A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of your eye.
A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of your eye. For people who have cataracts, seeing through cloudy lenses is a bit like looking through a frosty or fogged-up window. Clouded vision caused by cataracts can make it more difficult to read, drive a car, especially at night, or see the expression on a friend's face.
Most cataracts develop slowly and don't disturb your eyesight early on. But with time, cataracts will eventually interfere with your vision.
At first, stronger lighting and eyeglasses can help you deal with cataracts. But if impaired vision interferes with your usual activities, you might need cataract surgery. Fortunately, cataract surgery is generally a safe, effective procedure.
Thanks to the ever-advancing field of optical technology, we now have an even more effective treatment for cataracts than in the past. We use a surgical technique called phacoemulsification to take out the cloudy lens and implant a clear, artificial one all through one small incision. Because the incision is so small, it seals up by itself and therefore requires no stitches at all. Once the surgery is completed, you should find that you can see normally with the help of prescription eyeglasses. You may need bifocals and/or reading glasses to have a completely clear, full range of vision.
Before new multifocal IOL implants, the only option was to use a monofocal lens, which has equal optical power throughout the lens and can provide high-quality distance vision. However, this often meant that patients still required the use of prescription eyeglasses for near vision following successful surgery. However, with the recent development of FDA-approved multifocal intraocular lenses, such as AcrySof IQ ReSTOR, ReZoom, and Tecnis, individuals can now greatly reduce or even eliminate the need for eyeglasses.
Multifocal lenses, much like progressive eyeglass lenses, have different optical powers across its surface, allowing individuals to see at a variety of distances, including near, intermediate, and distance. For individuals who also suffer from astigmatism, there are Toric intraocular lenses, which concentrate optical power in one specific portion of the lens to counteract the impaired or blurry vision associated with astigmatism. Before the advent of the Toric IOL, patients would often have to undergo another surgical procedure called an astigmatic keratotomy to adjust the shape of their cornea.