With age comes a lot of unwanted bodily changes. These changes are often unavoidable and are just a part of getting older. This all rings true for your eyes, too. In fact, the older you get, the more likely you are to experience one of the most common eye conditions in the world – cataracts.
Living with cataracts can be frustrating, and as vision starts to decline, it can even become a little scary. Here at Shanbom Eye Specialists, we offer the best technology and cataract treatment methods, so you have nothing to worry about! Our cataract surgeons here at Shanbom Eye perform laser cataract surgery for precise, predictable and effective outcomes.
What Are Cataracts?
Cataracts occur when the natural lens in the eye begins to cloud. The natural lens is clear and made up of water and proteins. As you age, these proteins start to clump together, causing the lens to become foggy, distorted and discolored. Cataracts usually develop over a period of years, and can cause total blindness if left untreated.
While cataracts can cause blindness, luckily they are treatable at all stages through surgery. Cataract surgery is quick and effective, and can greatly improve your vision. Here at Shanbom, we perform advanced laser-assisted cataract surgery.
Traditional vs. Laser Cataract Surgery – What’s the Difference?
During traditional cataract surgery, your surgeon uses a hand-held blade to create an incision on the eye to remove the cataract. The success of this surgery is heavily dependent on the experience and skill of the surgeon. While this method is considered safe and is still widely used, outcomes and incision placement can be less predictable.
Laser cataract surgery is the most advanced method of removing cataracts. Laser-assisted cataract surgery requires no blade. Before the surgery, your surgeon will create a detailed surgical plan by mapping out the cornea using an OCT (optical coherence tomography). Then, a femtosecond laser is used to create the incision in an extremely precise manner.
To get to the cataract, your surgeon must perform a capsulotomy. A thin, clear capsule surrounds the eye’s lens. The front portion of the capsule needs to be removed to gain access to the cataracts. This needs to be done without damaging the capsule. During traditional cataract surgery, this is done with a small needle. During laser-assisted cataract surgery, this is done with the laser.
After the capsulotomy, your surgeon will need to break up the cataract to make it easier to remove. Traditional cataract surgery requires an ultrasonic device to complete this portion of the surgery. The use of the ultrasonic device is deemed safe, but has been known to induce astigmatism by burning the incision.
The laser helps soften the cataract and makes it easier to remove. This requires less ultrasonic energy, and reduces the risk of complication. Once the cataract is out, your surgeon will manually insert the new IOL through the incision. This happens the same in both procedures.