A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens inside the eye. Most of the time this clouding progresses slowly and is due to the natural aging process of the eye. Patients will experience gradual blurring or dimming, sometimes described as a "haze" or "film" over their vision. As the cataract progresses, the vision usually decreases. This decrease in vision can make everyday tasks such as reading or driving difficult (glare increases which also contributes to night driving problems). Please let Dr. Woods' staff know if you are experiencing these problems.
Cataracts usually develop very gradually and can take months or even years to affect the vision. Cataract treatment may be performed when a cataract is affecting your quality of day-to-day life. Dr. Woods will perform a thorough eye exam to assess if cataract treatment would be beneficial to you.
Cataract treatment is done on an outpatient basis. For most patients modern day cataract treatment is a painless procedure with few limitations. The procedure is usually performed under topical anesthesia; this means drops are used to numb the eye. During the cataract treatment the natural "cloudy" lens is removed and an artificial lens called an intraocular lens is placed inside of the eye. There are several varieties (mono-focal, multi-focal and accommodating) of intraocular lenses Dr. Woods uses. Dr. Woods will discuss which lens you are a candidate for, if cataract treatment is needed.
Most patients will need to wear glasses for reading after they have had cataract treatment. In some patients a new technology can be used that could reduce the dependency on reading glasses after treatment. This new technology uses a multi-focal or accommodating lens implant to help the patient focus on distant and near objects at the same time. This new technology is not fully covered by insurance, so there would be an out-of-pocket expense to you. If you are a candidate for this technology, Dr. Woods and his staff will discuss possible benefits of this option and expenses related to this procedure.