What Is A Cataract?
A cataract is a common condition that causes a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, and affects millions of people each year, including more than half of all Americans over the age of 65. Cloudiness develops as a result of a buildup of protein in the lens.
Cataracts cause a progressive, painless loss of vision. The lens clouds naturally as we age, causing people over the age of 65 to see a gradual reduction of vision. However, cataracts are not considered part of the natural aging process and are a serious condition that requires prompt medical attention. The exact cause of cataracts is unknown, although it may be a result of injury, certain medications, illnesses (such as diabetes), prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light and smoking.
Dr. Stefano performs a series of tests in order to diagnose a cataract. A dilated eye exam will be performed to test the vision and to examine the condition of the lens and other parts of the eye. Dr. Stefano may also perform tonometry, a procedure that measures the pressure in the eye.
Symptoms Of Cataracts
Patients with cataracts often do not experience any symptoms when the condition first develops. Cataracts will continue to progress with no apparent pain, although patients may experience:
- Blurred or hazy vision
- Double vision
- Poor vision in bright light
- Seeing halos around lights
- Poor vision at night
- Yellowish tinged vision
- Frequent changes in eyeglasses or contact lens prescription
How To Treat Cataracts?
If visual impairment begins to interfere with your ability to read, work or do the things you enjoy, you may want to consider undergoing cataract surgery in Winchester, VA to restore your vision. Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed surgical procedure in the US, and can be performed quickly and easily with a success rate of over 90 percent and a minimal risk of complications.
How Does Cataract Surgery Work?
Cataract surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that involves numbing the eyes with anesthesia and then making a tiny incision into which an ultrasonic probe is inserted. The probe breaks up, or emulsifies, the cloudy lens into tiny pieces and then suctions them out of the eye. Once the cloudy lens has been removed, a new artificial lens is implanted into the eye. This lens is known as an intraocular (IOL) lens, and can often be inserted through the same incision that the old lens was removed from.
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LASIK is amazing and worth every penny! I was so hesitant and scared but Dr. Stefano and his staff made me feel comfortable and reassured me that I’d be fine!! I could never thank them enough! One of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Risks And Complications Of Cataracts
Cataract Surgery if left untreated, cataracts will worsen over time and may lead to permanent vision loss or even blindness. It is important to see your eye doctor regularly in order to detect cataracts as early as possible and to plan an effective treatment method.
Although cataract surgery is considered safe, there are certain risks associated with any surgery. Some of these risks may include pain, infection, swelling and bleeding. Most patients undergo this procedure without any complications.
How Long Does Cataract Surgery Take?
Surgery usually takes less than an hour to perform and is painless for most patients. After the procedure, a patch may be placed over the eye and you will be asked to rest for a while. Most patients are able to go home the very same day, although you will need someone to drive you home.
Life After Cataract Surgery
For the first few days following your cataract surgery in Winchester, VA, you may experience itching, mild discomfort, fluid discharge and sensitivity to light and touch. Dr. Stefano may prescribe eye drops to help the healing process and to reduce the risk of infection.
There are several different IOLs available to help each patient achieve the best possible results from his/her cataract surgery. Multifocal IOLs allow for full vision correction at near, intermediate and far distances, completely eliminating the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses in most patients. Some IOLs can also correct astigmatism.
These choices were not always available for cataract patients. In the past, cataract surgery only involved monofocal lenses, which could only focus on objects near or far, but could not adjust to accommodate varying distances. These patients still had to rely on glasses or contact lenses after surgery in order to see clearly at all distances, especially in older patients suffering from presbyopia.
Why Choose Shenandoah Lasik For Cataract Surgery
Shenandoah Lasik & Cataract Center offers the most upgraded laser-assisted cataract surgery in Winchester, VA. Less invasive and safer for our patients. Dr. Stefano and his staff believe that our patients come first, which means safety and results are our number one goal. Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss in the United States, which is why the less invasive the better for our patients. Our results are unmatched and we pride ourselves on being the best place to get Cataract Surgery in the state of Virginia.
Read what our patients are saying!
“Dr. Stefano is an exceptional surgeon. He is so brilliant! I’m pretty sure it’s impossible for him to make a mistake surgically. Staff is wonderful and helpful. I struggled with GPC (eye disease) and contacts/ glasses my whole life. LASIK changed my life. I would recommend this local practice VS. going to the city.”
Are the Results of Cataract Surgery Permanent?
Cataract surgery is intended to achieve results that last indefinitely. The natural lens that has become covered in proteins is removed and a biocompatible lens is inserted in its place. The new lens, the intraocular lens, IOL, cannot form proteins so should never become clouded.
Now, that said, there is a slight chance that you might develop a condition called posterior capsule opacification. This is sometimes referred to as "secondary cataracts," but it doesn't affect the new lens, it's the clouding of the natural capsule that holds the new lens in place. Posterior capsular opacification is easy to treat. If your vision becomes cloudy after cataract surgery, Dr. Stefano can perform a quick laser capsulotomy procedure to painlessly open the capsule and restore your clear, crisp vision.
When Should I Have Cataract Surgery?
One of the aspects of having cataracts is that it's largely up to you when you want to schedule surgery. Generally, we encourage patients not to wait. It's quality of life that suffers, after all, when cataracts are left untreated for too long. Paying attention to the ways you've had to change your life can help you determine the right timing for cataract removal. If you find that you're no longer participating in activities, hobbies, or work that you enjoy, you're ready for surgery. Do you have to wait that long? Not at all. You can schedule cataract surgery early and avoid missing out on a single day of optimal living!
Is Cataract Surgery Done on Both Eyes at the Same Time?
It's physically possible to treat both eyes at the same time. However, this is rarely done. You'll need at least a few weeks to recover from the replacement of your natural lens. Your vision may be blurry for several days, so having clear vision in one eye is logically safer for you to be able to move around and take care of yourself while your eye heals. Furthermore, there is a slight risk of complications after cataract removal surgery, including infection. Having only one eye treated at a time enables us to manage your risks and address them if any do occur without causing any significant upheaval in your life. We may schedule cataract surgery on your other eye once your vision has stabilized in the first treated eye.
Will I Need Glasses After Cataract Surgery?
You may need to wear eyeglasses after your cataract surgery. This will depend on a few critical factors. These include your general health and overall eye health, your current eyeglass prescription at the time of your cataract surgery, and also your choice of intraocular lens.
There are standard and premium types of IOLs available today. Some are designed to improve a single distance, near or far, which might mean you'd need glasses for whichever distance is not corrected by your IOL. Newer technology has resulted in various premium IOL options, many of which provide the ability to focus at multiple distances.
Your future vision is important! If you're interested in reducing your reliance on eyeglasses after your cataract removal procedure, talk to Dr. Stefano about the lens options that are best suited to your needs.
If you want to learn more about Cataract Surgery in Winchester, Virginia, contact us today at 540-722-6200 or submit an online contact form to schedule a consultation with Dr. Stefano. Our practice looks forward to serving you.