Advanced Cataract Surgery in Washington DC and Maryland, MD
You have been diagnosed with cataracts, now what?
Approximately 21 million American adults have cataracts – a progressive clouding of the lens that can lead to loss of vision. Our highly skilled cataract surgeons have helped thousands of patients with cataracts to regain their vision.
First, consider your lifestyle and the new treatment options that are now available. After your cataract surgery at our Washington, DC-area center, would you rather need glasses for close, far, or computer vision? Or would you prefer to reduce or eliminate your need for glasses after cataract surgery?
A bright new world is opening up for those gradually losing eyesight to cataracts. Today, advanced technology can provide a more independent and youthful option, so that, for most people, the need to wear reading glasses no longer has to be an inevitable part of aging or cataract treatment. No longer would they have to search for a magnifying glass or readers to find a phone number, read a stock quote, a baseball box score, or a supermarket ad. No longer would it be necessary to hunch over a computer or TV to see what’s on the screen. Crystalens® , Restor®, Tecnis® and Tecnis Symfony® technology lenses add the potential to rejuvenate vision and add a more youthful, independent quality of life people have desired for many years.
What is a Cataract?
People commonly misunderstand a cataract to be a “skin” on the eye that must be “peeled off.” A cataract is not a growth, but a normally clear lens inside the eye that has turned cloudy. Cataract surgery should be performed when cataracts interfere with a person’s ability to see for daily activities such as reading or driving. Cataracts interfere with vision by scattering light as it passes through the eye to the retina. This light dispersal causes blurred images, loss of contrast, glare, or star-burst.
What Causes Cataracts?
Cataracts are usually a normal part of the aging process. Cataracts typically develop by the time a person reaches his or her 60s or 70s, although they can occur at younger ages or may exist at birth. Other cataract causes can include eye trauma, inflammation in the eye, or diabetes. Cataracts usually develop in both eyes, but they may develop at different rates. Fortunately, cataract surgery is now a relatively standard procedure.
When is cataract surgery needed?
Surgery to remove cataracts is indicated when blurred vision interferes with enjoyment of activities that are important to you. Cataract surgery may be needed if you have trouble reading, enjoying hobbies, reading street signs, or driving because of blurred vision or glare from headlights.
Cataract Surgery Options
- Traditional Cataract Surgery
- Advanced Technology Cataract Surgery
How are cataracts diagnosed?
Cataracts are diagnosed during a comprehensive eye examination, such as that offered at our practice in the Washington DC area. Many factors are considered when making the decision to perform cataract surgery. These factors include:
- Medical History – It is important for the eye doctor to determine your eye symptoms and how they encumber your everyday life. Questions are asked about your general medical history, including any medications you are currently taking and whether you have any allergies, prior eye disease, and previous surgeries.
- Eye Tests – Eye charts are used during an eye examination to determine your vision (or visual acuity). Refraction is done to determine your prescription and to see if changing glasses will improve your vision. A brightness acuity test (BAT) may be used to see how much glare you are experiencing. Potential vision may be checked with a potential acuity meter (PAM) to examine how well the retina and optic nerve function by projecting a bright eye chart through the cataract to the back of the eye.
- Eye Inspection – Your eye doctor uses a microscope (or slit lamp) to examine the front structures of the eye, including the clarity of the cornea and lens. An ophthalmoscope with special lenses is used to examine the back structures of the eye, including retina and optic nerve. Eye pressure is checked with a tonometer. The eye doctor determines if it is a cataract that is obscuring vision and not another disease. This will help the doctor decide if your vision is likely to be improved by removing the cataract. If cataract surgery at our Washington, DC-area center seems warranted, measurements for the lens implant will be made using a keratometer, which measures the front curvature of your cornea, and an A-scan, a painless sonar measurement of the length of your eye.
- Discussion – If cataracts are present, then you and your doctor can discuss your treatment options. If you are still functioning well and activities are not limited by the quality of your vision, a decision may be made to wait before removing the cataract. If helpful, a change of glasses may be recommended. The decision to have cataract surgery can only be reached after you and your doctor discuss the benefits, risks, and alternatives. You also should discuss the possibility of having Advanced Technology Cataract treatment. Only a cataract specialist can determine if you are a candidate for an Advanced Technology lens.
Contact Washington Eye Physicians & Surgeons to schedule a cataract surgery consultation in the Washington DC area.