A cataract is a cloudy area in the normally clear, natural lens of the eye. Cataracts are caused by a chemical change of unknown origin in the eye, which causes blurred or distorted vision. Cataracts are a natural part of aging and cannot be prevented from forming, but early detection through regular eye exams can help maintain the clearest vision possible. While every person will develop cataracts, they more commonly occur in people over the age of 55. They may also occur at an earlier age in people who have had eye injuries or other ocular or systemic disease, have a family history of cataracts, smoke cigarettes or use certain medications. There is no pain associated with the condition, but there are several symptoms that indicate failing vision due to cataracts. These include:
- 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
Vision loss from cataracts can often be corrected for a while with prescription glasses or contact lenses. For people who are significantly affected by cataracts, replacement surgery may be the preferred method of treatment. During cataract surgery, which is the most common surgical procedure in the country, the cloudy natural lens material is removed and replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens or IOL.
Testimonial: Astigmatism Correction Cataract Surgery
Explanation of Cataract Surgery in Navajo Language
Advanced Cataract Surgery
Most eye diseases are completely asymptomatic (show no noticeable symptoms) in their early stages when they are most easily treated (including glaucoma and retinopathies). Early detection, therefore, is an important part of eye care. It is imperative that patients, especially those at increased risk, receive routine screening by medical and surgical specialists trained in dealing with these disorders.
Our team of retina surgeons use the best imaging system in the world for retinal and macular diseases. Heidelberg high-definition imaging system allows for superior imaging and diagnosis of disease processes related to macular degeneration, diabetes, macular pucker, and inflammatory conditions of the retina and choroid. High-resolution video imaging angiography and 3D macular images can resolve details in the retina as small as a few microns – smaller than the width of a single red blood cell.
More patients trust their eyes to our visiting retina surgeons for their retinal surgery needs than to any other practice in the state.
Dr. Mahanti has been using flexible IOLs for years to replace the eye’s cloudy lens during cataract surgery and help patients enjoy clear vision again. The ReSTOR® lens improves upon the ordinary IOL by using apodized diffractive technology to provide a full range of focusing distances from near to far. A series of 12 gradual “step heights” of 0.2-1.3 microns each (thinner than a human hair and smaller than a red blood cell) in the center of the IOL create seamless focusing ability, while the peripheral refractive region helps to enhance distance vision. Apodization also allows the lens to work with the pupil to distribute light evenly in the eye in different lighting conditions and activity levels. Alcon® reports that up to 80% of patients with and without presbyopia who use the ReSTOR lens don’t need glasses after surgery.
- The human lens uses the ciliary muscle to move the lens and allows you to focus on the subject at hand.
- The lens flexes to allow for some near vision.
- Movement is enabled by a flexible hinge within the lens.
Testimonial: Multifocal Lens
Tecnis Multifocal Lens
The Tecnis Multifocal Lens enables you to see clearly at near, intermediate, and far distances without the need for glasses in all light conditions. Immediately after surgery, some patients may notice rings around lights when driving at night. However, as the eye adjusts to the lens over time, the visual impression of rings typically lessens or goes away. Whether the Tecnis Multifocal Lens is the right choice for you depends on your personal preferences, lifestyle, and the overall health of your eyes.
Tecnis Multifocal IOL
AcrySof® IQ PanOptix® Trifocal IOL
The AcrySof® IQ PanOptix® Trifocal IOL is a type of multifocal IOL used to focus images clearly onto the back of your eye (retina) to allow clear vision after the cataract removal. In addition, the center of the AcrySof® IQ PanOptix® Trifocal IOL allows for better near (reading) vision and intermediate (computer work) vision versus what a monofocal lens would provide. There is a chance that you still may need glasses for distance, intermediate, and/or near vision. You will get the full benefit of the AcrySof® IQ PanOptix® Trifocal IOL when it is placed in both eyes.
Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery
There are some lasers that are used to help with cataract surgery. The laser makes some incisions and partially breaks up the cataract. My practice had the first femtosecond laser in Flagstaff and I had used it for 2 years on several hundred patients. While the laser is a fascinating instrument I found that the results were not any better than without it and that using it was not worth the extra cost for the patient. I could not in good conscience recommend that my patients spend their funds on this technology.