Imagine what your vision would be like if your eyes were covered by a sheet of wax paper. For millions of Americans with cataracts, this is how their world appears every day. Dull colors, blurry images - it is as if a film needs to be removed from the eyes to restore clear vision. Dr. Fishman advises patients on the latest technology and techniques for the correction of cataracts, maximizing both comfort and results. With a Stanford PhD in laser chemistry, Dr. Fishman is particularly well-suited for evaluating suitability for Femtosecond Laser Cataract Surgery.
What Are Cataracts?
Cataracts are a clouding or discoloring of the normally clear lens of the eye. Cataracts are a natural part of the aging process, caused from years of exposure to sunlight; however, they can be caused by long-term prednisone use, smoking, diabetes, chronic inflammation, or even inherited at birth. The clouded lens distorts and blocks the passage of light through the eye to the retina, causing vision to be dull, blurred, and indistinct. While cataracts can affect people of any age, they are most common in older adults. In fact, two-thirds of all adults over age 60 have some sign of cataracts. A cataract can occur in either or both eyes. It cannot spread from one eye to the other.
Cataract development is usually a very gradual process of normal aging, but can occasionally occur rapidly. Many people are unaware that they have cataracts because the changes in their vision are so gradual. Cataracts are very common, affecting roughly 60% of people over the age of 60, and over 1.5 million cataract surgeries are performed in the United States each year.
Cataract surgery is a very successful operation. One and a half million people have this procedure every year and over 98% 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.
Some common symptoms of cataracts may include:
- Painless blurring of vision
- Sensitivity to light and glare
- Double vision in one eye
- Poor night vision
- Fading or yellowing of colors
- Frequent changes in glasses or contact lens prescription
When is the right time to have your cataracts corrected? As soon as they begin to impair your quality of life. Today, surgery to repair cataracts is one of the most common procedures performed in the United States. Statistically, you are more likely than not to develop cataracts sometime in your life. If you suspect you may be developing cataracts, immediately to schedule a comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Fishman.
Cataract Surgery: The Procedure
Before your cataract surgery your eye must be properly cleaned and dilated. A topical anesthetic is used before the small incision is made. An ultrasonic device will be inserted into the small incision to pulverize the hard yellow proteins that form the cataract, and remove them from the eye.
A folded intraocular lens will be inserted through the original incision. This lens will replace your natural lens and stay in place inside your eye, providing you with clear vision after the procedure. You will not be able to feel or sense the implanted lens in any way. The small incision will then self-seal itself without the need for stitches in most cases.
It is important that you discuss your vision expectations with your eye surgeon to determine the right lens implant for you.
Recovering from cataract surgery is fast and relatively easy! Most of Dr. Fishmanís patients will notice improved vision with their new lens within the first 24 hours. It is important that you follow the postoperative instructions provided by your cataract surgeon. It is important that you refrain from strenuous physical activity and from rubbing your eyes during the first few weeks after surgery.
Cataract Surgery Choices
Once you have decided to have cataract surgery you will have a number of important decisions to make. The first item on the agenda is to select a skilled cataract surgeon. If you are seeking a cataract surgeon in the Bay Area, Palo Alto, or Santa Cruz, Dr. Harvey Fishman would be more than happy to be your surgeon of choice. At FishmanVision, we have the most up-to-date and modern surgery techniques available to our patients. Once you have selected a cataract surgeon it is time to understand what lens implant option will be the best. Itís important to discuss your options with a qualified ophthalmologist. Your options will include monofocal lenses, multifocal IOLís or accommodating lens implants, and toric implants to correct astigmatism.