Cataracts

Laser Cataract Surgery

 

What is a cataract?

A cataract is the clouding of your eyes natural lens, which leads to a decrease of vision.

 

What causes a cataract?

Most cataracts occur as part of the aging process, from a change in the chemical composition of the lens. They usually do not become a problem until you are in your 60s or 70s.

 

How can I tell if I have a cataract?

You may have noticed a gradual blurring or dimming of vision. Some people see a “halo” or haze around lights, especially at night, or have hazy or double (or multiple) vision. At first, the symptoms may only occur in dim light or when you face bright oncoming car headlights; the glare may make night driving especially difficult.

 

Is it possible to have a cataract and not notice it?

Yes. If the cataract is small, it may not disturb your vision or cause any symptoms at all. Even a dense cataract may not be noticed if the other eye is providing clear vision. In fact, you might not be aware of the blurred vision unless you happened to cover the normal eye. Unless it is very dense, a cataract is not visible to the naked eye of an observer.

 

What is the treatment for cataracts?

The only effective treatment is surgical removal of the cloudy lens. This is performed in the comfort and safety of our state-of-the-art outpatient surgery center using the latest treatment techniques and technology. Our talented eye surgeons will remove the natural lens that has become clouded, and replace it with an artificial lens, known as an IOL, or intraocular lens.

 

How is traditional cataract surgery performed?

A cataract patient is prepared using conscious sedation using medications such as Valium, Versed, and Fentanyl. Once relaxed, the patent is transferred to an operating suite where the cataract surgery will be performed. Traditional cataract surgery is performed using blades to make incisions on the surface of the cornea. Through these incisions, the surgeon makes a small opening in the capsule surrounding the cataract. The catacract is then divided into pieces and removed from the eye using aspiration. Lastly, a new artificial lens implant (called an intraocular lens or IOL) is placed into the eye. The entire surgery takes 10 to 15 minutes and is typically pain-free. Patient’s go home the same day and visual recover typically takes 2-5 days for an uncomplicated surgery.

 

How is laser cataract surgery performed?

At Azar Eye Clinic we were one of the first clinics in the Lafayette and Acadiana to offer cutting edge laser cataract surgery. Customized laser cataract surgery (also called FLACS) enhances many of the crucial steps of cataract surgery by performing laser incisions, laser capsule opening, laser softening or division of the cataract, and correction of low amounts of astigmatism. Customized laser cataract surgery offers increased precision, reproducibility, faster visual recovery, and also the ability to correct low amounts of astigmatism.