What Are Cataracts

WillsEye Physicians - Rittenhouse Eye

Cataract General Overview

How We Can Help Improve Your Vision

Cataract surgery is a common procedure performed more than one million times every year. Because of advances in microsurgical techniques, cataract surgery results in significant improvement in vision without major complications in over 95% of cases.

With treatment, the majority of complications resolve with time. While cataract surgery is one of the safest forms of surgery, no surgery is without risk. Before undergoing cataract removal we will explain to you the risks involved based on your individual case.

There is no longer any reason for a person to suffer blindness or poor vision solely because of cataracts. Although there can be no guarantee of success with any surgical procedure, the overwhelming odds are that your surgery will go well.

Cataract surgery can restore more than good vision. It can restore dignity, independence, and all the joys that go with living life as fully as possible.

How do we see?

The human eye is like a camera. A camera contains a lens through which light passes and is focused into a clear picture on the film in the back of the camera. The human eye contains a lens through which light passes and is focused on the retina which acts like the film in a camera and sends a focused picture of what you see to your brain.

What is a Cataract?

The lens in your eye should be crystal clear. If it becomes cloudy or discolored it is called a cataract. A cataract is not a growth or tumor. Cataracts do not cause itching, redness, or discomfort in your eye. Cataracts simply decrease the brightness and clarity of your vision.

Do You Have a Cataract?

Are you having difficulty seeing green traffic lights or reading road signs? Are you less sure of yourself when you drive? Does the printing on newspapers or medicine labels seem fuzzy or blurred. Are you having trouble recognizing people across a room or trouble seeing the television clearly. Do you stumble more often and worry that you may fall and break a bone? Are you worried about becoming more dependent upon family and friends because of poor vision? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, you may have a cataract.

Your eye doctor can determine with a thorough eye examination and series of tests whether or not you have a cataract or any other eye health problem. If you have a cataract, we are available to help you determine when to have cataract surgery – the only effective treatment for cataracts.

Lasers & Cataract Surgery

Until recently, when people have asked if cataracts could be removed by laser the answer has been no. In the past, the only way to remove a cataract has been through traditional cataract surgery We are now able to to offer our patients access to the LenSx laser. The LenSx laser performs several of the most critical steps of the surgical process with an image guided femtosecond laser – one of the most advanced devices of its kind. Ask if you are a candidate for the LenSx laser.

Lasers are also used to treat after cataracts or second cataracts. A part of the lens, the capsule, is left in place during cataract surgery to support the intraocular lens implant. Months or years after the original surgery the capsule may become cloudy. This is called an after cataract. A YAG laser can open the cloudy capsule to allow a clear path for light entering the eye, restoring sharp vision. The YAG laser capsulotomy is an in-office procedure.

Lens Implants

Until recently, most patients who underwent cataract surgery had their cloudy cataract lens replaced with a monofocal intraocular lens implant (IOL). Although cataract patient s with monofocal IOLs note improved vision after surgery, they are still dependent on bifocals and reading glasses to see well. For those patients who want to use cataract surgery as an opportunity to reduce their need for glasses, we now offer premium IOLS.

Toric IOLs
These are a type of premium IOL designed to correct astigmatism. This is a condition which blurs vision at all distances and requires glasses or contact lens to correct. With a toric IOL a cataract patient can gain sharp distance vision without glasses and only need glasses for reading.

Multifocal IOLs
For cataract patients who want to see well at a distance and near without glasses after surgery, premium multifocal IOLs may be the answer. Multifocal implants allow many patients to drive, read, and use the computer glass free!

Laser Cataract Surgery (LensSx )
Although conventional cataract surgery is extremely successful,. Dr. Harris can now offer his patients the option of choosing a bladeless, computer controlled refractive cataract laser to perform several of the most critical steps of cataract surgery, (LensSx). Lensx can be combined with Multifocal and Toric IOLs to make for a more accurate and predictable outcome. Lensx can even be combined with conventional monofocal IOLS using the laser to correct for astigmatism .

Although cataract surgery is usually covered by medical insurance, premium IOLS and the Lensx procedure are not and must be paid for out of pocket. We have many financing options to make them affordable. Ask us if you are a candidate for premium IOLs and or Lensx surgery.

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Contact Info

Wills Eye Physicians
2000 Hamilton St. #306
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Located near the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Phone:  (215) 545-5001
Fax:  (215) 545-5763
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Office Hours

Monday: 8:30am – 4:30pm
Tuesday: 8:30am – 4:30pm
Wednesday: 8:30am – 4:30pm
Thursday: 8:30am – 4:30pm
Friday: 8:30am – 4:30pm

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