Cataract Treatment Options
It may be a surprise to some people to learn that cataracts are the leading cause of blindness. Fortunately, modern surgical advancements have made it possible for ophthalmologists to address this issue using a procedure that is both quick and painless. Abrams Eye Institute in Las Vegas offers various options for cataract surgery.
Today, ophthalmologists use state-of-the-art surgical techniques, including the use of femtosecond lasers to painlessly remove cataracts and restore normal vision. At Abrams Eye Institute, we also offer phacoemulsification, a modern (and traditional) approach to cataract surgery, where the internal lens is emulsified with an ultrasonic handpiece and aspirated from the eye.
Both treatment options are effective in treating cataracts. A consultation with your ophthalmologist will help you determine which is the best option for your unique case. It’s important to note Medicare and the majority of health insurance policies cover traditional cataract surgery if a qualified ophthalmologist performs it.
Cataract surgery also often presents opportunities to correct other vision problems such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism, which may enable patients to discontinue the use of eyeglasses or contact lenses permanently. Learn more about lens options.
What is a Cataract?
In a normal eye, light passes through a clear lens before it reaches the retina. The lens focuses light on the retina, which helps us to see. In an eye with a cataract, the lens becomes cloudy, which distorts the rays of light, thus distorting one’s vision.
Cataracts are caused by certain changes in the chemical makeup of the eye lens. Age is undoubtedly a contributing factor. However, other factors could be at play, such as eye injuries, reactions to medications, or side effects to diseases such as diabetes.
Who is at Risk of Getting Cataracts?
The likelihood of developing cataracts increases as a person ages. As many as 50 percent of individuals over the age of 65 develop cataracts that will impact their ability to lead a normal life.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, see your eye doctor for an examination:
• Blurred or cloudy vision
• Increased difficulty seeing at night
• Increased sensitivity to light
• The appearance of “halos” around lights
• Faded or diminished perception of color
• Double vision in one eye
Although the symptoms indicating cataracts are usually recognized easily, the only way to properly diagnose the condition is through an examination by an ophthalmologist. A prompt diagnosis is recommended to arrange treatment and rule out any other causes.
Given that cataracts are relatively common, particularly in seniors, it is likely that there are a significant number of individuals that have begun to develop cataracts and are not yet aware of it. Early stages of cataract development may lead some seniors to believe that their worsening vision is simply the result of aging. They may not realize the severity of their condition until cataracts begin to have a very detrimental effect on their vision.
If left untreated, cataracts will eventually cause significant disruption in everyday life and interfere with normal activities like driving a car or watching television. Regular visits to the eye doctor will increase the chances that cataracts are discovered early. The patient may be referred to an ophthalmologist for further diagnosis and possible surgery.
The Center for Disease Control estimates that more than three million people have cataract surgery each year and 20.5 million adults over the age of 40 struggle with cataracts. If you’ve noticed a change in your vision, particularly the onset of cloudiness, contact our ophthalmologists in Las Vegas, who can provide you a comprehensive eye exam.
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