A cataract is a clouding of the eye's natural lens, which happens gradually and can make your vision less sharp over time. The natural lens, located behind the iris (the colored portion of the eye), works like the lens of a camera. The natural lens focuses light images on the retina in the back of the eye which then transports those images to the brain.
Although cataracts can happen at any age, they are the most common cause of vision loss in adults over 55. More than one million cataract procedures will be performed nationwide this year alone. At Omaha & Lincoln Eye & Laser Institutes we offer the most advanced micro-surgical technique in the comfort of our very own AAAHC accredited surgery center.
Due to the slow progression, cataracts can be difficult to recognize. Often times cataracts are the reason behind increasingly blurred vision, dulled colors or decreased night vision due to glare, starburst or halos. Reading can become more difficult due to the blurriness and loss of contrast sensitivity, and daily activities may be impacted for these reasons. In the past it was thought that cataract surgery could not be performed until the cataract was ripe or ready. With recent research and studies we have found that this is no longer true. Cataract surgery can be performed as soon as vision interferes with a patient’s quality of life.
Although all replacement lenses are made with the same high quality material they have different functionalities depending on preference of vision post-surgery. The health and unique characteristics of the eye also play an important role in which lens options are available. Take our IOL self evaluation test to see which lens is right for you.
Monofocial or Standard lenses have only one power and do not correct astigmatism and have no built in bifocals. Patients who select this lens will need to wear bifocals afterwards to fully correct their distance and near vision after surgery.
Astigmastim correction or Toric Lenses can correct varying degrees of astigmatism at the time of cataract surgery. Distance as well as near vision after surgery is sharpest when most of the astigmatism is neutralized during the procedure. Most patients who have toric lens implants can expect to see well enough to drive and watch TV without glasses but still need reading glasses for near activities such as reading, sewing and computer-related activities.
Trifocal PanOptix Lenses can provide distance, intermediate and near vision. The near vision is typically located at a fixed distance and is set at 16 inches and intermediate is set at 24 inches from the eye. Trifocal implant patients will experience some degree of visible rings around light sources (or halos) at night. The halos may gradually become less noticeable over six months due to a process known as neuro-adaptation. Trifocal lens patients experience some of the highest degrees of vision independence from glasses after surgery; between 90% of trifocal lens implant patients state that they rarely have to use glasses after surgery, and more than 98 % of trifocal lens patients report being very satisfied with their vision, and would recommend it to their friends.
The Light Adjustable Lens delivers superior visual outcomes that non-adjustable IOLs cannot match. This is a lens that allows us to modify its power after it has been placed in your eye.
Typically a month after surgery when the eye is well healed your doctor can adjust the lens in your eye to help you see the sharpest vision possible by correcting your astigmatism, nearsightedness or farsightedness over three weekly visits until you see the way you want to see. The lens is then locked in two subsequent weekly visits. Until the two locking visits some special UV blocking glasses need to be worn when outdoors or when exposed to UV light.
The only way to effectively treat cataracts is through their surgical removal. During the procedure, the eye is fully anesthetized eliminating any pain or discomfort. An IV anti-anxiety medicine will also be given to ensure comfort. Unless special health problems arise or there are special insurance requirements, the surgery will be performed in our comfortable, friendly, AAAHC accredited outpatient surgery center. Most patients can expect to be in our surgery facility anywhere from two to four hours although the procedure itself is only about 20 to 30 minutes. A driver will be required the day of surgery.