A Clearer View

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

Is Cataract Surgery a Permanent Fix?

by Damion Wasylow 1 June 2016 20:47 PM

If you’ve been diagnosed with cataracts, you probably been told that surgery is the only treatment option to permanently improve your vision, and that’s true. Cataracts cannot heal by themselves, or with any sort of medication. Surgery is required to permanently correct your vision loss.

Why is surgery the only effective treatment for cataracts?

A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens caused by a build up of proteins on the lens. As new cells form, existing cells are compacted together, and clouding results. The damage is permanent and progressive, meaning they continually get worse over time. The only way to correct the problem is to surgically replace the damaged natural lens with an artificial intraocular lens.

When is the right time for cataract surgery?

Early cataract symptoms often include cloudy or blurred vision impacting a limited portion of the patient’s sight. In the initial stages, cataracts may not have a substantial impact on your vision. Over time, however, symptoms inevitably get worse, usually producing double vision, light sensitivity, halos, glare and a sense of seeing the world through a brown or yellow film. When these symptoms begin negatively impacting your quality of life, it’s time for cataract surgery.

What are my cataract surgery options?

Depending on the physician you choose, and the specifics of your cataract diagnosis, most cataract patients can select either traditional surgery or laser-assisted cataract surgery. Both procedures involve making an incision in the eye, and then applying ultrasonic energy to break up the damaged natural lens. The resulting pieces are then removed, and a new artificial lens put into place. With laser-assisted surgery, the procedure is substantially more precise and produces less trauma, resulting in a pain-free experience and faster recovery.

No surgical procedure is 100% guaranteed to deliver lifelong results. Physical trauma to the eye, for example, could displace an artificial lens, requiring a follow-up procedure, but these instances are quite rare.

The leading factor in determining the likelihood of success for any eye surgery procedure is the quality and experience of the surgeon you choose. Dr. Gregory Snodgrass has performed more than 20,000 successful cataract surgeries. He was also the first local eye surgeon to use the state-of-the-art LenSx laser cataract system.

Contact Gainesville Eye Physicians today to discuss your cataract surgery needs.

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