Cataracts: A Clearer Look at Causes, Treatment, and Lens Options

Cataracts are a common age-related eye condition that can cloud your vision, but the good news is that they no longer need to disrupt your life. Thanks to remarkable advances in technology and lens implants, cataract surgery is now more painless and beneficial than ever before. In fact, over three million cataract procedures are performed nationally each year, and many patients report improved vision quality post-surgery.

What Exactly is a Cataract?

A cataract refers to the clouding of the eye’s natural lens. It can develop as a part of the natural aging process, but it can also result from factors like exposure to UV light, genetics, eye injuries, diabetes, and certain medications. Over time, cataracts can seriously impair vision, leading to sensitivity to light, and blurred or fuzzy vision, affecting both near and distant objects.

Almost everyone over the age of 55 will experience some form of cataract formation in their eyes. Symptoms can range from blurry vision and color distortion to impaired depth perception, double vision, and difficulties with night vision, including halos and glare. Many patients wish they’d undergone cataract surgery sooner when they experience the improved vision it provides.

Meet the Cataract Surgery Specialists

Drs. Beers and Liu are highly regarded leaders in the field of cataract surgery, with extensive teaching and training experience. They have collectively performed over 9,000 cataract surgeries, with over 99% of patients experiencing improved vision.

Cataract surgery takes just about 20 minutes and is performed at the Peninsula Eye Surgery Center, conveniently located near our Mountain View office. The surgery center is well-equipped, comfortable, and staffed by experts. Last year, it became the busiest outpatient eye surgery center in Northern California for cataract surgeries.

Understanding ORA Technology

The ORA system is a crucial measuring technology that guides surgeons in choosing the most accurate intraocular lens (IOL) power. This helps correct refractive errors and astigmatism, ensuring the clearest possible vision post-cataract surgery. ORA works by analyzing a low-intensity laser light reflected off the patient’s retina, providing real-time data on the eye’s optical characteristics. This is especially beneficial for patients choosing premium lens implants like multifocal, extended depth of field (EDOF), toric, or those with a history of refractive surgery like LASIK.

Intraocular Lens Options

Choosing the right intraocular lens is crucial, as each patient’s needs and eye shape differ. Drs. Beers and Liu take pride in discussing all available options, helping patients decide which lens suits their lifestyle and visual requirements best.

The Light Adjustable Lens (LAL), FDA-approved in 2017, stands out as it allows post-surgery lens power adjustments. These adjustments can fine-tune vision for distance and reading, and patients can even “test drive” their vision before locking in the lens at approximately six weeks post-surgery. UV protection glasses are provided to safeguard the LAL until it’s locked in, ensuring no negative alterations due to accidental UV exposure.

Risks and Other Lens Options

Using the LAL lens does not add any extra risk to cataract surgery, and it’s not associated with haloes or starbursts often seen with multifocal lenses. Standard monofocal lenses provide clear vision at one distance, typically covered by insurance, though reading glasses may be needed for some patients. Toric lenses correct astigmatism, while multifocal lenses offer clear vision at multiple distances, but they may cause nighttime haloes. However, many patients adapt and filter out these artifacts over time.

Schedule Your Cataract Surgery Consultation

If you’re considering cataract surgery or an intraocular lens, contact our Bay Area ophthalmology office in Mountain View and San Jose at (650) 961-2585 or schedule online for a consultation. Clarity of vision awaits!

Share This