CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — Cataracts affect almost all adults by the time they reach 75 – meaning by this age, nearly everyone has some type of cataract. Advancements in cataract surgery, including intraocular lens implants, allow many to have their sight fully restored.
If you’re over the age of 50 and feel your vision is beginning to change, cataracts could be to blame. Cataract symptoms include the following:
- Blurry, cloudy or dim vision.
- Trouble seeing at night.
- Frequent vision prescription changes.
- Halo effects around lights.
- Fading colors.
- Double vision in one eye.
The only way to cure cataracts is with surgery, which has a very good track record of safety and success. During the surgery, the eye’s natural lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens. These lenses can also be used for refractive lens exchange procedures – a type of vision correction surgery.
Recovery from cataract surgery typically involves only slight discomfort. Many patients are able to see clearly within several hours of their procedure, but it may take one to two weeks to regain clear vision. Aftercare includes rest, prescription eye drops and pain relievers if necessary.
Before intraocular lenses became available, there was no implanted device that could replicate the abilities of the eye’s natural lens. Instead, patients who underwent cataract surgery had to wear special contact lenses or very thick glasses in order to see clearly. Now, however, there are four basic categories of current intraocular lens options, and patients and their eye surgeons work together to choose the right one.
Fixed-focus monofocal: This type of intraocular lens has a single focus strength for distance vision. Patients may still need reading glasses with this intraocular lens.
Accommodating-focus monofocal: These lenses have a single focusing strength but can respond to eye muscle movements and shift focus onto near or distant objects.
Multifocal: These are similar to glasses with progressive lenses. Different areas of the lens have different focusing strengths for near, medium and far vision. One particular lens, the Tecnis Symfony intraocular lens, is state-of-the-art in multifocal function.
Astigmatism correction (toric): These lenses offer any of the above characteristics and also correct astigmatism.
Medicare and health plan benefits offer coverage for cataract surgery using a standard monofocal lens implant. However, patients and their doctors may decide on a specialized lens for an added fee.
Private insurance policies vary, but many patients have the choice of receiving a specialized lens by paying the difference. Cataract patients should check with their insurance provider for details.
Regular eye exams are key to early detection of cataracts. The board-certified ophthalmologists at Richens Eye Center can remove cataracts with the latest surgical techniques and lens implants. Schedule an evaluation at the Richens Eye Center website or by calling 435-986-2020.
• S P O N S O R E D C O N T E N T •
- Richens Eye Center | Website.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.