Do you remember the old days when you could recognize patients that had cataract and intraocular lens surgery from the big, dark, wrap-around glasses they used to wear? There’s a reason they used to wear those. Your eye’s natural lens absorbs UV radiation naturally. Take away that lens and replace it with a manufactured lens and you lose that natural protection. This is traditionally what happened during intraocular lens surgery. Your new lens will be made of silicone, acrylic or other plastic compositions and used to not offer the same protection as natural lenses.
However, starting in the 80’s, UV protections started to be added to intraocular lens (also, contact lenses include UV protection). This is part of the amazing advances in intraocular lens surgery. You no longer have stitches and you no longer have to wear big bulky glasses after surgery. However, don’t think you can go to the beach after your intraocular lens surgery and be protected. The limit of UV protection is around 10% so you’ll still need to wear glasses whenever you’re out in the sun. But think of all the times you look out your kitchen window, go get the mail, drive during a lightly cloudy day. Now your eyes have the same protection as they did naturally.
Ironically, it could have been exposure to the sun that increased the cloudiness in your natural lenses. While cataracts are a result of time and aging, some factors such as exposure to the sun can accelerate the process. Always be sure to wear glasses before and after your surgery with the right protection for eye health. When purchasing sunglasses, look for those with 100 percent UV absorption.
Residents of Palm Beach and Broward counties, including the communities of Boca Raton, Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Palm Beach and Weston, can be assured that Dr. Shatz of SiteTrust Eye Institute has performed over 20,000 intraocular lens surgeries including many laser cataract surgeries. We invite you to come for an exam from Dr. Shatz to see what the best option is to restore your vision.