“I was recently diagnosed with cataracts, but I’m only 56 years old. Should I wait until I get a little older before I have the surgery?”

“I was recently diagnosed with cataracts, but I’m only 56 years old.  Should I wait until I get a little older before I have the surgery?”

While nobody wants to live with cataracts, some people are so frightened by the prospect of surgery that they would rather let their vision deteriorate.  Others believe that their cataracts have to “ripen” before they can be removed, or that they must wait until their doctor tells them the cataracts are bad enough.  This can lead to a delay that makes recovery significantly slower. Cataracts typically tend to start to form by the late 50s, and may begin to subtly affect vision.  Ea...

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“How should patients choose a cataract surgeon?”

“How should patients choose a cataract surgeon?”

Choosing a cataract surgeon can be a daunting task.  With all the new and exciting technological advances in cataract surgery, there are a multitude of options available to improve your vision, and it is important that you have the opportunity to learn about them as well as to know what options might be best for you.  And though many ophthalmologists are excellent surgeons, very few have experience using the latest technologies.  Here are a few tips on what to ask surgeons before deciding who...

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“I had cataract surgery performed somewhere else and I am unhappy with my vision.” “Is there anything that can be done to improve my vision without using glasses or contact lenses?”

“I had cataract surgery performed somewhere else and I am unhappy with my vision.” “Is there anything that can be done to improve my vision without using glasses or contact lenses?”

Although cataract surgery can vastly improve one’s vision, its primary goal is to remove the “fog” and visual side effects caused by a clouded lens.  A potential benefit of the procedure is that the surgeon may also be able to decrease your need for glasses, but despite his/her best efforts it does not always work out that way.  Laser vision correction (LASIK/PRK) is an option that can be used to refocus the eye after cataract surgery if one qualifies for it.  For those who cannot have ...

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“Is there an increased risk of macular degeneration after cataract and lens exchange surgery?”

“Is there an increased risk of macular degeneration after cataract and lens exchange surgery?”

Macular degeneration is a condition where the retina (the film of the eye) no longer works as it should. It results in varying degrees of central vision loss – what is needed for fine details such as recognizing faces or reading fine print, for example. Although there are treatments available to slow the progress of the condition, macular degeneration has no cure at this time. There is no increased risk of developing macular degeneration after cataract and lens surgery; in fact, most lens i...

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“How long do intraocular lens implants usually last and will my cataracts come back?”

“How long do intraocular lens implants usually last and will my cataracts come back?”

Intraocular lens implants (IOLs) are made from materials such as acrylic or silicone that are biocompatible.  This means that they do not react with the body or produce allergic reactions.  IOLs have been around since the late 1940s and were the first devices to be implanted in the body.  Unlike natural lenses, IOLs do not break down over a person’s lifetime and do not need to be replaced.  It is possible to exchange implants if necessary.  Possible scenarios would include the chance that...

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“My doctor says my cataracts are not “ripe”. When is the right time for cataract surgery?”

“My doctor says my cataracts are not “ripe”. When is the right time for cataract surgery?”

While cataracts generally become visually frustrating to most people by their mid-seventies, more subtle vision changes can begin in your fifties.  Glare from lights making driving more uncomfortable, the need for brighter lights to read, and a general feeling that your vision “is just not as good as it used to be”, are all signs that your natural lenses may be losing their clarity.  Believe it or not, these are the beginnings of cataracts! Traditionally, patients have been told to wait...

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“I heard you perform bilateral cataract surgery. Is that safe?”

“I heard you perform bilateral cataract surgery.  Is that safe?”

Surgeons have been performing same day bilateral (on both eyes) surgery for years.  Several large studies have shown that it is as safe as operating on one eye at a time.  In fact, the studies show a tendency toward fewer complications with same-day bilateral cataract surgery (SDBCS).  I have been performing SDBCS for several years and have become an advocate for the procedure.  The main reason?  My patients see great sooner and do not have to return for a second operation!  There is anoth...

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