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Cataracts

Diabetic Eye Care at St. Paul Eye Clinic

Cataracts are a common condition among older adults. In fact, over half of all people aged 65 or older have some degree of cataract development.

Because cataracts are slow growing, you may not even realize you have them at first. A cataract can develop in one eye or both eyes. They do not typically cause pain and do not need to be removed unless vision loss interferes with daily activities.

Thanks to innovative medical advances, cataract surgery is a common outpatient procedure.  Today, patients like you have a choice.  There is conventional surgery, and there are also bladeless procedures assisted by advanced laser technology.  You also have a variety of lens implants to choose from to give you the best vision possible.

What is a cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the transparent part of your eye called the lens. A normally clear lens focuses light onto the retina, which is located in the back of the eye. When the lens becomes cloudy and opaque, light cannot pass through to the retina, resulting in blurry or clouded vision. You may also experience double vision or multiple images in just one eye.

What causes cataracts?

Cataracts are most directly associated with the aging process. As the body ages, the normally transparent lens begins to harden and yellow and becomes cloudy.

There is increasing evidence that lifelong exposure to ultraviolet light contributes to the formation of cataracts. In addition, eye injuries, certain medications, diabetes, kidney disease, and smoking may contribute to the formation of cataracts.

What happens during cataract surgery?

Since there is presently no medical treatment to prevent cataracts or reverse them once they develop, the only treatment for cataracts is surgical removal.  Cataract procedures are one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the United States.

The goal of the operation is to break the cloudy cataract-affected lens into easily removable pieces, remove those pieces and insert an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) in place of the natural lens.

Traditionally, surgeons accomplished this by making tiny incisions in the eye using a surgical knife.  Today, patients have a choice.  There is conventional surgery, and there are also bladeless procedures assisted by advance laser technology.  The LenSx Laser, for example, offers image guidance for predictability and enhanced precision. 

In addition, some patients are candidates for the revolutionary ReSTOR lens implants which, in many cases, can help patients see clearly at all distances.  Also, cataract patients with astigmatism may benefit from a toric lens replacement to improve distance vision without glasses.

Cataract surgery is quick and effective and offers a rapid recovery time of just a few days. Talk to your eye care professional about what you're looking for after cataract surgery.  The board-certified surgeons of the St Paul Eye Clinic will help you decide the treatment and replacement lens option that is right for you. 

What are ReSTOR/Toric lenses?

During cataract surgery, an intraocular lens (IOL) is the replacement lens that is surgically implanted in the eye to replace the existing clouded lens.  Traditionally the replacement lens used for cataract surgery was a monofocal IOL.

The AcrySof ReSTOR lens is a breakthrough multifocal lens for cataract surgery that lets patient see from near to far, usually without glasses.  Mose AcrySof ReSTOR lens patients find that they can read a book, work on the computer, drive a care - day or night - and play golf or tennis with an increased freedom from glasses. 

The AcrySof Toric lens provides clear distance vision for patients with astigmatism.  Astigmatism is when the surface of the cornea has an uneven curvature, shaped more like a football than a basketball, causing vision to be distorted.  High quality vision is not regained unless the astigmatism is also corrected. 

Discuss any questions you have with your highly skilled St Paul Eye Clinic surgeon to choose the lens that is best for you.

Make Sure Your Vision Is Healthy Today

Early diagnosis and treatment are paramount to preserving your vision. If you are experiencing blurry vision, dimming, glare or double vision, call and schedule your appointment at the St. Paul Eye Clinic nearest you today or use our online appointment request form. We have 7 locations in St. Paul, Minnesota and 2 locations in northwest Wisconsin to serve you.