Blurry, cloudy vision and halos often indicate the presence of cataracts, especially in individuals over the age of 50. Our eye care team provides personalized care for cataract surgery patients at our Fresno offices, where we treat all patients who require treatment for this common condition.
Having cataracts can make it seem like you’re seeing the world through a cloudy film. The natural lens in your eye is clear when you are born, but as we get older, it becomes more and more cloudy. Cataracts are one of the most common eye conditions we treat at The Eye Medical Center of Fresno. Wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV rays and not smoking can help slow down the development of cataracts.
There are 3 types of cataracts:
Aging is the most common cause of cataracts, which usually develop gradually over several years. There are some conditions (like trauma or diabetes) where cataracts can develop much more rapidly with a quicker decline in vision producing a variety of symptoms, including:
Our ophthalmologists diagnose cataracts using non-invasive eye exams that can also detect other conditions, such as macular degeneration.
In the early stages of a cataract, a new glasses prescription with help alleviate a majority of the symptoms. But as the cataract continues to progress, the only true effective treatment is surgery to remove the cataract and replace it with a new artificial lens. Cataract removal is a common procedure and it’s safely performed millions of times each year.
Cataract surgery is performed using a small incision with or without the assistance of a laser. This procedure is one of the most common surgical procedures performed in the world and is often the most appropriate choice for patients.
During this procedure, your ophthalmologist makes a small incision in the cornea and then inserts a probe that uses ultrasound energy to break up the lens into tiny pieces. This process is called phacoemulsification. The probe then suctions the pieces out of the eye. The eye surgeon then inserts a new artificial intraocular lens (IOL). Different types of IOLs are available and our ophthalmologists clearly explain the differences prior to your surgery.
This procedure uses laser energy to help create an incision in the cornea, but most of the procedure is very similar to traditional cataract surgery. Not everyone is an appropriate candidate for laser cataract surgery. Your ophthalmologist reviews the options during your initial appointment and gathers your medical history and specific vision concerns before recommending the treatment plan best suited for you.
Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure that typically takes about 10 minutes, whether it’s traditional or laser-assisted surgery.
The recovery period for both laser-assisted cataract surgery and traditional cataract surgery is the same. Some people can see clearly almost immediately, while others may find their vision clears within about a week or two. It can take about 3 months to fully recover from cataract surgery in some patients with advanced disease.
To learn more about cataracts and your treatment options, request an appointment using our online form, or call our office at (559) 486-5000 to schedule an appointment at one of our 2 locations.