Cataracts develop as the chemical composition of the eye’s natural lens changes during the aging process, making the lens opaque and often hard. A large percentage of people over the age of 65 develop cataracts and therefore need cataract surgery. In North Carolina, our Fayetteville area eye centers offer innovative cataract treatments to restore vision loss and prevent blindness due to cataracts.
- About Cataract Surgery
- Choosing an Intraocular Lens (IOL) Type
About Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery is the only way to successfully remove cataracts. For patients, cataract surgery is a simple, virtually pain-free procedure performed on an outpatient basis. Every year in the United States, over 1.5 million cataract surgeries are performed, resulting in 20/40 to 20/20 vision for nine out of ten patients. At Cape Fear Eye Associates, we perform precision cataract surgery at our Fayetteville Centers in North Carolina, and offer the latest in intraocular lens (IOL) replacements. Our site offers comprehensive information on cataract surgery and provides answers to frequently asked questions about cataracts.
Cataract surgery is typically a straightforward procedure. It usually takes about 20 minutes or less and is performed on an outpatient basis. To prepare the eye for surgery, we apply a topical anesthetic to the surface of the eye and administer local anesthesia to numb the eye’s interior structures. This makes the procedure as comfortable for our patients as possible.
Next, a self-healing micro-incision is made where the cornea and the conjunctiva (the white of the eye) meet, allowing access to the clouded lens. Because the incision is less than 3 mm in length, the eye’s natural internal pressure keeps the incision closed following surgery. Therefore, the incision will heal without the need for stitches.
To remove the clouded lens, we insert a needle-thin ultrasound probe into the lens capsule. The ultrasound waves of the probe fragment the clouded lens. Then we use the probe to aspirate, or suction, the lens out of the lens capsule. After the clouded lens has been successfully removed, we insert an intraocular lens (IOL) into the lens capsule, carefully positioning it for optimal performance. An IOL performs the same function as a healthy natural lens.
Finally, topical anti-inflammatory medication and antibiotics are administered to promote healing of the eye and reduce the risk of infection.
After Cataract Surgery
Following cataract surgery, your vision will be temporarily impaired. It is therefore necessary to make arrangements for someone to drive you home. We recommend that you rest for the remainder of the day after the procedure. There may be some minor discomfort, such as redness or an itchy sensation. Such discomfort is normal and should subside within a few days.
Full recovery from cataract surgery can take anywhere from two to six weeks, depending on the patient. Some patients notice improved sight within a few days following surgery; others do not notice an improvement in their vision for several weeks. Ultimately, cataract surgery results in clearer vision and may even correct refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, depending on the type of IOL you choose.
Choosing an Intraocular Lens (IOL) Type
You have a number of options when it comes to selecting an IOL type for your cataract surgery. Our North Carolina locations in Fayetteville and Eastover offer both single vision and new multifocal IOLs to address all the needs of our patients.
Single vision, or monofocal, IOLs provide clear vision at one focal length, most commonly distance. This means that when your vision is restored through cataract surgery, your dependence on glasses to participate in activities such as driving may be reduced. You will, however, still need to wear glasses for reading and other close-range visual activities.
Multifocal IOLs not only replace your clouded lenses, but they also provide you with clear vision at all distances, significantly reducing or eliminating the need for glasses. Some IOLs even provide you with clear vision in various lighting conditions. If you would like to be able to see up-close, mid-range, and far away following your cataract surgery — without glasses or contact lenses — multifocal IOLs may be right for you. Our ophthalmologists offer the most advanced multifocal IOLs available, including ReSTOR® lens replacements and Crystalens lens replacements. Our eye care professionals will discuss these and other options with you during a comprehensive consultation.
Cataract Surgery with WaveTec Vision (ORA)
Now during the procedure, your surgeon can take measurements of your eye, make any necessary adjustments and refine your visual outcome. ORA measurements are taken after the clouded cataract is removed, when the surgeon has a clear view, allowing your surgeon to tailor your procedure to your individual eye.
Contact Cape Fear Eye Associates for Cataract Surgery
If you are in need of cataract surgery, our North Carolina eye centers in the Fayetteville area can provide you with high-quality, state-of-the-art surgical treatment to successfully remove your cataracts and restore your vision. To schedule an appointment with one of our ophthalmologists, contact our North Carolina vision centers.