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Cataracts

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What is a Cataract?

 A cataract is the clouding of the natural lens of the eye. The natural lens, located behind the cornea and iris, focuses light on the retina to allow your eye to see a sharp, clear image. As we age, proteins in the lens can clump together and cloud the lens. As a result, light is unable to pass through this now cloudy lens and creates a hazy image instead of a clear one. Initially, in the early stages of development, cataracts may have little effect on vision. However, as cataracts progress, changes in vision may occur and symptoms start to occur.

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What are the symptoms of a cataract?

 The most common symptoms of a cataract include:

  • Blurry or hazy vision
  • Colors seem faded
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Sensitivity to glare from lights
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Double vision

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What causes cataracts?

 The most common cause for cataracts is simply the aging of the eye. Other causes include:

  • Certain diseases such as diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Long-term exposure to sunlight
  • Alcohol use
  • Injury to the eye
  • Certain medications such as steroids

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How can I prevent cataracts?

Since the underlying cause of most cataracts is the aging process, anything that we do to slow the aging process will help to slow the rate of development of cataracts:

  • Diet: A diet rich in anti-oxidants slows the aging process in general, and therefore will help slow the development of cataracts. Dr. Johnson believes strongly in food as prevention. The best way to make sure that you are getting your anti-oxidants is to “Eat a Rainbow.” When you look at your plate you should see a rainbow of colors from fruits and vegetables: 
    • Green a MUST 
    • Red
    • Purple 
    • Orange
    • Yellow
    • Avoid white foods (white rice, white bread, white pasta). 

    An added benefit of the Rainbow Diet will be protection from other eye diseases such as macular degeneration, and overall better health.

  • Avoid smoking and second hand cigarette smoke.
  • Wear Sunglasses  outside always, even on overcast days.

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What can I do to treat my cataracts?

 If you’ve done all to try to prevent  cataracts, yet you still develop them, there are excellent treatment options available! Thankfully, the great majority of individuals whose eyesight is impaired by this common condition have an excellent and effective solution in the form of cataract surgery. In fact, cataract surgery is the most common surgery performed in the US and Dr Johnson is among the top cataract surgeons in the country. Ultimately, the decision to have cataract surgery can be a life-changing one—allowing you to experience clear vision once again.
 

Cataract Surgery options

Traditional/Manual Cataract Surgery

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With this form of cataract surgery, the corneal incision is made manually by your eye surgeon, and ultrasonic waves are used to break up the cloudy lens. Once these lens fragments have been removed, an intraocular lens (IOL) is carefully implanted in place of the original lens.

Laser/Bladeless Cataract Surgery

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With this cataract surgery method, an advanced femtosecond laser is used to map your eye, make the corneal incisions, and break up the cloudy lens via pulses of light. The shattered parts of the lens are then gently removed, and an intraocular lens is secured in its place. To learn more about this highly precise form of treatment, visit our page on  (link to video)

 

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Lens Options

Monofocal Lens

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 All patients who have cataract surgery get a lens placed in the eye at the time of surgery. Patients who have Traditional/Manual Cataract Surgery will receive a Monofocal Lens. A Monofocal Lens is used to give patients their best possible distance vision. Patients who choose this option will need glasses after surgery for their best possible vision.

Toric Lens

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Patients  who choose to have Laser Cataract Surgery, and have a significant amount of astigmatism will achieve their best vision with  a Toric lens.   The Toric lens is for patients who would like to be less dependent on glasses for their distance vision but are ok with wearing reading glasses.


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Multifocal Lens

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 Patients who have a desire to be less dependent on glasses for distance and near vision will  achieve their goal with a Mulitfocal lens.  Ninety-four percent of patients who get these lenses are able to see at distance and near without glasses. 




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