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Have You Been Told You Need Cataract Surgery?

Cataracts occur when the natural clear lens inside the eye, located behind the iris, becomes cloudy over time. This lens is important for focusing light on the back of the eye (the retina) so that images appear clear and without distortion. It’s the clouding of this lens during cataract formation that distorts our vision.

Cataracts are usually a very gradual process of normal aging . Your risk for developing a cataract increases as you get older – with the highest likelihood of occurrence after the age of 60. They commonly affect both eyes, but it is not uncommon for a cataract in one eye to advance more rapidly.

If you’ve been told that you need cataract surgery, rest assured that the Emory Eye Center is committed to getting you back to good eye health quickly. Cataract surgery at Emory is done on an outpatient basis, meaning you’ll go home that day. The actual surgery takes only about 10 minutes. You can expect warmth and compassion from our incredible staff of experts before and after your surgery. Everyone from the ophthalmic techs, who do calculations, to the physicians’ assistants, who explain the procedure, discuss any medical issues, and answer questions, to all the OR nurses, including pre-op nurses, surgical assistants, and the recovery room nurses, are very knowledgeable, have many years of experience, and are very skilled at what they do.

And finally, know that your eyes are in good hands. Our eye surgeons are some of the best in the country. We have the technical expertise to perform cataract surgery on eyes that have additional complicating factors that can make surgery more challenging, such as iritis, glaucoma, and previous LASIK/PRK. Because we have the knowledge, the experience, and the most up-to-date equipment, we see many of the most challenging cases in the community.

Are you planning to have cataract surgery, or have you already had it? We welcome your questions and feedback in the comments section below.

Maria Aaron, MD, specializes in cataract surgery, eye trauma, and laser surgery and is board certified in ophthalmology. Dr. Aaron started practicing at Emory in 1999 and is associate professor of ophthalmology.

More Options for Improved Vision after Cataract Surgery with IOLs

Maria Aaron, MDAn intraocular lens, or IOL, is the artificial lens often used to replace the eye’s natural lens when it has been damaged by a cataract. With the advancement of IOLs, Emory Eye Center patients undergoing cataract surgery have many more options and the potential to see without glasses after surgery.

There are two basic types of IOLs: the monofocal lens and the multifocal lens. Monofocal lenses may provide spectacle-free vision at a single focal length, either distance, intermediate, or near, while multifocal lenses have multiple focal lengths and therefore may enable you to see near and distance without the dependence on spectacles. Patients with a significant degree of astigmatism may benefit from toric lenses, which are monofocal IOLs that help correct astigmatism.

Before you have eye surgery, your surgeon will take measurements to help determine the best lens for you. IOL insertion usually takes less than 30 minutes and can be performed while you are under local anesthesia. Recovery time generally takes two to three weeks.

If you’re having cataract surgery, you should remember that the goal of cataract surgery is not to get rid of glasses—it’s to get rid of the cataract. However, for the right patient, it can be an opportunity to reduce dependency on glasses.

The Emory Eye Center is one of the top 15 NIH-funded eye research institutions in the U.S. and is consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report. Our researchers are continually pioneering new developments in vision care. Schedule an appointment with the Emory Eye Center, and we’ll help you see your world in a whole new light.

Do you have IOLs? Would you like to share your experience with people who are considering getting them? We welcome your questions and feedback in the comments section below.

Maria Aaron, MD, specializes in cataract surgery, eye trauma, and laser surgery and is board certified in ophthalmology. Dr. Aaron started practicing at Emory in 1999 and is associate professor of ophthalmology.

LASIK Myths Debunked

Think you can’t have LASIK surgery? Think again!

If you’ve been told in the past that you couldn’t have LASIK surgery, it’s time to come to Emory Vision. During the last five years, LASIK technology has made a huge leap forward—and you may find that you’re now the perfect candidate. I’d like to take a moment to address two reasons you may have been told you can’t have LASIK.

#1- If you wear gas permeable contacts, LASIK is not for you (UNTRUE!)
Gas permeable lenses change the shape of your cornea to correct your vision. In fact, many eye doctors prescribe them to correct astigmatism. What you may not know, is that LASIK can actually be a way to treat the condition of astigmatism permanently.

What does this mean for you? It may be time for LASIK surgery! To find out, just take a three-week break from your gas permeable lenses, to allow your eyes to go back to their original shape, and then come in for your initial exam.

#2 – If you wear bifocals, you can’t have LASIK (UNTRUE!).
Do you wear bifocals—or are you nearing a time when you will? Have you longed for LASIK surgery but been told you’d still need to wear reading glasses? Now bifocal wearers can enjoy the benefits of LASIK surgery with blended vision—and put aside those reading glasses.

Blended vision means that, rather than treating both eyes for distance, we treat one eye for distance viewing and one for close up. Your eyes then make the necessary adjustment depending on your activity. Still not convinced? Come in for an initial exam at Emory Vision, and we’ll let you try out how blended vision works and feels before you have surgery using a special pair of glasses that simulates the effect.

Goodbye to Glasses