Understanding Cataracts

A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye. This clouding worsens as people get older and causes images to be out of focus. It reduces a person’s ability to perform basic daily activities such as reading, using the computer and driving. Glare from sunsets, sunrises and oncoming headlights are particularly troublesome. If your vision degenerates to 20/40 or below due to a cataract, it is time to have surgery or to stop driving. Fortunately, cataract surgery is one of the most frequent, safe and successful surgeries in the world.

 

Femtosecond Laser Assisted Cataract Surgery

The femtosecond laser has been used since the 1990’s to create corneal flaps for doing lasik surgery. It is a very safe and accurate laser and put the WOW into Lasik by achieving very accurate results with minimal discomfort.  In 2008, it revolutionized cataract surgery by creating precise bladeless laser incisions and softening the cataract to help remove it with less energy. In 2012, the Hartford Hospital Eye Surgery Center in Newington became the first site in all of New England to use the laser to assist in cataract removal. There are only 4 lasers in all of Connecticut used to help remove cataracts and the surgeons at the Hartford Hospital Eye Surgery Center are among the first and most experienced surgeons in the country to use this very advanced technology. These lasers allow for a safer, more precise surgery and reduce both a patient’s recovery time and need for glasses.

 

The New Lens Implant Technology

We are fortunate to be in a generation that can choose to reduce their need for glasses for both distance and near visual acuity. If a person has high amounts of astigmatism, which means the cornea is shaped more like a football than a basketball, there are custom lens implants and custom laser incisions to reduce the amount of astigmatism to allow a person to see their best. If a person has minimal astigmatism, there are multifocal lens implants which allow people to see to read, use the computer and drive with minimal or no need for glasses.  There are lens implants for each patient’s unique vision needs.

 

Future Developments for Cataract Surgery

The Hartford Hospital Eye Surgery Center prides itself on being on the cutting edge of technology. In the next few months, we are receiving the newest cataract removal machines in the world: an imaging device to take computerized photos of the eye and a computerized instrument called verifeye that will be able to assist the surgeon in choosing the very best lens implant for our patients. This all means added safety and accuracy for our patients so they can see their best!

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