As your eyes age, you may begin to experience some frustrating visual symptoms. Your vision may become blurry or cloudy, night time driving may become more difficult, you may see colors differently, and you may experience a glare in your vision in certain conditions. All of these symptoms may be the result of the natural aging or clouding of the lens in your eye which is called a cataract.
The Eye Clinic of Wisconsin offers the region’s top cataract surgery and lens replacement program. We’ve helped thousands of people see more clearly by using the industry’s most advanced technology to offer life-changing vision correction.
What is a Cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens in your eye. Though painless, cataracts can blur your vision by restricting the amount of light that enters your eye. In addition to hazy vision, indications of cataracts include unusual glare, poor night vision, and a change in how your eyes perceive colors.
In a healthy eye, the iris (the colored part of the eye) regulates the amount of light that enters the eye through the pupil. The light passes through the lens, where it is focused onto the retina at the back of the eye. Signals are then sent from the retina to the brain via the optic nerve, where they are translated into the images you see.
An eye with a cataract functions normally, except for this cloudy lens. Light enters the eye as usual, but the cloudy lens disperses the light, which causes the eye to have trouble focusing and seeing color. This results in blurry, cloudy, hazy vision. Most people’s lenses will experience cataracts at some point as they age. Sometimes the cataracts are minor and don’t require surgery. However, when your ability to read, drive, or do other everyday tasks is impaired, cataract surgery will likely be the best solution to achieve improved vision.
If you wonder if you have cataracts, the best place to start is with your eye doctor. He or she will thoroughly examine your eyes and review your medical history. If you are found to have cataracts, the team at Eye Clinic of Wisconsin offers a variety of lens implant options and the most advanced surgical techniques in the region. Read on to learn more about what we offer.
For more information about cataracts, please visit AAO’s eye health information site here.
During surgery, the doctor will begin by making a small incision in the surface of the eye in order to remove the clouded lens. A small ultrasonic instrument is inserted in the eye to break up the cataract and remove it. Through the small incision a new artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL) is placed in the eye. The IOL will not change the outward appearance of your eye, but it can drastically improve your vision. The exact shape and size of each IOL may vary, but all are held in place by small flexible loops called haptics that are attached to the lens. IOL’s are intended to last a lifetime, and are made of materials like silicone and acrylic that will not irritate your eye.
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You will be asked to return the day after surgery to be examined by a doctor. Several eye drops will be used for three to four weeks to help the eye fully recover from the surgery. Once your eye has completely healed following the surgery, your vision should be clearer, though you may still need corrective lenses to optimize your vision. However, Eye Clinic of Wisconsin offers options that can reduce your dependency on contacts or glasses after cataract surgery. If this is of interest to you, be sure to discuss the possibilities of advanced lens implants or post-cataract refractive surgery (ecLASIK) at your consultation.
When considering cataract surgery, it is important understand that there are a variety IOL options that will match your lifestyle and vision goals:
Standard/Monofocal Lens Implants
Monofocal lens implants have been used for many years and are very effective at improving vision after cataract surgery. The monofocal lenses used at the Eye Clinic of Wisconsin are the most advanced in their category. However, they only have the ability to provide vision at one distance. If you wore corrective lenses (glasses or contacts) before your cataract surgery, you will most likely have to wear them after the surgery as well.
Toric Lens Implants
For cataract patients who also have astigmatism, Toric Intraocular Lenses (IOL), offer a chance to enjoy quality distance vision with minimal need for glasses or contact lenses. Astigmatism is a common condition which occurs when the shape of the cornea, or clear surface of the eye, isn’t perfectly round. This causes the light that enters the eye to focus at two points inside the eye. This is easily corrected with glasses or contact lenses. However, when these eyes have cataract surgery the astigmatism will persist after surgery unless it is addressed at the time of surgery with either an additional surgical procedure or special lens called a Toric IOL.
A Toric IOL has the astigmatism correction built into the lens. After carefully examining your eyes and discussing the options with you, your surgeon will recommend the option he believes is best for you. Typically insurance does not cover the cost of these procedures or lenses so there will be an additional out of pocket cost to the patient.
If you are interested in greater freedom from glasses after cataract surgery, your Eye Clinic of Wisconsin surgeon will discuss your lifestyle and thoroughly examine your eyes to determine the best lens or combination of IOL’s that are right for you. Several Eye Clinic of Wisconsin surgeons are qualified to implant a new generation of IOL’s that are specifically designed to provide vision at all distances, dramatically reducing or possibly eliminating your need for glasses.
There are several available premium lenses, and Eye Clinic of Wisconsin’s physicians offer a variety of options in order to provide you with the most appropriate treatment for your visual needs. These lenses are generally not covered by insurance and require and additional out of pocket cost to the patient.
Accommodating Lens Implants: An accommodating lens implant is one that can focus at variable distances. It has the ability to flex and shift position in the eye and change focus points, just as your natural lens did when you were younger. This often allows for improved vision at multiple ranges from distance to near, often times with minimal need for glasses. The Crystal lens is the current IOL approved for use in the United States.
Multifocal Lens Implants: Multifocal implants allow focusing to occur at multiple distances. Concentric rings within the lens allow light to enter different parts of the eye and focus vision for near, far and intermediate distances. These advanced lenses have the potential to reduce or eliminate your need for corrective lenses altogether. If multifocal lenses sound like an option that is of interest to you, ask about the ReStor and Tecnis multifocal lenses.
More information on Tecnis, you can visit their website here.
New Advancement for People with Mild to Moderate Open-Angle Glaucoma to Help Reduce the Need for Eye Drops.
The Eye Clinic of Wisconsin has always stayed on the forefront of technology in eye care. Today, almost every aspect of vision is connected to a product or procedure that wasn’t available even 10 years ago. The newest example of this is the use of the iStent which makes treating glaucoma part of treating your cataract.
iStent is the first FDA approved device that improves your eye’s natural fluid outflow to safely lower eye pressure. Proven safe and effective, the iStent is the smallest medical device ever approved by the FDA. It is placed in your eye during cataract surgery and is so small that you won’t be able to see or feel it after the procedure is over. iStent is designed to create a permanent opening in your trabecular meshwork, and works continuously to improve the outflow of fluid from your eyes to help control eye pressure.
We are pleased to be able to offer this new technology to patients in North Central Wisconsin. The Eye Clinic of Wisconsin has one of the first providers in the area to perform this procedure. Once implanted, iStent will begin working to safely and effectively manage your eye pressure. It may help to reduce your dependency on glaucoma medications.
If iStent sounds like something you may be interested in, call the Eye Clinic of Wisconsin at 800.472.0033.
Cataract Premium Lens Candidacy Test
The doctors at the Eye Clinic of Wisconsin want to help you determine whether or not you are a candidate for one of the premium intraocular lenses as part of your cataract surgery. These advanced lenses can help reduce a patient’s dependency on glasses. In order to better understand if you would be a good candidate for a premium lens, please take a moment to complete the form below. Once your visual needs and lifestyle requirements have been determined, it will be easier for our team to answer any of your questions relating to cataract surgery or any other vision correction procedure. After you submit your test form, a member of our team will contact you to discuss the results and your vision correction options.