CATARACT DETECTION AND SURGERY
Cataract is the number one cause of treatable blindness in the United States. It affects more than 20 million people over the age of 40. It is easily corrected with a painless outpatient procedure in which the diseased lens is removed and replaced with a lens implant. Recovery is rapid and many patients use their glasses less frequently after surgery. Cataract removal surgery is the most successful surgery performed on Medicare-aged patients and has been shown to improve the quality of life. Doctor Haines has performed thousands of cataract surgeries over the past thirty years.
What is a cataract?
A cataract is the clouding of the eye's normally clear lens resulting in progressive loss of vision. The visual changes normally occur so slowly that most patients are not aware of visual decline until the process is quite advanced.
How will I know when I need a cataract evaluation?
The most frequently noticed symptoms are progressive visual loss, excessive glare, dull colors, and difficulty reading road signs, ball scores on the television or small print as in a telephone directory. Cataract is normally diagnosed on a Comprehensive Eye Examination and a recommendation for either conservative management with glasses or surgical intervention will be made during the exam. Conservatively managed patients are usually examined at six-month intervals and their glasses changed as necessary until surgery is required to restore vision.
What happens when I need cataract surgery?
The decision for surgery is a patient decision, usually following a recommendation from Dr. Haines. The decision is based on the amount of visual decline and how much it affects a person's functional ability. Once the decision is made, our staff will schedule the procedure at either of the local hospital outpatient surgery departments. During surgery, the cloudy natural lens is replaced with an artificial lens to give the eye proper focusing power. In most cases, the improvement in the patient's vision is remarkable. New techniques developed over the past decade have made cataract surgery one of the safest and most successful procedures available.
PREMIUM LENSES (Crystalens®, ReZoom®, AcrySof®IQ and ReSTOR®IOL)
Rockingham Eye Associates is pleased to offer the newest innovation in cataract surgery--premium lens implants, to those patients who desire maximum freedom from glasses. The premium lenses offer many benefits over traditional implants, but are not an option for everyone.
Doctor Haines will consult with you to evaluate your individual visual requirements and to recommend the most appropriate lens choice. Many of our patients select a monovision option to obtain some of the benefits of the premium lenses without incurring additional out-of-pocket expense. The premium implant option is not fully covered by insurance so we offer individual payment plans for patients who choose the extra cost premium lens.
Cataract surgery is one of the safest, most successful surgeries performed today. Please contact us for further information and to schedule an appointment.
What is surgical monovision?
Surgical monovision is a technique recommended by Dr. Haines on nearly all patients receiving standard single vision implants. It is not normally used on those patients receiving accommodative or multifocal implants. This technique creates a reading lens in the non-dominant eye to improve the reading ability without glasses while the dominant eye retains distance vision. Any type single vision lens including the toric lens may be used. This option is fully covered by insurance and provides much of the freedom from glasses as the extra cost premium lens type implants.
INTRAOCULAR LENS CHOICES
Intraocular lens implants are placed into the eye during cataract surgery to restore vision without the old "coke bottle" cataract glasses used years ago. The most frequently used method of cataract removal is the phacoemulsification technique which utilizes ultrasound energy to liquefy the lens prior to removal and finally lens implantation to complete the operation. The standard of care for cataract surgery today is implantation of a fixed focus lens and glasses to achieve best near and far vision. There are many choices of lens styles and types that are available. Not all lenses are fully covered by insurance. The choices are as follows:
Standard single vision lens implant
This lens is the most commonly implanted lens and is fully covered by insurance. It focuses at a single distance chosen by the surgeon. Usually it is set for long distance without glasses. Bifocal glasses will need to be prescribed if near and far vision is desired. This lens can be used in the surgical monovision technique.
Advanced technology single vision lens implant
This lens has features not found on standard implants and produces slightly better quality vision. This type lens is also fully covered by insurance. This is Dr. Haines's lens of choice in all cases except for those patients desiring near total freedom from glasses. This lens can be used in the surgical monovision technique.
This premium lens is an advanced technology single vision implant with an additional correction for astigmatism. The additional correction for astigmatism part of this lens is not covered by insurance. This type implant is recommended for those who have astigmatism and wish to have improved vision without glasses. Vision is usually set for long distance without glasses. Reading glasses are required for reading vision. This lens can be used in the surgical monovision technique to improve visual performance without glasses.
Multifocal (bifocal) implant
This lens is for those patients who wish to achieve the best possible unaided vision at all distances. Glasses are still required for absolute best vision under all circumstances. Patients report excellent functional vision and most use glasses only occasionally. This type lens is not fully covered by insurance. Sometimes a "touch-up" procedure may be required to "fine-tune" the vision after surgery. Patients with astigmatism will require an additional procedure. There is usually some fading of colors and multiple imaging that diminishes over time. Distance and near vision are typically quite good without glasses but intermediate vision is weak. This lens is called ReSTORE®.
Accommodative lens implant
This lens is a single or multiple lens system that changes focus much like the natural eye. It is not a multifocal implant and its visual quality is similar to the Advanced Technology lens. The lens in this category is commonly known as the Crystalens® and is the lens recommended most often by Dr. Haines for patients who desire greater vision and freedom from glasses. This lens may require "touch-up" procedures and occasional glasses use to achieve the best possible vision under all circumstances, and astigmatism must be corrected with a separate procedure. Compared with the multifocal lens, the visual quality and intermediate vision is better but near vision is not quite as good.