Once an intraocular lens (IOL) is implanted in your eye to replace your cloudy lens, it becomes a permanent part of your eye, and you do not feel it.
Types of IOLs:
A monofocal lens is the most common kind of intraocular lens. It will correct vision at one distance, either for near vision or far vision.
Often, people who use monofocal IOLs get them for distance vision and use reading glasses for up-close tasks. Medicare and other vision insurance plans cover Monofocal IOLs.
Multifocal lenses can correct both far and near vision, and some can even correct intermediate vision. Multifocal lenses are considered premium lenses and are not usually covered by most insurance plans.
However, our surgery schedulers can talk to you about your payment options and work with you to get the lens that best suits your needs.
Patients with astigmatism may do best with a toric lens that eliminates their cataract and reduces their astigmatism since toric lenses have extra correction built-in for astigmatism. Ask your eye doctor whether they recommend limbic relaxing incisions (LRIs) to help reduce astigmatism.
LRIs are strategically-placed corneal incisions that reduce or eliminate astigmatism by “relaxing” the corneal curvature and leaving it a rounder shape. This can help patients see more clearly after cataract surgery and may reduce or eliminate the need for glasses when looking at things at a distance. This procedure can be done at the time of your cataract surgery or during a separate procedure.
What Is The Difference Between Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery And Traditional Cataract Surgery?
The experienced physicians at Raleigh Ophthalmology offer laser-assisted cataract surgery using the LenSx laser. This is a computer-controlled eye surgery system that uses a Femtosecond laser.
Laser-assisted cataract surgery is a personalized, bladeless procedure that uses a laser to create incisions in the cornea, and then the laser breaks up the cataract. This contrasts with traditional cataract surgery, which uses a blade to make corneal incisions to remove the cataract.
The LenSx system uses a 3D surgical display system that measures the shape of the surface and the thickness of the cornea. This allows the surgeon to make the most precise incisions possible since LenSx offers real-time images to guide the surgeon.
Because the LenSx procedure allows for laser precision, it may contribute to better surgical outcomes for patients. The femtosecond laser may also be able to manage astigmatism during cataract surgery better.
Patients may find that they have improved vision and less need to wear glasses after having laser-assisted cataract surgery with the LenSx system.
Patients often report a smoother recovery after undergoing laser-assisted cataract surgery, as compared to traditional cataract surgery. Whether you have laser-assisted cataract surgery or traditional cataract surgery, the recovery time is about three months.
What Are The Advantages Of Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery Vs. Traditional Cataract Surgery?
When having cataract surgery at Raleigh Ophthalmology, you may wonder if there are advantages between laser-assisted cataract surgery and traditional cataract surgery. For patients that opt to have laser-assisted cataract surgery, benefits include:
The LenSx system automates some of the most crucial steps of the procedure. This leaves your surgeon free to focus on other parts of the surgery.
With LenSx, surgeons have real-time images in front of them, which guides them and ensures that the IOL is perfectly placed every time.
Less Ultrasound Energy Used While Removing Cataracts
Because there’s less ultrasound energy used while removing the cataract, this can protect delicate structures of the eye, like the cornea.
Better Astigmatism Management
Compared to traditional cataract surgery, laser-assisted cataract surgery using the LenSx system leads to better astigmatism management for patients, meaning more optimal visual results and less dependence on glasses after cataract surgery.
Are you wondering if you may need to have cataract surgery? Schedule your cataract screening at Raleigh Ophthalmology in Raleigh, NC, today!