- Symptoms and Causes
- Diagnosis and Tests
- Management and Treatment
- Frequently Asked Questions
Cataracts affect more than 24 million people in the U.S., so you are not alone if you believe you may be experiencing vision loss due to cataracts.1 The Cataracts Specialists at CVP Physicians Dayton can provide you with a diagnosis and give you the information you need to understand your treatment options and make the best choice for your vision.
We have several convenient locations throughout the greater Ohio area and we have helped thousands of patients find solutions to their cataract problems. Contact us to learn more or schedule your consultation appointment.
What Are Cataracts?
A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens inside the eye. Light cannot pass through the clouded lens properly, which results in blurred and distorted vision. A clouded lens is like looking through a window “fogged” with steam. Cataracts generally form very slowly, and do not occur at the same age or rate in everyone. They gradually make the natural lens in your eye more and more cloudy until they ultimately interfere with your vision. Cataracts are painless and do not change the appearance of the eye. You can get cataracts in one eye or both eyes — but they do not spread from one eye to the other.
When cataracts begin to develop the symptoms are often so mild they are unnoticeable. As cataracts grow, they begin to cause changes in your vision.
Common cataract symptoms may include:2
- cloudy or blurry vision
- sensitivity to light or glare
- fading or yellowing of colors
- seeing halos around lights
- difficulty driving at night
- double vision in one eye
- needing a brighter light to read
- frequent eyeglass prescription changes
What Causes Cataracts?
Cataracts are generally a natural result of aging. More than half of American have cataracts or have had cataract surgery by the age of 80.3 While cataracts can occur for anyone, and are very common with age, there are some risk factors that can increase your chances of developing cataracts:4
- Cataract Risk Factors
- Excessive exposure to sunlight or UV light
- Overconsumption of alcohol
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Eye injuries
- Prolonged use of certain medications, such as corticosteroids
How Are Cataracts Diagnosed?
Cataracts cannot usually be seen with the naked eye, but are diagnosed during a comprehensive eye examination. They develop at different rates and it is initially difficult to predict how quickly they will progress. If you receive a diagnosis of cataracts, the cataract specialists at CVP Physicians Dayton will closely monitor your eyes and advise you the appropriate time to consider treatment.
At CVP Physicians Dayton, a comprehensive eye exam to diagnose cataracts includes the following tests:
- Patient history to determine if vision difficulties are limiting daily activities and other general health concerns affecting vision.
- Visual acuity and refraction (reading letters on an eye chart) to determine changes to both your distance and near vision.
- Evaluation of the lens using a specialized microscope with high magnification and illumination to help reveal the location of any cataracts.
- Evaluation of the retina of the eye by dilating the pupils and using a specialized magnifying device to evaluate the back of eyes, your retina, optic nerve and your lens.
- Measurement of pressure to evaluate the pressure within your eye.
- Supplemental testing to assess for color vision and glare sensitivity.
Treatment for Cataracts
The only way to eliminate a cataract is to surgically remove it.5 Cataract surgery is one of the most common surgical procedures in the U.S. and it is considered to be safe and effective with a very low rate of complications.6 Cataract surgery can improve your eyesight and restore clear vision so that you can resume your favorite activities.
Preparing for Cataract Surgery
If you are diagnosed with cataracts, your eye doctor at CVP Physicians Dayton will assess the progression of your cataracts and discuss your surgical plan once surgery becomes the best option for you. Our team of cataract specialists will guide you through the process of scheduling your surgery and educate you regarding your lens options.
It is important to disclose all medications you are taking so that your doctor can advise you if any need to be temporarily discontinued before your cataract surgery. You will need to plan to have a friend or family member drive you home from surgery.
What to Expect During Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery is outpatient, and completed one eye at a time, several weeks apart. During cataract surgery, your eye’s cloudy natural lens will be removed and then replaced with an artificial lens. Cataract surgery is performed with the surgeon looking through an operating microscope. Ultrasonic sound waves are aimed through a microscopic incision using a process called phacoemulsification to dissolve the clouded lens. A new artificial lens, or intraocular lens (IOL) will typically be positioned in the same place as your natural lens and will remain as a permanent part of your eye. At CVP Physicians Dayton, we are able to offer the latest surgical techniques and a full range of the lens options.
Recovery After Cataract Surgery
You may experience mild discomfort for a day or two after surgery, but this can be managed with medication and should resolve quickly. Your vision may be blurry at first, but you should soon have brighter vision with restored clarity. Your cataract surgeon will go over detailed post-operative guidelines with you and will also schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your progress.
CVP Physicians Dayton is proud to offer a complete range of the latest lens options and your surgeon will help you decide the best option for your needs. There are two types of lenses – Traditional and Premium.
The standard IOL option is a traditional lens that has been available longest and is still very commonly used today. This IOL is a standard monofocal (single distance) lens. The primary goal of this lens is to provide clear distance vision – so you can drive without blurred vision and enjoy other activities where clear distance vision is needed. However, glasses are likely to be needed for reading and close-up detailed work. Medicare and most insurance companies cover the cost of traditional monofocal IOLs.
