Cataract with Intraocular Lens (IOL)
A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which lies behind the iris and the pupil. The lens works much like a camera lens, focusing light onto the retina at the back of the eye. When we are young the lens adjusts the eye’s focus, letting you see things clearly both near and far. As we age, the eye can not change focus as well, and we may need reading glasses or bifocals to see up close. This stage is called presbyopia.
As a cataract develops you may notice that your vision is blurred, you may require more light to read, or you may notice glare from automobile headlights. Colors may not appear as bright as they once did.
You should consider cataract surgery when your cataracts have progressed to the point where your vision adversely affects your normal activities or threatens safe driving. Many people consider poor vision an inevitable fact of aging, but cataracts need not diminish your quality of life or prevent you from performing important activities you once enjoyed. Cataract surgery is a relatively safe and painless procedure, which restores vision in the vast majority of otherwise healthy eyes.
In cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is removed and replaced by a new artificial intraocular lens, or IOL, of a polymer material. Prior to surgery, measurements will be taken to determine the appropriate power of the new lens.
During surgery, Dr. Snyder will remove your clouded lens, replace it with a clear intraocular lens, and do so with little to no pain or discomfort. After the surgery, recovery happens quickly, and you should notice an improvement of vision within a day or two. We emphasize safety and the best possible result for each and every patient.
Intraocular lens choices
Our goal is to provide the best visual performance our patients can achieve. Since every patient has different visual needs and desires, we use a variety of lenses depending upon your hobbies and activities. For those who desire to reduce their dependency on glasses we emphasize “Mini- Mono-vision” with the STAAR CC4204A Nanoflex lens.
With “Mini – Mono-vision”, the strategy is to target crisp distance vision with the dominant eye and intermediate vision with the non-dominant eye. We find this approach is satisfying for many patients who want to lessen their dependence on glasses. This procedure is performed with “standard intraocular lenses” rather than the more expensive premium lenses. When targeting “Mini – Mono-Vision” we usually perform a few additional tests preoperatively in order to identify potential problems. The patient maybe responsible to pay for these test out of pocket.
We prefer to operate first on the dominant eye to be sure we obtain crisp distance vision. Although sharp post operative vision is usually the case, we do have the capability to use “laser vision correction ” postoperatively to ” fine tune ” or adjust the optical outcome of the eye (this would be considered an “off label” use of laser vision correction where the safety and efficacy have not been studied by FDA) and the patient again maybe responsible for the cost incurred.
To Learn more about the Staar CC4204A Nanoflex Lens go to http://www.nanoflexlens.com
We are experienced with presbyopia correcting IOLs (Crystalens and RESTOR). These lenses are intended to provide distance vision and assist in intermediate and near vision. There are a variety of designs and strategies. In some cases we prefer the new accommodating Crystalens, which gives the best distance vision while providing over 80% of our patients with good intermediate vision, and approximately 30% with good distance, intermediate, and reading vision (per the manufacturer’s data).
We also offer the new multi-focal lens, which has been redesigned and reported to provide excellent distance and near vision, with good intermediate range vision in many cases. However the multi-focal lens may result in noticeable halos and, in some patients, vision may not seem as crisp in low light.
We also offer the new TORIC lens, which reduces astigmatism and dramatically improves vision without glasses thus reducing their dependence on post-operative prescription glasses.
Dr. Snyder is an experienced cataract surgeon and has taught classes and given lectures on cataract surgery at numerous meetings in the US and around the world. He has written chapters on this subject and published peer review papers that deal with aspects of cataract surgery.
If you believe you have a cataract you should contact the office to schedule an evaluation with Dr Snyder to discuss your options. During this time, our staff will evaluate the effect the cataract has had on your vision. We have some of the most sophisticated equipment available to enhance our diagnostic abilities and help us optimize your surgical outcome. We only perform cataract surgery when we believe it is medically indicated and the proceadure can be billed to your health insurance.
Limbal Relaxing Incisions (LRI)
Limbal relaxing incisions (LRI) are another method to reduce or eliminate astigmatism by modifying the shape of your cornea. Astigmatism is present when the cornea is not perfectly round — resulting in one portion of your eye that does not see the same as the other portions. A cornea with astigmatism is shaped more like a football rather than a basketball. LRI are incisions, which are placed on the far outer edge of the cornea, or limbus, resulting in a more rounded cornea. These incisions thus lead to your uncorrected vision being improved.
The LRI procedure can be completed in a few seconds after numbing the eye with anesthetic drops. There is usually little or no post-operative discomfort. The procedure is very safe and is not associated with glare or starbursts. The cornea is usually stable within a week, which means your vision should be stable as well.
Limbal relaxing incisions have gained widespread acceptance among cataract surgeons where it is often combined with the cataract operation to reduce pre-existing astigmatism. The incisions can be done as part of cataract surgery or at any time after. This results in better post-operative vision without glasses. The procedure can also be used in individuals whose primary refractive error is astigmatism to improve their vision without glasses or contact lenses.
If you have had cataract surgery or have a significant amount of astigmatism and believe you would benefit from the reduction of astigmatism, then you may want to consider an LRI. Please schedule an appointment to discuss your options with Dr Snyder. In most cases, this is an elective procedure and can be done at your convenience.