Montgomery Eye Center in Naples treats many eye conditions, but cataracts are our specialty. We have performed thousands of procedures and continually invest in the top training, techniques, and technology to ensure optimal outcomes for all our patients.
What Are Cataracts?
A cataract is a clouding or loss of transparency of the naturally clear lens of the eye. It can affect one or both eyes, and in most cases develop slowly. Symptoms can include blurred vision, faded colors, trouble seeing at night, and glare around bright lights. This can lead to difficulties while driving, reading, and doing other day-to-day tasks. (break) As we age, chemical changes occur in the lens that make it less transparent. When the lens gets clouded enough to obstruct vision significantly, it is called a cataract. As the eye continues to age, the cataract worsens and prevents clear vision even despite the help of glasses or contacts. Once the cataract becomes problematic enough to inhibit your quality of life, cataract surgery becomes the only effective treatment.
What Should I Expect?
During cataract surgery, your doctor removes the cloudy cataract and replaces it with an artificial lens. The procedure is done in an outpatient setting and is performed under local anesthesia. During the surgery, a technique called phacoemulsification uses ultrasonic energy to break apart and remove the cataract from the eye through a small self-sealing wound. After the cataract is removed, a foldable intraocular lens (IOL) is inserted into the eye in place of the cataract. The intraocular lens is a tiny, lightweight, clear plastic lens that replaces and enhances the focusing power of the eye’s natural lens. The entire surgical experience is completed in less than two hours time, and the patient is able to return home after surgery to resume a normal lifestyle almost immediately. For more information about our surgery center, click here.
Cataract surgery is a very successful operation. One and a half million people have this procedure every year and 95% have a successful result. In fact, our internal studies show that our success rate is even higher. As with any surgical procedure, complications can occur during or after surgery and some are severe enough to limit vision. But in the vast majority of cases, the surgical outcome is extremely positive.
The ORA System
The ORA System: In each of our operating theaters, we use ORA intra-operative refractive technology to take the guesswork out of surgical outcomes and to optimize visual results. This system allows our doctors to measure surgical accuracy directly and in real time while working with the patient. Designed to work with all intraocular lenses (IOLs), the ORA system shines low-intensity laser light off the back of the eye. The reflected light is analyzed by the machine and accurately measures multiple ocular characteristics to ensure your doctor selects the appropriate lens for your eye. Our Naples area ophthalmologists are fully trained with this specialized piece of equipment, allowing us to offer superior precision to every patient.
Intraocular Lenses (IOLs)
When the eye’s natural lens is removed during cataract surgery, it is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). These IOLs sit in place of the clouded cataract and act to focus light effectively on the back of the eye. Advances in this field have created a variety of new, condition-specific lenses that let us provide customized options for your lifestyle needs. The right IOL for you is decided by a conversation between you and your provider, and is dependent upon your ocular conditions and budget. Traditional IOLs are covered by Medicare and most other insurances, while other advanced lens types are associated with out-of-pocket expenses. Outcomes for current lens technology are superb, and after surgery many patients are able to enjoy crisp vision without the need for glasses.
In traditional cataract surgery, a monofocal IOL replaces the natural clouded lens. A monofocal lens focus the eye at only one range: near, intermediate, or far. With a monofocal lens, your best vision will be set for one of these three ranges, while vision at other ranges will require corrective eyewear like glasses or contact lenses. The majority of people receiving cataract surgery choose a Traditional IOL set for distance and rely on reading glasses for near work.
Toric IOLS are a type of lens designed specifically for patients with astigmatism (a common imperfection in the curvature of the eye). Astigmatism, unless corrected, can cause blurry vison at all distances.
Patients with toric lenses generally experience crisp, clear distance vision; however, some toric lenses are not multifocal, and patients will still need glasses for reading. Newer technology now offers accommodating toric lenses, a real breakthrough that allows for astigmatism correction without the need for glasses for distance vision and many up-close tasks.
Toric lenses are designed specifically for patients with astigmatism (a common irregularity involving the front surface of the eye). When astigmatism is uncorrected, it causes vision to be blurred at all distances. This class of IOLs is able to reduce dependency on glasses by correcting astigmatism to give clear and sharp vision at one range: near, intermediate, or far. Like traditional IOLs, crisp vision at other distances will require corrective eyewear like glasses or contact lenses.
Toric lenses require precision alignment by your doctor during cataract surgery for best vision to be achieved. Because of this, it is vital that your eye surgeon have extensive training and experience with this lens type. At Montgomery Eye Center, our providers have more than ten years of experience placing toric IOLs. In addition to experience, our surgeons also utilize the Ora System to ensure accuracy and precision in the placement of this lens type.
Multifocal & Accommodating IOLs
A new class of multifocal IOLs have been developed to provide the best vision possible at all ranges. A multifocal lens has the ability to focus the eye at multiple ranges simultaneously to provide functional near, intermediate, and distance vision without glasses or contacts. These lenses are available to most patients, including those with pre-existing astigmatism and other refractive errors. Like the toric lenses mentioned above, precision placement of these advanced lenses is crucial to provide the sharpest vision possible. Our long history placing multifocals, and the use of Ora Technology allows our surgeons to provide unrivaled surgical accuracy with this lens type..
Monovision Cataract Surgery
A popular surgical option at Montgomery Eye Center is our monovision package. With monovision, one eye has an IOL chosen for best distance vision while the other eye has an IOL chosen for best near vision. The goal of monovision is to eliminate the need for glasses or contacts completely by allowing each eye to see best at different ranges. This technique has been used by patients using contact lenses for decades, and is now used widely with cataract surgery. Like our other advanced technology packages, we use the ORA System to ensure optimized visual outcomes intra-operatively.