Are you experiencing blurry vision? Do you often see glare or halos around light sources, especially while driving at night?

These are some signs of having cataracts. At Metrolina Eye Associates, our experienced and caring team of surgeons is here to help you see better.

What is a Cataract?

A cataract occurs when the eye's natural lens becomes cloudy. When this happens, you'll experience blurry or foggy vision, like looking at the world around you through a dirty window. Before cataracts, the lens of the eye is clear and transparent.

However, as a cataract develops, proteins build up on the lens, making it much more challenging to see clearly. The most common reason cataracts develop is aging, but you can have cataracts for other reasons like corticosteroid use, diabetes, improper sun protection, and more.

What are Common Symptoms of Cataracts?

If you have cataracts, you may experience signs like:

If you experience any of these, let your eye doctor know. These symptoms are not exclusive to cataracts, so it is important to determine the root cause of any visual changes.

Do I Need Cataract Surgery?

If your eye doctor diagnoses you with cataracts, you may think that you need cataract surgery immediately. But that's not usually the case for most patients.

You can have cataracts for many years before cataract surgery becomes necessary. Most cataract surgeons only recommend the procedure if your cataracts impact your ability to complete everyday tasks.

Can you no longer do laundry because of your poor vision? Do you need a friend or family member to come over and make you meals because you can't see?

If you can no longer care for yourself, feel yourself withdrawing from your favorite things because of impaired vision, or feel like you're not the same person anymore, it may be time to consider cataract surgery at Metrolina Eye Associates. 

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What is the Difference Between Traditional and Laser Cataract Surgery?

At Metrolina Eye Associates, we're proud to offer our patients traditional and laser cataract surgery. Traditional cataract surgery uses a blade to remove the cataract and natural lens from your eye. 

Then, the natural lens is replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL). The IOL helps you see clearly, and with a premium lens, of which there are many varieties, you may reduce your dependence on visual aids. 

Rather than using a blade, laser cataract surgery uses the advanced LenSx laser cataract system. Metrolina Eye Associates uses a revolutionary "No-Needle, No-Stitch, No-Pain" method of cataract surgery. 

Doing this means we use no injections or stitches and don't cause pain during the procedure. During laser cataract surgery, incisions created are done so painlessly, and the cataract is gently broken up using a computer-guided laser.

Are There Any Benefits to Choosing Laser Cataract Surgery?

Choosing laser cataract surgery at Metrolina Eye Associates has many benefits. These include:

Faster recovery
More precision and accuracy
Reducing human error
Using the most advanced state-of-the-art technology available

Common IOLs offered at Metrolina Eye Associates include

Vivity is the first and only non-diffractive extended depth of focus (EDOF) IOL that enhances vision across various distances. This premium lens provides patients with improved visual clarity for activities like reading, working on the computer, and driving without sacrificing their ability to see at a distance.

Vivity uses proprietary X-WAVE technology to distribute light across the lens smoothly. Doing this minimizes the need for the eyes to adjust to different focal points. It allows you to shift seamlessly between tasks up close and far away without visual discomfort.

Synergy helps correct presbyopia by optimizing light distribution, making it especially helpful while using digital devices, doing things at arm’s length away, or reading a book. 

The Synergy IOL helps reduce dependence on reading glasses while ensuring patients continue being able to see at a distance. It achieves this by offering a smooth transition between intermediate and near vision by creating a continuous range of focus at these distances.

The PanOptix is a trifocal IOL, meaning it offers patients clear vision up close, intermediate distances, and far away. This premium lens designates light into three distinct focal points to ensure a seamless transition between tasks, no matter what distance they are completed at. 

Most patients with the PanOptix trifocal IOL no longer need visual aids, making it especially useful for those who lead active lifestyles, like to spend time on the computer, or spend time outdoors.

The Light Adjustable Lens is the only IOL that offers patients customizable vision after cataract surgery. The Light Adjustable Lens is a premium lens that uses ultraviolet light to fine-tune your vision to your specific specifications throughout several light treatments. 

The result is better vision exactly how you want it and then locked into place during a final treatment.

What Can I Expect During Cataract Surgery?

We'll begin by administering numbing eye drops or a gel during cataract surgery at Metrolina Eye Associates. These eye drops ensure you won't feel any pain during the procedure. You'll also receive oral medication to help you relax.

Next, your cataract surgeon will make a small incision in your cornea to access the natural lens where the cataract is formed. They will remove your cloudy lens using techniques like phacoemulsification. 

Then, they will insert your IOL through the incision and position it in the lens capsule. The incisions do not usually need stitches and heal independently over time. 

Cataract surgery only takes about 10 minutes to complete but plan on spending about two or three hours at the surgical facility. You'll also need a friend or trusted family member to drive you home after the procedure, as your vision will be unstable.

What Will My Vision Be Like After Cataract Surgery?

After cataract surgery, expect your vision to be blurry. It may take you some time to get used to the new IOL in your eye.

Your vision after cataract surgery and your subsequent recovery will depend on the IOL you chose before the procedure. If you choose a premium IOL, you can reduce your dependence on visual aids like glasses and contact lenses. 

If you chose a standard monofocal lens, you'd still need reading glasses for distances not corrected during the procedure.

What is Recovery Like After Cataract Surgery?

After cataract surgery, you may notice that your vision is blurry. You'll receive an eye shield for a week to prevent accidentally touching or rubbing your eye, especially while sleeping. 

Recovering after cataract surgery usually takes about a month. However, most patients experience almost immediate visual improvement in the day following cataract surgery.

You must attend follow-up appointments at Metrolina Eye Associates to ensure your eyes are healing. Your eye care provider will discuss when you can return to activities like driving and going to work at these appointments. 

Remember to avoid any strenuous activities immediately after cataract surgery. Avoid any heavy lifting that may put extra pressure on your eye. 

You'll also need to keep your eye clean as it's healing to keep bacteria out or any infections from forming. You'll receive prescription eye drops to help prevent infection and reduce inflammation, so it's imperative that you take these exactly as directed.

Do you think you may need cataract surgery? Schedule an appointment at Metrolina Eye Associates in The Greater Charlotte, NC Area!
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