What is a cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens inside your eye. This lens, located behind the iris, works just like the lens of a camera, focusing light images on the retina, which sends images to the brain. The human lens can become so clouded by cataracts that it keeps light and images from reaching the retina.
A cataract can be the reason sharp images are blurred, bright colors are dull, or seeing at night is more difficult. It may also be why the reading glasses or bifocals no longer seem to help. Vision with cataracts has been described as seeing life through old, cloudy film, but a cataract is not a “film” over the eyes. It cannot be prevented and diet will not make it go away. Eye injury, certain diseases, or even some medications can cause the clouding.
How is a cataract treated?
Cataract surgery is the only way to correct cataracts. This procedure involves replacing the old, clouded lens with an intraocular replacement lens, or IOL, to restore vision and significantly improve quality of life. Any one of our experienced doctors can evaluate your vision to determine whether you are a good candidate for cataract surgery.
Drs. Barber and Friedman were the first to bring laser cataract surgery to Carroll County. Learn more about this precision-enhanced procedure and about advanced multifocal and toric replacement lenses.
How long does cataract surgery take?
The procedure itself usually lasts about 15 minutes.
What happens during cataract surgery?
Each eye surgeon’s procedure may vary slightly, but generally you can expect the following:
- Topical anesthetic is applied to numb the eye being operated on.
- The surgeon makes a small incision in the cornea with either a hand-held blade or a laser. A small probe then breaks up and removes the cataract, and the new lens is inserted. Usually no stitches are required because the incision is so small.
- The surgeon will likely protect the eye with a shield, which is typically removed within a few hours.
- Recovery time is usually very rapid, with most patients resuming most normal activities within 24 - 48 hours.
Is cataract surgery safe?
Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures and is known to have very high success rates. More than 95 percent of the 3 million cataract surgeries performed in a year were done so without complications.
Will cataract surgery give me 20/20 vision?
While there is no guarantee that cataract surgery will give you 20/20 vision, four out of five AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® Multifocal IOL recipients reported never wearing glasses after having the lens placed in both eyes.
How long does recovery take?
Most people notice a significant improvement in their vision and are back to most normal everyday activities within 24 - 48 hours following cataract surgery. Drs. Jun and Luzuriaga provide pre- and post-operative cataract surgery care to ensure you achieve your best possible visual results.
Is cataract surgery covered by insurance or Medicare?
The cost of cataract surgery will vary depending on a number of factors, including your choice of replacement lens. At least a portion of the cost to implant traditional monofocal IOLs (which restore vision at one distance) is often covered by private insurance or Medicare. Advanced technology lenses, such as the AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® Multifocal IOL and AcrySof® Toric IOL, are typically not covered.