A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens of the eye. Cataracts tend to develop gradually, and are most common in older patients. Early cataracts can be present for years, causing only minor problems with vision. Sometimes, however, cataracts advance rapidly. It is difficult to predict how quickly cataracts will cause a noticeable problem that requires surgery. Symptoms can include hazy or blurred vision, colors that seem faded, light sensitivity and the need for stronger eyeglass prescriptions. The decision to have cataract surgery is based on how much trouble they are causing in day-to-day vision activities, such as reading and driving at night.
Cataracts are currently one of the leading causes of blindness in the world. Cataract surgery is the most frequently performed vision surgery in the United States. More than half of Americans over the age of 65 are affected. There are many factors thought to contribute to the formation of cataracts. Eye injury, prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light (UV) radiation, genetic factors, and diseases such as diabetes and iritis are also associated with an elevated risk of cataracts. The most significant single factor causing cataracts is advancing age. Cataracts are never reversible and only treated with surgery. Many patients with cataract related vision problems undergo cataract surgery to restore vision.
The preferred cataract surgery method today is known as microscopic incision phacoemulsification (ultrasonic cataract removal). Although lasers are used in many forms of eye surgery, cataract surgery is performed with sound waves rather than with lasers. This type of low-stress surgery is the most advanced in the world, and it is used by the surgeons of Cascade Eye and Skin Centers, P.C. for cataract patients. With this technique, the lens is divided into small pieces using ultrasonic vibrations so that it can be easily removed. After the cataract is removed an artificial lens (called an intraocular lens or IOL) is placed inside the eye to replace the focusing power of the natural lens.
Cascade Eye and Skin Centers, P.C. uses the latest technology and provides many options for your IOL: including multifocal (a lens that helps the patient see distance and near) and toric (a lens that corrects astigmatism) lens options.
Our dedicated cataract ambulatory surgery center, located at our Puyallup clinic, provides a low-stress environment for our cataract surgery patients. Cataract surgery patients return home within a few hours of surgery and require minimal downtime. Most normal activities can be resumed the following day.
Schedule your consultation with one of the skilled providers of Cascade Eye and Skin Centers today, (253) 848-3000.