Cataracts are an extremely common eye condition that can occur as you grow older. Cataract surgery is a procedure that removes the diseased lenses and replaces them with artificial lenses, thus restoring optimal vision and eyesight. Traditional cataract surgeries can stop the progression of cataracts, but they don’t address your refractive problems, so you still need to wear eyeglasses after surgery. But refractive cataract surgery goes one step beyond traditional cataract surgery — it can significantly reduce your dependence on glasses after surgery.
What is Refractive Cataract Surgery?
Treating Cataracts & Restoring Vision
Refractive cataract surgery is meant for patients with cataracts, a progressive condition that leads to the blurring and obstruction of your eyesight. Cataracts occur when the proteins and fibers in the lenses of your eyes break down and clump together, thereby distorting or blocking your vision. Patients with cataracts describe the sensation as seeing through foggy or discolored lenses — everything looks blurry or dull. Cataracts can take years to develop, but it gradually worsens with time and may eventually cause blindness.
You may need refractive cataract surgery if you notice these signs and symptoms:
- Blurry vision
- Dim or clouded vision
- Extreme sensitivity to light
- Glares or halos of light
- Frequent changes in eyeglass prescriptions
- Difficulty with distinguishing some color hues, e.g. dark blue vs black
- Fading vision
- Double vision in one eye
Going Beyond Traditional
Refractive cataract surgery goes beyond the scope of traditional cataract surgery because it aims to restore optimal visual acuity. Most patients undergoing a traditional cataract surgery continue suffering from refractive errors, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, or presbyopia. Because of refractive errors, they must continue wearing contact lenses or eyeglasses after cataract surgery. But refractive cataract surgery involves replacing your natural lenses with specialized lenses that reduce your dependence on eyeglasses.
Refractive cataract surgery can correct the following refractive errors:
- Myopia (Nearsightedness)
- Hyperopia (Farsightedness)
Diagnostic Tests &
Screening for Cataracts
Medical Surgical Eye Institute performs a thorough eye examination to diagnose cataracts and refractive errors. During your initial consultation, the eye doctor will examine your eyes, discuss your symptoms, and suggest a series imaging tests to fully evaluate your visual system. Each part of the eye examination will reveal details about your ocular health, based on which the eye doctor will curate a personalized treatment plan for you.
The following is an overview of the basic diagnostic tests for cataracts:
- Visual Acuity Test: You will have to read an eye chart with letters and symbols, based on which the eye doctor will determine if you have 20/20 vision or refractive errors.
- Slit-Lamp Test: The eye doctor will use a microscope to illuminate your cornea, iris, and lens and identify the smallest of anomalies in your eye structure.
- Retinal Exam: The eye doctor will administer eyedrops to dilate your pupils and examine the back of your retina and lens for signs of cataracts.
- Tonometry: The eye doctor will use a special device to measure the intraocular pressure in your eyes because of fluid buildup.
If you are interested in refractive cataract surgery to decrease your dependence on glasses your ophthalmologist will suggest additional testing to determine if you are a good candidate for these specialized intraocular lenses. However, the additional tests and use of specialized lenses incurs an out of pocket expense not covered by private insurance, medicare or medicaid.
Your Refractive Cataract Surgery Experience
Medical Surgical Eye Institute performs a highly personalized refractive cataract surgery based on your specific findings and post operative refractive goals. The eye doctor will measure your eyes with the latest imaging technologies, following which they formulate a personalized treatment plan. After administering numbing eyedrops, the ophthalmologist will use a specialized equipment to remove the damaged lens and replace it with an artificial lens.
Prior to surgery, your surgeon will discuss the possible lens options for you, such as toric, multifocal, trifocal, or extended depth of focus lenses. The specialized type of lens used during a refractive cataract surgery minimizes your refractive errors, thereby restoring optimal vision. The specific details of the refractive cataract surgery depend on your specific findings during the evaluation and your refractive goals.
Recovery After Refractive
Your eyes might be swollen and red after refractive cataract surgery. You might also experience mild redness, tenderness, pain, and dryness in your eyes. Other side effects include increased light sensitivity and blurry vision for a few days. You must wear protective sunglasses and eye shields, and please avoid rubbing your eyes after the surgery. The eye doctor will also prescribe medications to prevent infections and inflammation. Your eyesight should gradually improve over 1-2 weeks.
Schedule an Appointment
Medical Surgical Eye Institute is a premier eye care center specializing in cutting-edge treatments for cataracts, glaucoma, and other eye conditions. We use the latest technological innovations to correct cataracts and improve your overall visual acuity, liberating you from your dependence on eyeglasses. Our medical providers personalize all treatment plans according to your unique condition and requirements. Please schedule an appointment to explore your refractive cataract surgery options in Worcester.