A Clearer View

Latest treatment options and news about cataracts, dry eye syndrome and other eye care topics.

Are Cataracts Treatable?

by dwasylow 20 November 2015 14:07 PM

If you or someone you love has cataracts, you likely wonder if they’re treatable, or if you’ll suffer with this condition the rest of your life. Good news – cataracts can be treated, and your vision restored, potentially even making your vision better than prior to your first cataract symptoms.

Cataracts most often occur as a natural result of aging. As we get older, tissues within the eye lens break down and clump together. Over time, the increased thickness and spread of these cell layers creates clouding and impaired vision. But just because it’s a natural occurrence doesn’t mean cataracts are something you have to live with.

The only effective treatment for cataracts is surgically replacing the natural eye lens with an artificial lens known as an intraocular lens (IOL).

During cataract surgery, your ophthalmologist makes a small incision in the eye and then inserts a tiny probe. The probe uses ultrasonic energy (sound waves) to break up the dysfunctional lens. The resulting pieces are then suctioned out using a second probe. A final probe, this one holding the new intraocular lens, is carefully maneuvered through the incision and the artificial lens is put in position.

Cataract surgery may be conducted using traditional surgical techniques or laser-assisted methods. Laser-assisted cataract surgery is more precise and uses less ultrasonic energy, reducing trauma to the eye. That makes the surgery pain-free, stitch-free and dramatically cuts down on recovery time. Many patients report improved vision before even leaving the recovery room.

Beware false promises from so-called cataract eye drops. There is no evidence they work. Medical studies actually show they have no positive impact on cataract development or symptoms. In fact, they can do harm, as patients’ vision continually degrades as they hope for miracle results. Restating what we said before, the only proven treatment for cataracts is surgery.

If it’s time to overcome cataracts and see clearly again, schedule a consultation with Gainesville Eye Physicians. Dr. Gregory Snodgrass was the area’s first physician to use the LenSx laser cataract surgery system, and has performed more than 20,000 cataract surgeries in his career. Our friendly staff will evaluate your cataract symptoms and work with you to review treatment options and timeline. We look forward to meeting with you soon.

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