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Retina & Eye Specialists of New Jersey

When should you have cataract surgery?

By Sean C. Lalin on October 24, 2016

Cataracts are the most common cause of blurry or out-of-focus vision as we age. You can visualize cataracts as a pair of natural glasses inside your eyes. Just like a pair of glasses, over time, your natural lenses become more yellow and scratched up affecting your vision. Initially, cataracts can cause halos or a starburst effect from on-coming headlights that can affect your night driving. You may also feel like you need more light to read as your cataract becomes "more yellow" with age.

Cataract surgery is indicated when your visual symptoms of halos, star-bursts or difficulty reading even with glasses impacts your lifestyle not when you find out that you have cataracts from your eye doctor. A second indication for cataract surgery is if you fail the vision component for driving, which is 20/50 or better vision in at least one eye.

If you are having difficulty with your vision because of cataract symptoms, you should learn how you can dramatically improve your vision with cataract surgery. You have choices today with cataract surgery between traditional or manual surgery techniques and newer advanced laser cataract surgery techniques.

Over the last 30 years or so, traditional or manual cataract surgery, which has excellent outcomes, was and is still done by hand with the aid of an ultrasonic device that works like a  “mini jackhammer” to remove the natural lens. Over the last several years, we now also have the option of laser cataract surgery that makes the surgery a “bladeless procedure. ” Laser cataract surgery very makes precise incisions, which can also decreases astigmatism as well as the ultrasound energy by 50 to 70% compared to traditional or manual cataract surgery methods.Laser cataract surgery can give give us unparalled precision when performing cataract surgery.

Once we remove your natural lens with cataract surgery, we replace your lens with an artificial lens that has your prescription to improve your vision. Today, you have a choice of lens implants that best fit your lifestyle. New advances in lens technologies can now give you clearer vision than in the past by addressing astigmatism or minimizing the need for glasses after cataract surgery for both distance and near vision by using bifocal or multifocal lenses. Although the bifocal or multifocal lenses minimizes the need for glasses compared to the standard lens implants, you may notice increased halos around lights and you may require more light for reading.

Today, cataract surgery is a safe and effective way of dramatically improving your vision when cataract cause cloudy vision or impair your lifestyle.

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