Nearly 2 million people undergo cataract surgery each year in the United States, and most of these surgeries occur quickly and without complications.
During cataract surgery the cloudy natural lens of the eye is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). Although there are a variety of IOLs, they are typically made of a flexible material, allowing the surgeon to insert the IOL through a very small incision. Once the cataract is removed and the IOL is placed in the proper position, light entering the eye will once again reach the retina.
A cataract should be removed when vision loss interferes with your everyday activities, such as driving, reading, or watching TV. Once you understand the benefits and risks of surgery, you can make an informed decision about whether cataract surgery is right for you.
Sometimes a cataract should be removed even if it does not cause problems with your vision. For example, a cataract should be removed if it prevents examination or treatment of another eye problem, such as age-related macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy. If you have cataracts in both eyes that require surgery, the surgery will be performed on each eye at separate times to monitor and optimize healing after surgery.
At Pacific Northwest Eye Associates, our cataract surgeons perform thousands of procedures each year. Our state-of-the-art surgery center features the finest equipment and a skilled and caring staff to insure that you obtain the clearest vision possible following surgery.
If you or someone you love has a cataract or is suffering from decreased vision, please contact our Patient Services Representatives to make an appointment with one of our doctors by calling us at (253) 759-5555 or by clicking here, to send us an online appointment request. Our team at PNWE is ready to assist you.
INTRAOCULAR LENSES (IOLs): MONOFOCAL, TORIC, MULTIFOCAL, EXTENDED DEPTH OF FOCUS, and ACCOMODATIVE LENSES
When the diseased natural lens of the eye is removed during cataract surgery, the patient requires an intraocular lens (IOL) to be placed into the eye to restore vision. Otherwise if an intraocular lens is not placed, the patient will see very poorly after surgery.
Intraocular lenses are artificial lenses surgically implanted in the eye and that provide focusing power back to an eye that is undergoing eye surgery. These lenses are customized to each individual patient having cataract surgery. Often times, the lens power chosen for one eye is different than the other eye as these are based on anatomical measurements particular to each respective eye.
Technological advancements in the past 30 years have been tremendous, and there are various types of IOLs available that one can choose for their cataract procedure. The standard option is a monofocal lens, but many patients choose to pay more out of pocket to upgrade their intraocular lens choice to a higher technology lens. This choice is customizable, and an individual lens plan will be set up with you and your surgeon at the time of your cataract consultation in the office.
MONOFOCAL INTRAOCULAR LENS: A common type of IOL used in cataract surgery is the monofocal, or fixed-focus lens, which provides clear vision at one distance only, usually near or far but typically far vision. Most patients choose to see far away after surgery, and then use reading glasses for up close vision. If a patient has astigmatism, they can choose to upgrade to a toric lens. If a patient with astigmatism chooses, a standard monofocal lens, they often will require glasses to optimize both their distance and near vision after surgery.
TORIC INTRAOCULAR LENS: Some patients have astigmatism, and they choose to upgrade their monofocal lens to a customized higher technology toric intraocular lens. These lenses are used to optimize a patient’s uncorrected distance vision and reduce one’s dependence on glasses for distance. Patients who select a toric lens upgrade often still require glasses for near vision after a successful surgical procedure as the goal of a toric lens is to optimize the distance vision.
MULTIFOCAL, EXTENDED DEPTH OF FOCUS, AND ACCOMODATING INTRAOCULAR LENS: Some patients want more visual freedom after cataract surgery and want less dependence on glasses once they have their cataracts removed. These patients often choose to upgrade their lens choice to a Multifocal or Trifocal, Extended Depth of Focus, or Accommodating IOL. These IOLs may be used to treat myopia, hyperopia, and presbyopia and may minimize or even eliminate the need for glasses or contacts to see well at distance, intermediate, and near depending on the exact type of lens chosen. The decision on whether these lenses are a good match for a particular patient occur with the doctor when the eyes are examined during the detailed in office cataract consultation with one of our surgeons. The risks of glare and halos and reduced contrast sensitivity particular to each lens will be discussed at the time of your visit.
Ultimately it will be up to you to determine which intraocular lens best fits your needs and lifestyle. A customized surgical plan will be created for you with your participation during your eye examination.
If you or someone you love has a cataract or is suffering from decreased vision, please contact our Patient Services Representatives to make an appointment with one of our doctors by calling us at (253) 759-5555 or by clicking here to send us an online appointment request. Our team at PNWE is ready to assist you.