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Conditions & Treatments

Cataracts & Intraocular Lenses

What are cataracts?

A cataract is a clouding of the clear lens in the eye that interferes with vision. A healthy lens is transparent and focuses the light on the retina. A cataract occurs when parts of the lens becomes less clear or opaque resulting in blurry or cloudy vision, distorted vision, dim vision and glare. By age 65 more than 90% of Americans have some degree of cataract development, and half of those aged 75-85 have lost some vision to cataracts.

Fear of surgery sometimes causes people to delay seeking cataract treatment for as long as possible. When they finally underwent corrective surgery, the improvement in eyesight demonstrated to patients the missed opportunities to see the full beauty of life.

Today, advances in cataract surgery have led to better outcomes with less downtime and less discomfort. Union Square Eye Care is nationally recognized for their team of skilled cataract surgeons.

What causes cataracts?

Cataracts develop slowly and can affect one or both eyes. Aging is the most common cause. Age and a lifetime of exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun causes the lenses to degrade, harden, yellow and becomes opaque.

Cataract risk factors include diabetes, hypertension, smoking, obesity, and heavy drinking. In addition, eye injuries, some inherited diseases, other eye conditions, past eye surgery, certain medications (especially steroids), kidney disease and smoking may contribute to the formation of cataracts.

Is there more than one type of cataract?

Yes. Cataracts that affect the center of the lens, called nuclear cataracts, are the most common type. This type progresses slowly. Cataracts that affect the back of the lens, called posterior subcapsular cataracts, start small and form directly in the path of the light as it flows to the retina. They can progress quickly.

What are the symptoms?

The type of cataract determines the symptoms. The symptoms of a cataracts depend on their location, but may include:

  • Blurry, clouded or dim vision
  • Faded colors
  • Difficulty seeing in low light
  • Difficult night vision making driving challenging
  • Seeking brighter light to read or performing regular daily activities
  • Halos around lights
  • Glare from bright lights especially at night
  • Posterior subcapsular cataracts also decrease vision in bright light

How is a cataract diagnosed?

Cataracts are suspected based on your symptoms and diagnosed with a complete professional eye exam. Union Square Eye Care uses the latest technology to quickly and accurately diagnose eye conditions such as cataracts. Untreated cataracts can lead to unnecessary loss of vision.

Cataract surgery

When cataracts interfere with your vision, and your enjoyment of everyday activities, surgery is recommended. Advancements in surgical technology and techniques allow for small-incision surgery with rapid visual recovery, good visual outcomes, and minimal complications in the majority of patients. The surgeons at Union Square Eye Care specialize in difficult/complicated cataracts, such as those from trauma, lens exchange, and repairing surgical complications. We also perform MIGS (minimally invasive glaucoma surgery) during cataract surgery, such as I-Stent and Kahook blade, for those with glaucoma, which can reduce or eliminate the need for glaucoma drops. MIGS adds only a few minutes to the procedure.

We offer state-of-the-art “no-patch,” “no-injection,” “no-stitch” cataract surgery in our surgical eye centers. Recovery takes just a few days. Your safety and comfort are foremost in all procedures.

During this safe and effective outpatient procedure, your cloudy lens is gently removed through a microscopic incision and a specially selected lens implant is then carefully implanted to restore bright, clear vision.

Advanced technology in intraocular lenses provides for the correction of the cataract, near and far sightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia, often eliminating the need for reading or other glasses.

Prior to surgery, you will have had extensive testing to determine the location of your cataracts, and your need for and desire for treatment of nearsightedness, farsightedness, presbyopia and astigmatism. This will assist your Union Eye surgeon’s choice of intraocular lens, which is placed during cataract surgery to restore vision.

Premium Intraocular Lenses

  • Astigmatism – Astigmatism is an uneven curvature of the cornea that distorts vision. The toric or astigmatic intraocular lens improves vision by offsetting the irregular corneal shape of astigmatism. Implanted at the time of cataract surgery, its unique design makes it possible to significantly improve uncorrected distance vision while eliminating corneal astigmatism.
  • ReSTOR Multifocal IOL – This implant has multiple overlapping segments that each provide a different range of focus, similar to bifocal, multifocal, or “progressive” spectacles.
  • Symfomy Extended Focus/ReStor IOLThese implants have specially designed rings that can afford the patient distance vision as well as near vision without glasses. These implants can be wonderful, as they greatly reduce the need for any glasses, but they have some drawbacks and not every patient is a good candidate. The doctors at Union Square have an impeccable reputation for carefully selecting those patients who are good candidates, so patients feel confident that the implant they get is the one best suited for their needs.

Led by H. Jay Wisnicki, MD, the Union Square Eye Care team provides world-class treatments and procedures for all your eye care needs. Contact us to schedule a consultation to receive the correct diagnosis and treatment. Our patients always receive the most patient-focused personalized and compassionate care from dedicated, experienced board-certified ophthalmologists.

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