Cataracts – Diagnosis and Treatment
Cataracts are the most common cause of blurred vision in people over the age of 50. Learn more about them and about the diagnosis and treatment options from the Elmquist Eye Group team.
About Elmquist Eye Group
Residents of Southwest Florida have been coming to Elmquist Eye Group for more than 25 years for the highest quality eye care, including cataract evaluations and surgery, and other eye conditions that affect everyone from children to seniors.
E. Trevor Elmquist, DO, a highly skilled ophthalmologist, has been selected for the last six consecutive years as one of America’s Top Doctors by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. He has been providing exceptional eye care to the residents of Southwest Florida for over 25 years.
Sarah Eccles-Brown, MD is also an experienced eye surgeon whose areas of expertise include refractive cataract surgery, LASIK, eyelid surgery and in-office procedures.
How the Eye Works
Our eyes work very much like a camera. Light passes through the cornea (the “window” of the eye) and through the pupil, on its way to the retina. Immediately behind the pupil is the normally clear natural lens. Similar to the way a camera lens focuses images onto film at the back of the camera, the human lens focuses light onto the retina at the back of the eye, which forms an image that is relayed to the brain along the optic nerve.
If you get too many fingerprints on your camera lens, your photos will look blurry. When a cataract causes the lens inside your eye to become cloudy, it will cause blurred vision. Although the changes may be barely noticeable at first, the cataract may grow larger and cloud more of the lens, making it harder to see.
The first evidence of cataracts is usually discovered during a cataract evaluation at Elmquist Eye Group. Your eye doctor will dilate your pupils to thoroughly examine your eyes. He or she will also do a few extra tests, such as visual acuity and glare testing, to diagnose a cataract and determine its severity.
How Cataracts Are Treated
Cataracts worsen slowly over time, but you may eventually decide to have cataract surgery to correct the problem. The cataract, or cloudy lens of the eye, is replaced with an artificial plastic lens, called an intraocular lens or “IOL.”
Cataract surgery is one of the safest surgeries performed in the U.S. today, with a success rate that exceeds 95%. The procedure is quick, most patients experience little or no discomfort, and clear vision is usually restored within a few days.
In traditional cataract surgery, the natural lens of the eye is typically replaced with a monofocal (one distance) intraocular lens to restore your clear vision. Traditional cataract surgery provides excellent results, but technological advances in both lens technology and surgical techniques now afford cataract patients more options.
To achieve the best possible outcomes for cataract patients, Elmquist Eye Group offers refractive laser-assisted cataract surgery. The FDA-approved laser automates several steps of the procedure and improves the precision, accuracy and safety of cataract surgery.
The laser and guidance system are used to make tiny incisions in the cornea for removal of the cataract that is clouding your vision. Previously, this was accomplished by the surgeon with a hand-held blade.
Schedule an appointment with Elmquist Eye Group at (239) 936-2020 to learn more about the diagnosis of cataracts and the treatment options.