What is a cataract, actually?

Cataracts aren’t foreign bodies in the eye, but actually changes to the lens of your eye. As you age, or due to injury, the once clear lens gets cloudy and vision becomes hazy. In more advanced stages the lens becomes less flexible and yellowed. Surgically removing the eye’s natural lens clears the view so there’s an unobstructed path for light to get to the retina, but it also leaves the eye unable to accurately focus light. That’s why an artificial lens is then put in place.

When is it time to have cataract surgery?

When a cataract causes vision impairment that begins to affect your normal daily activities it’s time to talk to Dr. Olson about surgery. He will conduct pre-operative testing and make arrangements for you to see an experienced and caring eye surgeon.

How cataracts are removed

Phacoemulsification is used to remove the hardened, discolored lens. This rather fascinating process using ultrasonic vibration and a vacuum is illustrated in this video. It also demonstrates insertion of a new intraocular lens.

Benefits of cataract surgery

Those who have had cataract surgery are generally amazed at the results. Imagine seeing everything through a colored, hazy filter and then suddenly having that removed. Not only that, the new intraocular lens (IOL)  has a corrective power designed to restore focus. Ideally that could take the place of glasses or contacts, however it’s not unusual for seniors to still need glasses for certain tasks. That’s primarily because IOLs aren’t as adaptable as a healthy natural lens would be when it comes to changing focus for all distances.