Premium IOLs are designed with advanced optics and materials to allow for focus and vision improvement that go above and beyond what a traditional IOL can provide. Premium IOLs offer the possibility of seeing well at more than one distance (near, intermediate, and far) and correcting astigmatism. Potential advantages Premium IOLs can provide compared to traditional IOLs include:
- Improved vision in a variety of lighting conditions
- Greater range of vision
- Ability to read more easily
- Reduce or eliminate the need for glasses
Premium IOLs offer many benefits to patients seeking to improve their vision. These IOL options do require an out-of-pocket expense because they are not covered by Medicare or most insurance plans.
Premium IOL Options
- Toric IOL This lens can correct astigmatism and help improve distance vision. Glasses are likely to be needed for reading and close-up detailed work.
- Presbyopia Correcting Multifocal IOL This lens offers multiple points of focus after cataract surgery, similar to bifocal or progressive eyeglasses and multifocal contact lenses. The primary goal of a multifocal lens is to accommodate active lifestyles and those that find it inconvenient to wear glasses.
- Presbyopia Correcting Accommodating IOL This lens that flexes muscles inside the eye that are used to focus. The flexing and focusing is called “accommodating.” It can accommodate different distances and may eliminate the need for glasses for reading glasses.
- PanOptix® Trifocal IOL This presbyopia correcting lens is an advanced IOL that corrects near, intermediate and distance vision.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cataracts
Can I prevent cataracts?
There are no eye exercises or medications that will prevent cataracts. This common condition is natural and may be genetic. There are healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating a nutrient-rich diet, not smoking, and using UV protective sunglasses, that can reduce your risk of cataracts.
Do I need to have surgery if I have cataracts?
If you are diagnosed with cataracts, you may not need surgery right away, but it is important to have regular checkups with your eye doctor. Cataracts are progressive, so you may not notice vision changes at first – however, cataracts can cause vision trouble that eventually interferes with your ability to drive safely or do other day-to-day activities. Once cataracts interfere with your vision, cataract surgery will be necessary to restore it.
How do I choose a cataract surgeon?
We know that choosing a vision care provider is a big decision. You should choose a cataract surgeon who is experienced and offers advanced technology. Schedule a consultation appointment to ensure that you feel comfortable with your surgeon. At CVP Physicians Dayton, our cataract surgeons perform thousands of procedures every year and we are happy to answer any questions.
Will I be asleep during cataract surgery?
Cataract surgery is usually a quick and simple surgery that does not typically require general anesthesia. The majority of patients do not require general anesthesia. If you are not “put to sleep”, you will not have to deal with the risks and recovery issues of general anesthesia. On the day of your surgery, your eyes will be numbed with anesthetic drops and you may be given a sedative medication to help you relax.
How do I choose a premium IOL that is right for me?
- It is important to consider personal and lifestyle factors when making your decision.
- What are the main activities you do each day?
- If possible, would it be preferable to do these activities without glasses?
- How bothered are you by wearing glasses?
- At what distances would you like to see the most clearly – near, intermediate, or far?
- How much driving do you do at night?
Our team of cataract specialists will want to understand more about visual needs, lifestyle, and budget when helping you make your decision.
Contact CVP Physicians Dayton for Cataract Treatment
At CVP Physicians Dayton, your vision is our top priority. Contact us with any questions or to schedule your appointment.
Real Patient Reviews
I was referred to Dr. Shade for my cataracts surgery. Dr. Shade has been amazing throughout the whole process, from pre-surgery to my follow-ups. I have always believed the true barometer of service starts after the surgery/service is performed. From receiving a follow-up call from her night of the surgery to the follow-up appointments; Dr. Shade has been very involved in my care. I really appreciate her attention to detail; listening to all concerns; and then acting on them to ensure there were not any issues. I get my other eye done in a few weeks and knowing what to expect and the care I will receive makes the whole process a lot easier to handle for myself and family.
– Ike F.
1 National Eye Institute. Cataract Data and Statistics. Available: https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/resources-for-health-educators/eye-health-data-and-statistics/cataract-data-and-statistics Accessed May 19, 2020.
2 Cleveland Clinic. Cataracts. Available: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/8589-cataracts Accessed May 19, 2020.
3 National Eye Institute. Cataracts. Available: https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/cataracts Accessed May 19, 2020
4 Mayo Clinic. Cataracts. Available: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cataracts/symptoms-causes/syc-20353790 Accessed May 19, 2020.
5 American Academy of Ophthalmology. Cataract Surgery. Available: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-cataract-surgery. Accessed May 19, 2020
6 American Refractive Surgery Council. Is Cataract Surgery with Vision-Correcting IOLs Safe? Available: https://americanrefractivesurgerycouncil.org/refractive-surgery-procedures/cataract-surgery-with-vision-correcting-iols/is-cataract-surgery-with-vision-correcting-iols-safe/ Accessed May 19, 2020