What is a Cataract?
Cataracts is a disease of the eye that results in the clouding of the lens of the eyeball. Cataracts prevent clear images from appearing on the eye’s retina; causing mild, moderate, even severe blurred vision. Watch a short video about cataracts now.
Typically an eye disorder associated with aging (over half of the people in America over age 80 have either had a cataract or cataract surgery), cataracts generally occur later in life as the lens structure within the human eye changes and gets older.
During the evaluation of your eye health we will carefully examine your lens for signs of cataract formation. If a cataract is noticed and the clouding is causing visual disruption, our Fort Collins optometrist will refer you to a trusted and respected surgeon for surgery, which is the only known cure for cataracts. 20/20 Vision Center will be there for you providing pre and post cataract surgery care.
Signs & Symptoms
Cataracts don’t suddenly develop overnight. They generally start off small and only begin to noticeably affect your vision as they grow. The first symptom is usually that your vision becomes blurred, hazy or cloudy. Additionally, you may become sensitive to light, making sunlight, oncoming headlights or indoor lighting appear exceptionally glaring or bright. Colors may seem dim and you may notice halos around lights or double vision.
The symptoms people experience from cataracts may vary. Some individuals even report a temporary improvement in near vision when a cataract first develops, a phenomenon known as “second sight”.
Here is a list of possible signs and symptoms of developing cataracts:
What are the Steps of Cataract Surgery?
Cataract surgery is the removal of the natural lens of the eye (also called “crystalline lens”) that has developed an opacification, which is referred to as a cataract. Metabolic changes of the crystalline lens fibers over the time lead to the development of the cataract and loss of transparency, causing impairment or loss of vision. During cataract surgery, a patient’s cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced with a synthetic lens to restore the lens’s transparency.
Following surgical removal of the natural lens, an artificial intraocular lens implant is inserted (eye surgeons say that the lens is “implanted”). Cataract surgery is generally performed by an ophthalmologist (eye surgeon) in an ambulatory (rather than inpatient) setting, in a surgical center or hospital, using local anesthesia (either topical, peribulbar, or retrobulbar), usually causing little or no discomfort to the patient. Well over 90% of operations are successful in restoring useful vision, with a low complication rate. Day care, high volume, minimally invasive, small incision phacoemulsification with quick post-op recovery has become the standard of care in cataract surgery all over the world.
During cataract surgery, a small incision is made in the cornea. The Eye Center of Northern Colorado was the first practice in Colorado and one of the first in the country to implement revolutionary technology for this step: the LenSx® laser.
After the incision is made, a small ultrasonic device is inserted in the incision. The lens capsule, which is the front part of the lens envelope, is opened so that the lens material can be removed. The small ultrasonic device inserted into the eye is used to gently wash away the hardened yellow proteins that cause the cataract while the material is simultaneously removed from the eye.
Then, a pre-determined Intraocular Lens (IOL) is inserted into the eye. This new lens will remain inside the eye, allowing light to be clearly focused on the retina and providing clear vision at the desired distance.
The IOL will not move and can’t be felt or sensed in any way by the patient. Once the new lens is in place, where your natural lens used to exist, the opening will self-seal without the need for stitches.
Book an Appointment & Learn More About Your Cataracts Options.
The more you know about cataracts, the better prepared you will be to deal with them – or help prevent them in the first place!
Simply request a time slot, walk-in at the appointed time, and get prioritized treatments at no extra cost.
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Our Mission at 20/20 Vision Center
Our mission is to enhance quality of life by improving eye health and vision through compassionate care, state-of-the-art technology, and exceptional patient service.