When a yellowish brown substance collects in the eye lens and steadily becomes opaque, reducing light into the eye (cataracts) it can lead to blurriness, sharp glares, reduced vision, even blindness. It’s not just aging; exposure to sunlight or radiation, smoking or alcohol use can lead to cataracts, but more often in women, African and Hispanic Americans, or those with a family history of it. Fortunately, cataract sufferers have many options when visiting their local ophthalmologist.
Phacoemulsification is a common treatment in Las Vegas and other cities. In this surgery, a needle will cut the membrane of the lens (phaco). It emits small ultrasounds to break apart by emulsification (making liquids mix that usually don’t) and pull out the problem liquid. After cataract surgery, an intraocular (IOL) lens will need to be inserted. It can be monofocal, for either reading or distance vision, or multifocal, which can handle both, but may cause increased glare or decreased contrast. An FDA-approved Crystalens closely follows the natural eye design; it reduces the downsides of monofocal or multifocal alternatives. A toric lens may be needed if one eye has a astigmatism. Recently, a type of laser surgery called LenSx uses the SMART Cataract Surgery technique and differs from Las Vegas Phacoemulsification. It uses Optiwave Refractive Analysis to reduce the margin of error.
After surgery, the lens’ back membrane can become cloudy — YAG Laser Capsulotomy is a quick outpatient laser process to restore the membrane. Likewise, it is not uncommon for patients to develop droopy eyelids after surgery and Blepharoplasty, or eye plastic surgery, can correct it.
Myopia or an astigmatism usually treated through LASIK surgery that reshapes the cornea can lead to cataracts so before any of these become necessary; consult your Las Vegas ophthalmologist on how often you might need to have your eyes tested.