A cataract is a clouding of the eye's natural lens. Cataracts are the most common cause of visual loss worldwide. Symptoms include cloudy or blurred vision, or increased glare. Cataract surgery is performed when symptoms cause difficulty with tasks such as reading, driving, or other activities. More than three million cataract operations are performed each year in the United States. Most patients experience life-changing improvements in vision.
Dr. Baum does a high-volume of cataract surgery. He utilizes the most advanced techniques and equipment to provide the best possible outcomes. He is recognized by his patients and colleagues as a top surgeon.
If you think that you may be experiencing symptoms of a cataract, call us to schedule a comprehensive eye exam today.
Care for Cataracts
In the early stages of cataract development, a change in glasses prescription may be all that is required. Once symptoms begin to interfere with your daily life, cataract surgery can be considered.
Dr. Baum believes that educating patients about cataracts is a critical part of the care process. He takes the time to fully understand each patient’s visual goals and to provide education on the options for achieving the best possible results.
Intraocular Lenses (IOLs)
What is an IOL?
An IOL is an artificial lens that replaces the cloudy natural lens that is your cataract. The IOL focuses incoming light onto the retina in the back of your eye. The retina is much like the film in the back of a camera. IOLs are made of flexible acrylic or silicone, or a rigid material like plexiglass.
Why are there different types of IOLs?
There are several different types of IOLs. The type of IOL selected depends on your eye’s characteristics, as well as the distance at which you would like things to be in focus when not wearing glasses.
Monofocal IOL: A monofocal IOL provides vision at a given distance, such as far away for driving, or near for reading. Most people who have a monofocal IOL choose it to provide good distance vision without glasses and use reading glasses for close activities. It is also an option to choose an IOL for reading and use glasses for distance.
Multi-focal IOL: Multifocal IOLs are designed to decrease overall dependency on glasses for activities requiring far, intermediate, and near vision. People who select a multi-focal IOL may still require glasses in limited situations. Multi-focal IOLs are not fully covered by insurance.
Toric IOL: This IOL corrects blurred vision caused by astigmatism, an oval shape of the eye. Toric IOLs generally give excellent results for people with significant astigmatism. They are not fully covered by insurance.
Who is at risk
Age is the strongest risk factor for cataracts. While most people develop cataracts by the age of 80, it is not uncommon for them to occur at a much younger age.
Factors that may cause early cataract development include:
- previous eye injury or surgery
- long-term use of steroid medication
- a family history of cataracts
- high blood pressure
- extensive exposure to sunlight
Cataracts cannot be prevented, but avoiding smoking, wearing UV-blocking sunglasses and a hat with a visor, and maintaining a healthy body weight and diet may help slow cataract progression.