Cataracts are one of the most prevalent conditions in the world. Cataract surgery is the most common medical procedure in the country. At Arbor Centers for Eyecare, we have extensive experience performing cataract surgery and offer a wide array of advanced technology lenses to our patients.
What Are Cataracts?
Cataracts form as the proteins in your natural lenses break down. As this happens, they clump together and form milky clouds in your lenses. These clouds can get so thick that light cannot get through to the retina in the back of your eye. If this is happening, cataracts are causing vision loss. Cataract surgery is a simple, straightforward medical procedure. It can get rid of your cataracts and fix your eyesight in as little as 30 minutes per eye.
What is Cataract Surgery?
Cataract surgery replaces your natural lenses with intraocular lenses or IOLs. IOLs will give you clear vision again and, in some cases, can give you the best eyesight you’ve ever had!
Take our cataract self-test to see if you are a good candidate for cataract surgery.
Cataract Symptom Checker
How Does Laser Cataract Surgery Work With the ORA System?
The surgeons at Arbor Centers for EyeCare use laser cataract surgery and the ORA intraoperative aberrometry system. This technology makes more precise incisions and guides more accurate placement of the IOL in your eye to ensure better outcomes for you from cataract surgery.
The laser cataract surgery process begins the same as traditional cataract surgery. Your surgeon will give you numbing eye drops so you don’t feel anything during the procedure. After that, they begin to use the laser and ORA system to perform the surgery. First, the laser creates a 3-D scan of your eye, which measures your lens thickness and maps the shape of your cornea. This intraoperative aberrometry technology is the same technology used to map your cornea in LASIK. The 3-D scan and map of your cornea create a computer program to guide the surgery. They tell your surgeon the precise location to make the incision in your cornea and how deep it needs to be. The incision in your cornea allows your surgeon to access your lens behind it. After the incision, the laser uses ultrasound energy to soften the lens, making it easier to remove.
An advantage of laser cataract surgery is that it uses less ultrasound energy to soften your lens. Less energy means less pressure on your eye, reducing recovery time and limiting adverse side effects like inflammation and infection. The laser uses gentle suction to remove the lens after the ultrasound softens it. Cataract surgery lasers can remove all pieces of the lens to ensure no lens fragments remain in your eye. Next, your surgeon places the IOL in your eye. The ORA system gives measurements and feedback in real-time to ensure the most accurate placement of the IOL possible.
Once the IOL is in your eye and the ORA intraoperative aberrometry system has checked its position, the procedure is over. The incision the laser made in your cornea is so precise it is self-healing. It does not need any stitches or adhesive to seal. Your surgeon will send you home to rest. The more sleep you can get following your procedure, the better because sleep heals your body.
After a week, you should be able to go back to normal activities. Be sure to follow all your doctor’s recommendations for recovery.It may be a few months before your vision is entirely back to normal. But your vision days after surgery could be better than it has been in years.
Which IOL is Best For You?
There are a lot of IOL options. The lens you choose could have a significant impact on your eyesight after surgery. There are two general categories of IOLs. They are monofocal or standard IOLs and premium IOLs.
Monofocal IOLs are the most basic type of IOL and are the most often used in cataract surgery. They are the only IOL covered by Medicare and insurance. They are also the most basic IOL. Monofocal IOLs correct vision at one distance. Whatever distance the lens corrects, you will have clear vision at that distance. Most people have their distance vision corrected with a monofocal IOL. If you fix your distance vision with a monofocal IOL, you will still need to wear glasses for up-close and intermediate tasks like reading or using the computer.
Premium IOLs are the other main category of intraocular lenses. Only premium IOLs can give you glasses-free visual freedom after cataract surgery. There is more variety in the premium category. Premium IOLs can correct vision at more than one distance, and there are several different ways they do this.
Some common types of premium IOLs include:
- Extended depth of focus (EDOF)
Each has its benefits and shortcomings, and each is better for some people than others. Your eye doctor will help you decide which is best for you.
The Vivity IOL
The Vivity IOL is an extended depth of focus or EDOF IOL. It gives you monofocal-like distance vision and quality intermediate vision. Most IOLs split light into distinct focal points with rings on the lens, but Vivity doesn’t. Instead, the Vivity lens uses a proprietary technology called non-diffractive X-WAVE technology.
The X-WAVE design allows Vivity to stretch and shift light rather than split it like other IOLs. That means clear vision at all distances without any visual disturbances between them. It also provides good up-close vision. You should be able to read a book and use your cell phone with no issues. If you are reading a prescription or label at the grocery store, you may need reading glasses to help you.
The Symfony IOL is another EDOF IOL like the Vivity lens. They do not share the same technology, but Symfony provides many of the same benefits. Symfony is excellent for patients who want clear distance and intermediate vision. It’s an ideal lens for people who drive a lot or do other distance vision activities like golfing. The clear intermediate vision means you won’t need glasses to work on the computer or look at your cell phone. You may need reading glasses with Symfony, but the quality of your far and medium vision could be worth it.
PanOptix Trifocal IOL
The PanOptix trifocal IOL is the first and only FDA-approved trifocal IOL. Although, it is one of the most popular premium IOLs throughout the rest of the world. A trifocal lens has three refractive zones set for near, intermediate, and distance vision: roughly 40, 60, and 80cm from your eyes. Most multifocal IOLs only have two at 40cm and 80cm.
Three zones allow the PanOptix to transition between refractive zones with minimal visual disturbances. They also enable it to provide monofocal like vision without visual aids at all distances. Arbor Eyecare is one of the most experienced users of all the new technology lenses in the Midwest. We can help you find the exact lens for your life and vision goals.
Can You Correct Astigmatism During Cataract Surgery?
Toric model IOLs are IOLs designed to correct astigmatism. They allow your surgeon to correct your astigmatism during your cataract surgery. Depending on the IOL you choose, you could live a life without any visual aids. As long as your IOL comes in a toric model, you can get rid of cataracts and astigmatism in one procedure.