Health experts project that 50 million Americans will have cataracts in the next three decades. Cataracts typically affect people after age 65, and surgery is the only remedy. If you live near Naples, FL, you have the best cataract surgeons nearby at Elmquist Eye Group.
What is cataract surgery like?
Modern cataract surgery is very safe and very effective. The procedure is easy to prepare for, fast and painless, and has short recovery times. Modern cataract surgery evolved from a discovery made during World War II by a British physician who treated pilots with eye damage. These pilots had shards of aircraft windshields lodged in their eyes, and this physician noticed that the pilots’ immune systems did not respond to the shards of plastic. This discovery led to the invention of modern lens implants because the physician reckoned that an artificial lens could be created with these plastics.
At Elmquist, our surgeons use laser-assisted cataract surgery. First, the surgeon uses a laser called the femtosecond laser to make a small incision in the cornea to break up (phacoemulsify) the clouded cataract lens. These pieces are then removed from the eye, and the surgeon implants the artificial intraocular lens (IOL), made of special polymers that are flexible to better fit the lens. Modern IOL have vision correction technology embedded as well, and we can correct all kinds of vision problems like nearsightedness and farsightedness, and even astigmatism. The IOL lenses are also engineered so that the protein buildup that causes a cataract does not reappear on the lens.
Do you have cataracts?
If you are over age 60 and have been experiencing blurry or clouded vision, you may have a cataract. Patients also report that colors seem faded and less vibrant, and also say they have significant difficulty driving at night, reading in low light or dealing with bright lights and glare. These are all signs that the proteins in our eyes have started to naturally break down, clump onto the lens, and form a cataract. These clumps cause light to scatter rather than focus on the lens, therefore explaining the difficulties patients typically report.
Most adults notice cataracts in their late 60s or early 70s. Cataracts can begin forming as early as age 40, but most people do not notice them for many years. Over time, as the protein deposits build, people notice symptoms like difficulty reading or driving. In your eighties, most adults will have some sort of cataract, and while they do range in severity, all cataracts do eventually require surgery.
If you are over age 60 and have been experiencing some vision issues, you might be wondering whether you have a cataract. A comprehensive cataract vision exam is the best way to get an answer, so give us a call today to schedule your appointment with Elmquist Eye Group, the best cataract surgeons near Naples, FL.