With ongoing advancements in the field of ophthalmic surgery, treatment for cataracts is better than ever. In fact, cataract removal is one of the safest and most effective procedures performed in the United States with an incredible success rate of well over 99%. It’s no wonder why over 4 million patients elect to have their cataracts removed each year, making it the most commonly performed surgery.
The Importance of Treating Cataracts
The lens of the eye, like a camera lens, allows images to pass through onto the retina where the picture is made. If the lens becomes cloudy, the amount of light that can pass through as well as the image clarity are both reduced. This is known as a cataract. Cataracts can grow at different rates, with some causing visual disability in a matter of a few months. A patient’s lifestyle is an important factor when determining the appropriate time for surgery. Those who use their eyes for activities like driving, sewing, painting, photography, and sports will often be more aware of changes in their vision, and thus, seek earlier treatment.
Since this gradual clouding of the eye’s lens impairs vision and depth perception, untreated cataracts have the potential to increase the risk of an accident. In particular, cataracts affect the ability to see clearly when driving at night due to glare from oncoming headlights. Likewise, gradual loss of depth perception can cause someone to misjudge the height of a curb or the depth of a bathtub, leading to falls as well as orthopedic and head trauma.
The Benefits of Modern Cataract Treatment
As technology progresses, cataract surgery has also been able to improve the precision of a patient’s vision. In fact, many patients only need minimal optical correction or even no correction at all following their treatment. This can be accomplished by implanting an intraocular lens—more commonly referred to as an IOL—after removing the cloudy lens. There are a variety of designs that have the potential to improve distance vision, both near and far vision, and even correct astigmatism. Your surgeon will provide you with the best options for your individual needs.
Before the procedure, each patient will work with their doctor to determine the best type of IOL for them. This aspect of the surgery is highly personalized for every patient since it is based on the individual’s unique eye health and lifestyle needs. Typically, those who undergo this procedure experience a reduced reliance on glasses, a significant improvement in vision quality, and an increased sense of independence and competency. More often than not, many patients say to us, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”
Improved quality of vision from cataract surgery goes hand in hand with an improvement in overall quality of life. Better vision allows a patient to enjoy the colors of a sunset, see the beauty of their grandchild’s smile, and drive with more confidence and security. If you or a loved one is experiencing visual impairment as a result of a cataract, please call Columbus Laser & Cataract Center at 614.215.9011 and schedule an appointment today.