If your ophthalmologist has told you that one or both of your eyes have cataracts, the first of many questions you have will be: When should I schedule cataract surgery?
Until recently, patients were often advised to wait until a cataract was “ripe,” or mature enough to be easily removed from the surface of the eye. Now cataracts can be removed at any stage of development. Here, trusted Phoenix ophthalmologist Dr. Jay Schwartz reviews some of the factors you’ll want to consider when timing the procedure.
Variables in Your Decision
Although it is now possible to remove cataracts at very early stages, Dr. Schwartz recommends a conservative approach. If a patient has normal vision, and doesn’t experience some of the activity-limiting symptoms such as cloudy vision, trouble reading or glare during nighttime driving, there is no need to remove the cataract quickly.
It is also true that you should not ignore cataracts. As a cataract develops beyond the “ripe” stage, it becomes harder, making it more difficult to remove in a surgical procedure. Left untreated long enough, cataracts can inflame the eye or cause elevated eye pressure. High intraocular pressure often leads to glaucoma, the serious condition that damages the optic nerve and may result in total loss of vision.
Lenses for Life
Removal of cataracts and replacement with an intraocular lens implant is the most common surgical procedure performed in the world today. There are no real negatives to replacing your clouded cataract with the intraocular lens implant. The implant is designed to become a permanent part of your eye. It will not be rejected by your body or wear out. And because it is made of a special material, it will remain clear for a lifetime.
As a leader in vision care and eye surgery, Schwartz Laser Eye Center offers state-of-the-art cataract surgical procedures to patients in Phoenix and throughout Arizona. Originally performed with the use of a miniature blade, cataract removal can now be done using an advanced laser to make incisions. Dr. Schwartz uses the Victus femtosecond laser, an ultra-precise instrument that makes possible greater precision for the surgeon and faster recovery for the patient.
More Choices Than Ever
Once you’ve made the decision to schedule your cataract surgery, the choices have just begun. Gone are the days when surgeons implanted the same type of lens for every patient. New varieties not only replace clouded cataracts, but also feature the ability to focus at various distances.
These advanced lenses may reduce or eliminate a patient’s need for glasses or contacts after cataract surgery. One incredible new breakthrough is the AcrySof IQ PanOptix intraocular lens. PanOptix lenses are the first IOLs to offer trifocal vision, providing clear focus at near, intermediate and far distances. And Dr. Schwartz is among the first ophthalmologists in the state to offer this wonderful new option to his patients.
Other choices include AcrySof ReSTOR and TECNIS multifocal lenses that use a special surface design to bring close and distant objects into focus without eye muscle assistance. The CrystaLens AO Accommodating Lens performs this same function by using your eye’s natural muscle.
If you would like to learn more about cataract surgery and available IOL options, we invite you to schedule a personal consultation with skilled ophthalmologist Dr. Jay Schwartz at his Phoenix, Glendale or Scottsdale office by calling or emailing Schwartz Laser Eye Center today.