Cataract surgery is one of the oldest procedures performed worldwide. Today, largely due to advancements in technique and technology, cataract surgery is one of the most common procedures performed. Of course, you still need an experienced surgeon to perform the procedure, and the best cataract surgeons near Bonita Springs, Florida, are at Elmquist Eye Group.
More about cataracts
The eye lens is normally crystalline and clear, so it properly refracts light to focus the eye, thus producing a clear image. When a cataract forms, the lens becomes opacified, so the image is not clear. Aging is the most common cause of a cataract. As people age, proteins in the eye naturally break down and cloud the lens. Other factors such as exposure to ultraviolet radiation and tobacco use are also causes and can be avoided by wearing sunglasses and making lifestyle changes.
When cataracts interfere with vision, doctors classify the cataract as “visually significant.” At this stage, cataract surgery is the only established method of treatment. In the past, doctors defined a visually significant cataract as a very advanced or mature cataract, one that was approaching blindness. Today, the definition has changed, and visually significant means a visual acuity of 20/40 or worse.
Because of amazing advances in surgical techniques, surgeons are able to now remove cataracts at much earlier stages.
More about the surgery
Simultaneous with surgical advancements has been the advancement of the replacement lens technology (intraocular lenses). Together, the two technologies make cataract surgery one of the most successful surgical treatments in medicine today.
Our surgical technique involves phacoemulsification, invented in 1967 by American ophthalmologist Charles Kelman. Surgeons create a small incision then use ultrasound to break up the cataract. While Kelman’s technique was originally met with resistance, as most new surgical techniques are, today phacoemulsification is considered worldwide to be the safest and most preferred technique for cataract surgery. A smaller incision is used with phacoemulsification, and that translates into more stability for the surgeon and fewer complications and shorter recovery time for the patient.
When do I need surgery?
Patients normally do not even notice cataracts in the early stages. Because cataracts form gradually, most people don’t notice drastic vision changes. Instead, colors tend to become duller over time and vision gradually gets duller as well. It is important to have an eye doctor check your cataract progress at a minimum at an annual exam. For a while, our Elmquist team can make more frequent changes to your eyeglasses or contact lens prescription to adjust for the progressing cataract.
When vision becomes impaired enough to interfere with daily activities like reading or driving, it is time for surgery. Cataract surgery is fast, taking only about 10 minutes. Immediately after the surgery, we monitor patients in our recovery area for about an hour. After that, you are free to leave our outpatient facility. Someone will drive you home. We will place an eye shield over your eye and provide you with protective sunglasses to reduce the sun’s glare during your drive. We also send you with antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops to soothe your eye and promote healing. If you have a cataract in the other eye, we normally wait two weeks at least between surgeries to ensure your first eye is well on its way to being healed.
Cataract surgery with phacoemulsification is an easy and effective way to remove a cataract and restore your normal vision. In the hands of the best cataract surgeons near Bonita Springs, Florida, you will be well cared for at Elmquist Eye Group, so don’t delay. Give us a call today so you can be well on your way to improved vision.