Cataract Evaluations SW Florida
Did you know that half of all Americans over age 80 either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery? This National Eye Institute data is very eye-opening (no pun intended) and shows that cataracts are indeed very common. Most cataracts are age-related, and if you or a family member or friend need cataract evaluations in SW Florida, come to Elmquist Eye Group.
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the eye lens. Proteins in the eye break down with aging and clump on the lens. At first, most patients don’t even notice. Cataracts are not very visible and in the early stages don’t have any noticeable symptoms.
Most patients notice several progressive signs, including:
- Blurry or hazy vision
- Trouble seeing at night
- Seeing halos around lights
- Needing brighter and brighter light for reading
- Seeing muted colors
Surgery is the only true remedy for cataracts. The surgery is extremely safe and done as an outpatient procedure so that you can go home the same day.
What should I expect?
Our patients like to know what to expect. We conduct a series of eye tests and measurements. The first is that we take measurements that help determine whether you are a surgical candidate. These measurements also help guide discussions with the patient regarding how far the cataract has progressed as well as patient expectations for the surgery.
We will first perform a comprehensive dilated eye exam to check for visual acuity, effects of glare, eye pressure and more. The dilation helps the doctor get a much more detailed picture inside the eye and eye structures, particularly the structures at the back of the eye – optic nerve, retina and macula. If the doctor sees something of concern, other detailed tests like ocular coherence tomography (OCT) may be ordered so that the physician can further evaluate these fine features.
At the end of the visit, the surgeon will discuss surgical options with you. We will fully discuss your symptoms and how those relate to the results of the tests conducted during the exam. We will talk about whether you need surgery, why you want to have surgery and your expectations of surgical outcomes. The surgeon will discuss artificial lens options and tell you about all of the vision correction options available for nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
Cataract surgery is extremely safe, but we will of course discuss the small risks associated with the surgery. Some patients experience minor swelling or bleeding, and there is a risk of infection in the eye. Sometimes the artificial lens can become detached.
The above risks are small, and honestly, there are more risks from delaying the surgery if you need it. At first, surgery may not be needed. We will make more frequent adjustments to your prescription for contact lenses or eyeglasses. However, when the cataract becomes significant enough to interfere with daily activities, we recommend the surgery.
Delaying surgery often increases the likelihood of injury from accidents. As your eyesight becomes more diminished, it is harder to walk, drive and do other activities. There is also some research that shows that patients with cataracts are more susceptible to depression because the limited vision puts too many limits on their ability to carry on with daily life activities.
Come Visit Us
You definitely deserve the best, and the best cataract evaluations in SW Florida are at Elmquist Eye Group. We offer patients the latest advancements in eye care, and it is very easy to schedule an appointment. We are confident in our ability to provide you with outstanding eye care, so give us a call today.