Individualized Cataract Surgery in Jacksonville and Nocatee FL
Our eyes age like the rest of our bodies. The most common age-related eye condition is “cataracts.” Cataracts progress slowly over the years unbeknownst to the patient until they begin noticing decreased vision and cloudiness.
General knowledge of cataracts, recognizing symptoms and understanding your surgical options will put you on the best track to cataract-free living.
What are Cataracts?
Behind your eye’s iris (the colored part), there is a crystal-clear, flexible lens. A healthy lens focuses the light that comes into your eye onto the retina. Depending on how well the lens focuses the light, your vision will be sharp or blurry. This lens must be completely clear for the best vision.
A cataract occurs when the natural lens inside of the eye begins to “cloud. This happens when the proteins that make up the lens begin to clump together forming a film. This clouding allows less light inside of the eye, resulting in decreased vision. Cataracts can lead to blindness if left untreated. Luckily, cataracts are treatable at all stages.
It’s easy to mistake cataract development for typical “old age” vision. In the early stages and without an eye doctor, it’s nearly impossible to tell why your vision is declining. It could be several reasons, such as refractive error (like astigmatism). This is why we recommend annual routine eye exams.
There are a few symptoms that you will find with cataracts and not with refractive errors. Common cataract symptoms include:
• Blurry, hazy vision: Having cataracts can feel like looking through a frosty or fogged-up window.
• Light sensitivity: The sun or a lamp may seem too bright or glaring. Headlights from oncoming cars at night may produce a glare that wasn’t there before.
• Dull color: Colors may not seem as bright or vivid as before. Sometimes, you will notice a yellow tint to your vision.
• Distorted vision: Sometimes cataracts can cause “warped” vision in one area. Double vision can also occur.
• Difficulty seeing at night: Your night vision is not what it used to be, and driving at night becomes very difficult.
Cataracts are only treatable through cataract surgery. Once diagnosed, Dr. Barnhorst determines the right timing for treatment, whereby, the natural lens is replaced with a clear, artificial lens, referred to as intraocular lenses (IOLs.) There are many different types of IOLs on the market today, so you will work together to determine the best IOL for your budget, visual needs and lifestyle.
Luckily, cataract surgery requires little to no downtime!
Different types of IOLs provide different benefits:
• Monofocal: These lenses have been around longer than all of our other lens options and are designed to provide good quality distance vision. The cost of cataract surgery with a monofocal implant is covered by Medicare and private insurance companies.
• Multifocal: Designed to better mimic the eye’s natural ability to change focus, multifocal IOLs provide a much greater range of vision from distance to intermediate and near vision needs.
• Toric: Blurred or distorted vision due to an irregularly shaped cornea is called astigmatism. In some cases, astigmatism can be corrected during cataract surgery but is not an option for all patients. Toric IOLs effectively eliminate astigmatism and may be the better option for many people.
At Barnhorst Eye Associates, we offer both the traditional, manual technique and Laser Cataract Surgery with the LenSx® femtosecond laser. You can look forward to not only restoring the vision lost due to cataracts, but to choosing an option that is best for you.
Cataract Surgery Recovery
You’ll need someone to drive you home, but you’ll leave with the proper medications, after-care instructions, and eye wear for use during recovery. You’ll need to avoid heavy lifting, swimming, or any strenuous activity for a time but the recovery is usually simple.