Cataract Surgery & Treatment in Austin TX
Cataract Surgery and Intraocular Lens Care
A cataract is a loss of transparency, or clouding, of the normally clear lens of the eye. As one ages, chemical changes occur in the lens that make it less transparent. The loss of transparency may be so mild that vision is hardly affected, or so severe that no shapes or movements are seen, only light and dark. When the lens gets cloudy enough to obstruct vision to any significant degree, it is called a cataract. Glasses or contact lenses cannot sharpen your vision if a cataract is present.
People at risk for developing cataracts are over 55 years old, have had eye injuries or disease, have a family history of cataracts, smoke cigarettes or use certain medications.
There is no pain associated with cataracts, but there are several symptoms that indicate failing vision due to cataracts, including:
- Blurred/hazy vision
- Spots in front of the eye(s)
- Sensitivity to glare
- A feeling of “film” over the eye(s)
- A temporary improvement in near vision
Help from YOUR Austin Cataract Surgeon at Eye Physicians of Austin
Reducing the amount of ultraviolet light exposure by wearing a wide-brim hat and sunglasses may reduce your risk for developing a cataract, but once developed there is no cure except to have the cataract surgically removed. Outpatient surgical procedures can remove the cataract. The time to have the surgical procedure is when your vision is bad enough that it interferes with your lifestyle.
The Eye Physicians of Austin Eye Surgeon will meet with you and diagnose your condition to help determine the best treatment plan for your individual needs. Cataract surgery is a very successful operation. One and a half million people have this procedure every year and 95% have a successful result. As with any surgical procedure, complications can occur during or after surgery and some are severe enough to limit vision. But in most cases, vision, as well as quality of life, improves.
Your Austin cataract surgeon will remove the cataract, and in most cases, implant an intraocular lens (IOL).
Intraocular Lens Options
To meet your expectations, your physician may recommend a Lifestyle lens such as a multifocal to reduce dependence on reading glasses or a Toric lens to reduce corneal astigmatism.
These specialty lenses have an out-of-pocket expense associated with them as they are considering elective by insurance companies and Medicare. Unfortunately, no current technology can eliminate glasses, and how well you will perform with these lenses can vary due to individual factors. Nevertheless, they are an excellent option for patients already needing cataract surgery who want to decrease their reliance upon glasses.
While multifocal implants or astigmatism correction carry no guarantees, they should greatly improve the odds that you will be able to read and see better overall without glasses.
AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® Multifocal
Previous intraocular lens technology provided only one focal point — distance — leaving patients dependent on reading glasses or bifocals for close-up vision.
The innovative new AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® lens provides improved image quality at a full range of distances: NEAR: for focusing on small, close-up objects, such as text on prescription bottles and magazines INTERMEDIATE: for seeing things close by, like computer screens and car dashboards FAR: for viewing objects from a distance, such as billboards, street signs and movie screens
As the human body ages, the eyes’ ability to quickly change focus diminishes, resulting in a need for bifocals or reading glasses. The AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® lens solves this problem with patented apodized diffractive technology, similar to that used in microscopes and telescopes.
The apodized portion of the IOL consists of tiny concentric rings beginning in the middle of the lens and continuing outward. The rings spread light for excellent vision at multiple focal points — near, far and everything in-between.
Crystalens® Crystalens is an accommodating intraocular lens that, unlike a standard IOL, can treat both a person’s cataracts and presbyopia—loss of near and intermediate vision. You probably noticed in your forties that you started to lose some of your up-close vision and had to start wearing reading glasses. Crystalens not only treats your cataracts, but can also reduce or eliminate your dependence on glasses. It does so by recreating accommodation similar to your eye’s natural lens. The unique Crystalens can reduce or eliminate glasses for most activities, including: reading a book, working on the computer, and driving a car.
Crystalens was modeled after the human eye. Like the natural lens, it uses the eye muscle to flex and accommodate in order to focus on objects in the environment at all distances. Crystalens dynamically adjusts to your visual needs.
AcrySof® IQ Toric
For cataract patients with astigmatism, successful cataract surgery is only half the battle toward regaining quality vision. Until recently, the only viable vision correction options for astigmatism correction after cataract surgery were eyeglasses or contact lenses, both of which are not only inconvenient in terms of lifestyle, but can also be expensive over a lifetime.
The advanced technology behind the AcrySof® IQ Toric Intraocular Lens (IOL) offers a combined solution, not only replacing your cataract-clouded natural lens for clear vision, but also correcting corneal astigmatism, so you can see in focus. The technology behind the AcrySof® IQ Toric IOL offers cataract patients with preexisting astigmatism precise vision correction that reduces or eliminates corneal astigmatism and delivers significantly improved distance vision without the need for glasses or contacts.
You’ll also be able to enjoy improved image quality thanks to the lens’ new aspheric design. With the AcrySof® IQ Toric IOL, your distance vision can be clear, vibrant and in focus, all with just one lens! Please feel free discussing Lifestyle Intraocular lens options with your surgeon during your exam.
If a patient has cataract surgery and also has intraocular lenses implanted, Medicare covers glasses, contact lenses, or intraocular lenses provided by your Eye Physicians of Austin cataract surgeon. Medicare will cover glasses or contacts even if the patient had surgery before Medicare benefits began. (For cataract surgery alone, Medicare pays its standard benefits.) For an intraocular lens that also corrects vision for reading, the patient will have to pay some extra. If you have some other form of health insurance, ask your provider for details about coverage.
Eye Physicians of Austin Cataract Surgery can provide you with an Austin eye surgeon or Austin cataract surgeon, as well as Austin intraocular lens requirements.