“Why do I have cataracts?  My parents didn’t have them until they were in their 80s?”

“Why do I have cataracts?  My parents didn’t have them until they were in their 80s?”

Cataracts are a normal aging process; everyone eventually gets them if we live long enough.  Think of cataracts as the “gray hair” of the eyes.  Just like some people are bothered with their hair color change while others either don’t mind it or get used to it, cataracts can affect people’s vision to varying degrees at different stages.  In the past, doctors tended to hold off cataract surgery until a patient’s vision was terrible, whether for insurance purposes or due to the limita...

Read More

“What is the difference between hyperopia, myopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia?”

“What is the difference between hyperopia, myopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia?”

These four conditions are referred to as refractive errors.  Did you know that you can have 3 of these four refractive errors at the same time?  The terms describing the various vision conditions can be pretty confusing, especially when you are told that you have more than one of these!  Let’s break down each in turn and explain how they affect the way you see the world. First, let’s translate these words into English.  The suffix “-opia” is Greek for “of the eye”.  “Myo-...

Read More

“What is involved in the recovery of cataract surgery?”

“What is involved in the recovery of cataract surgery?”

Cataract surgery is one of the safest medical procedures.  And with the advent of the femtosecond laser, it has become more accurate and the recovery is quicker than ever before.  In fact, over 90% of patients at SightTrust Eye Institute opt to have both eyes treated on the same day in order to speed up their recovery!  Despite the amazing results that modern laser cataract surgery provides – including the potential of freedom from glasses for both distance and reading – there is a healin...

Read More

“Are there any alternatives to cataract surgery?”

“Are there any alternatives to cataract surgery?”

Cataracts are an inevitable part of life.  They usually begin developing in the 50s, and if we live long enough we will ultimately need them removed.  Fortunately, cataract surgery is an amazing procedure:  we can replace the “worn out” lens with an implant that can provide excellent distance and reading vision without the need for glasses!  There is no alternative to having cataract surgery, aside from wearing glasses and “muddling through” the poor vision.  But once the procedure ...

Read More

“What are my options if I have astigmatism?”

“What are my options if I have astigmatism?”

Cataract surgery is one of the most successful procedures.  It has become so precise over the years that it is now being used as a method to permanently correct vision.  People with nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or presbyopia (the need to wear reading glasses) can have this procedure as an alternative to laser vision correction – even if they don’t have cataracts!  There is one other visual condition that patients often believe cannot be treated with cataract surgery, called astigm...

Read More

“My doctor told me I am not a candidate for LASIK.  Do I have any other options?”

“My doctor told me I am not a candidate for LASIK.  Do I have any other options?”

LASIK is a terrific way to decrease your need for glasses.  The procedure helps reshape the cornea – the front window of the eye – in order to focus the vision for better distance.  People over the age of 40 who need reading glasses may choose to have one eye focused for reading, a treatment called monovision.  Age, prescription (nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism), and the overall health of the eye may affect whether one can reap the benefits of this procedure, and unfor...

Read More

“How Long Does Cataract and Lens Replacement Surgery Take?”

“How Long Does Cataract and Lens Replacement Surgery Take?”

Cataract surgery is quick and painless.  Patients hear that statement regularly and doctors assume it provides all the reassurance they need.  To be sure, there is something to be said about a procedure that can be performed in a short time.  A fast treatment suggests little risk and downtime. But we don’t want to trivialize cataract and lens surgery.  This is a vision- and life-changing procedure that can permanently eliminate your need for glasses, and requires state-of-the-art technolog...

Read More

“What will my restrictions be after surgery, and when can I go back to work?”

“What will my restrictions be after surgery, and when can I go back to work?”

Laser cataract and refractive lens procedures are safe and painless, and usually have little downtime.  Vision may be “foggy” for the first day or so, but most people can resume the majority of their daily activities almost immediately.  In fact, people are usually able to get back to work within a few days! We ask that patients avoid submerging their faces in water or expose themselves to dusty environments for 7 days, although you may shower with the eyes closed and the shower aimed at y...

Read More

“I still work 5 days a week, and I don’t want to take too much time off. How long is the downtime after cataract surgery?”

“I still work 5 days a week, and I don’t want to take too much time off. How long is the downtime after cataract surgery?”

Cataract and refractive lens surgery are two ways to permanently correct your vision.  Both treatments replace the natural lens with one that can free you from reading and distance glasses.  The procedures are fast – typically lasting 10 minutes or less per eye – and there is little downtime.  Most patients start seeing better within 24 hours and can resume the majority of their activities almost immediately.  Dr. Shatz performs the majority of his lens procedures toward the end of the w...

Read More

“I had cataract surgery in another country, and I am unhappy with my vision. I was told by other doctors that the lens is ‘acrylic’ and cannot be removed. Is this true?”

“I had cataract surgery in another country, and I am unhappy with my vision. I was told by other doctors that the lens is ‘acrylic’ and cannot be removed. Is this true?”

Did you know that intraocular lens implants (IOLs) can be replaced?  While the intent of cataract surgery is to remove the natural lens and insert a permanent IOL, circumstances may arise where a different IOL would be desirable.  Examples include: the visual result after surgery not being what was expected; or a better type of IOL becomes available years after the original surgery.  It is not uncommon in my practice, for example, to meet patients who had surgery elsewhere and did not achieve...

Read More
12