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Posted by: Georgia Center for Sight

Closeup of an eye

Cataracts can seem very frightening when they first start to develop, but they occur naturally as a part of the aging process, and there is treatment available. Cataracts happen when the natural lens of your eye starts to cloud, making it harder for light to enter your eye and for you to see clearly. Impaired vision due to cataracts can include symptoms such as blurry vision, glare, and rings of light, called halos, making everyday tasks more challenging. Cataract surgery is very common and is actually quite simple, but you may want to consider upgrading your cataracts to better fit your eyes and your vision needs. Below, we’ll talk about some options for upgrading your cataracts.

Intraocular Lenses (IOL)

An intraocular lens (IOL) is an artificial lens for your eye that replaces the natural lens of your eye that has become clouded due to cataracts. Your natural eye lens will be removed during cataract surgery, and a new, clearer IOL will be put in by your ophthalmologist. Your new lens will refract the light that enters your eye so that you can see more clearly. This procedure permanently improves your vision as it completely removes the cataract and its associated symptoms.

Similar to contact lenses and eyeglasses, there are many different types of IOLs to choose from. Your opthamologist may measure the curve of your cornea and the length of your eye to set the focusing power of your IOL. Talk with your eye doctor to determine the correct type of IOL that is best for your eyes.

Types of IOLs

The most common type of IOL is the monofocal lens. Monofocal lenses are set to either far, near, or close-up vision. If your IOL is made to help you see farther in the distance, you would likely need to wear glasses for reading. Some types of IOLs, however, reduce or even eliminate the need for glasses.

Whatever the activity, whether it be watching a football game in a stadium or reading an article on your computer, it’s best when your vision is clear enough for you to see both far away and close up. Multifocal or accommodative lenses can help you achieve this clarity by allowing you to see objects that are both distant and near. Multifocal lenses also have zones that are specially made to help you see from different distances. Accommodative lenses, on the other hand, change shape and move within your eye, allowing you to easily focus at different distances. These lenses also reduce the need for glasses or contact lenses as they are corrective and should provide you with adequate vision for all situations. Your individual condition may affect your need for glasses, as you may still need to wear lenses to correct certain imperfections in your vision. Talk to an eye specialist at The Georgia Center for Sight about what accommodations your eyes may need.

Lens Options For Astigmatism
Astigmatism is when your cornea is not shaped correctly. Rather than being smooth and round, the cornea is curved like a football. This can impair your ability to see objects at different distances, both near and far. Objects may also appear blurred or distorted when you have astigmatism.

If your astigmatisms are severe and heavily impact your vision, ask your doctor about a toric IOL. Toric IOLs are lenses that have an additional correction, especially for astigmatism, that can help correct your misshapen cornea and provide you with better distance vision. You can also reduce your need for eyeglasses by getting a limbal relaxing incision.

For a limbal relaxing incision, your doctor will make small incisions at either side of your cornea and follow the curve of your iris. This will allow your cornea to flatten slightly in the direction of the incisions. Flattening out your cornea can help you reduce your astigmatism and make it less difficult to see far away objects or images that are very close to you. You can have both procedures done at the same time during your cataract surgery; remember to first speak with your doctor about what options are best for you.

To find out if a cataract upgrade is right for you, talk to one of our many resident eye doctors, such as Dr. Jing Dong, a Board-Certified ophthalmologist who has over 20 years of experience in private practice and has performed over 30,000 cataract procedures! Contact Georgia Center for Sight today to meet with Dr. Dong or any one of our highly experienced doctors. You can find out more about cataracts and take a quiz on our website to find out if you have cataracts.

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