What Are Cataracts?

Cataracts Fact Sheet

What is a cataract? Cataracts are a normal part of aging and occur when the natural lens in the eye begins to thicken and harden as we age causing it to become opaque. The term “cataract” implies that the lens is not clear any more causing vision to be blurry like looking thorough a misty glass or waterfall. In fact the word cataract is Latin for “waterfall”.

Who gets cataracts? According to the National Institutes of Health, 20.5 million people in the U.S. aged 40 and older suffer from cataracts. Cataract surgery is the most common surgery performed worldwide with more than 2.7 million procedures performed annually in the US.

What causes cataracts? Cataract formation is a normal part of aging. While the exact cause is unknown, possible causes may include eye injuries and even some forms of radiation. Recent research findings indicate that the average age of 55 for onset of cataracts is decreasing (American Cataract Foundation), with 50 percent of people aged 65 and above having had or currently having cataracts.

How are cataracts treated? In the early stages of cataracts, vision can be improved by using corrective lenses, magnifying glasses or better lighting. However, ultimately, surgery to remove the cataract is the only effective treatment.

What happens in cataract surgery? In a cataract operation, the eye’s natural lens is removed and a new lens is inserted to restore vision. This new lens is a permanent implant or artificial lens and is referred to as an intraocular lens or IOL.

IOL Types:

Standard Monofocal IOL: Provides good distance and sometimes intermediate vision, but doesn’t correct near vision. Usually requires corrective lenses or eyeglasses after surgery for reading and near vision tasks.

Multifocal IOL: Designed to provide distance and near vision simultaneously, but does not restore good intermediate vision. Increased glare and halos reported at night.

Accommodating IOL: Crystalens™ is the first accommodating lens available in the U.S. and is designed to provide consumers with good distance, intermediate and near vision and is the only IOL that enables patients to see their best by providing a continuous range of vision, greatly reducing the need for corrective lenses or eyeglasses.

Is cataract surgery effective? Cataract surgery is one of the most common and safest surgical procedures performed in the U.S. today with 2.7 million procedures performed annually. In about 90 percent of the cases (National Eye Institute) people who have cataract surgery experience better vision afterwards.

Bladeless Cataract Surgery

NY LASIK also offers Bladeless Catact Surgery – a new level in precision and patient safety

Just as you have options when it comes to choosing the lens that you receive during cataract surgery, you also have the option of choosing the technology that’s used to perform the procedure. That means you have the choice between surgery performed by hand or with the assistance of laser technology.Either type of procedure can be effective when performed by Dr. Bley but laser assisted cataract surgery is his method of choice.

Learn more about Bladeless Cataract Surgery here.