Cataract Surgery in Long Island
Cataracts Long Island
For many people, cataracts are a part of getting older. There is simply no way to avoid the inevitable changes in the eye’s structures that lead to the cloudiness and opacity of the natural lens. The talented team of ophthalmologists at TOC Eye® are adept at reversing the visual deterioration of cataracts. The goal is to restore clearer vision with the help of advanced artificial lenses.
What Causes Cataracts?
Cataracts are a natural consequence of aging. Over time, proteins in the lens start to build up, gradually clouding the lens (think of a window that is frosty or fogged up). The lens is the portion of the eye responsible for focusing light on the retina, which sends the image to the brain through the optic nerve. When the lens develops a cloudy cataract, light is scattered and the lens cannot focus it properly.
In rare cases, babies are born with congenital cataracts. Also, cataracts can develop from trauma to the eye or as a result of taking certain medications (e.g., corticosteroids).
What are the Symptoms of Cataracts?
- Cataracts usually cause visual symptoms, including the following:
- Blurry or hazy vision
- Double vision
- Poor vision in bright light conditions
- Poor night vision
- Halos around lights
- Yellowish-tinged vision
- Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
What are the Types of Cataracts?
There are a few different types of cataracts that are identified based on where they are located. The lens is a layered structure, similar to an onion. The outer layer of the lens is called the capsule, the layer inside that is the cortex and the innermost layer is the nucleus. Any of these layers can develop cataracts. A nuclear cataract develops in the center of the lens. A cortical cataract develops in the middle layer, and a posterior capsular cataract develops in the back outer layer of the lens.
How are Cataracts Diagnosed?
Cataracts are diagnosed by an ophthalmologist or optometrist during an eye exam. The doctor wants to ensure there is no evidence of another eye disease that could compromise vision. The patient’s health history, any medical conditions and visual symptoms are discussed.
The patient’s visual acuity is measured with an eye chart to determine how much the cataract has affected near and distant vision. The eyes are examined in-depth using light and magnification. An instrument called a slit lamp microscope is used to examine the structures in the front portion of the eyes (e.g.., cornea, iris and lens). Then, the eyes are dilated with drops so the doctor can look at the structures at the back of the eye (e.g., retina, optic nerve).
How Are Cataracts Treated?
Cataract treatment depends on how badly the clouded lenses impair vision. If cataracts do not affect vision or affect it only minimally, they typically do not need to be treated. However, if cataracts impair a person’s everyday life, they need to be surgically treated. Surgical treatment involves removing the cataractous lens and replacing it with an artificial lens. Cataract surgery is extremely safe and common.
The only way to reverse vision loss from cataracts is to have them surgically removed. Cataract surgery may sound intimidating, but it is actually one of the safest and most frequently performed operations in the country. The operation removes the clouded lens and replaces it with an artificial lens that restores clear vision and focusing power. Individuals seeking cataract surgery in Long Island turn to the team at TOC Eye® for expert treatment and exceptional patient care.
How do you Prepare for Cataract Surgery?
Prior to cataract surgery, you will meet with the TOC Eye® team for an eye exam and consultation. During the conversation, you will be asked about your health history, eye health and lifestyle to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for surgery and whether you have any risk factors. The doctors will conduct several tests to determine your eye measurements and vision needs, which are used to formulate the surgical plan. You will also select a type of IOL (intraocular lens) that suits your individual needs. Our doctors will review the pros and cons of each IOL type and help you pick out the most appropriate option based on your needs and goals. We have also provided answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about cataracts.
What is Cataract Surgery Like?
Cataract surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, meaning you can go home shortly after the procedure. From start to finish, the procedure takes about 15 minutes. You will be asked to arrive at the surgery center a little early to discuss any last-minute items with our team and be briefed on what is about to happen. Your eyes will be numbed with special drops, and you may receive medication to help you relax.
The first step of the cataract removal process is to make an incision in the surface of the eye. Then, the capsule that holds the lens must be gently opened. A high frequency ultrasound device is used to break up the cloudy lens into small pieces; the pieces are removed from the eye with gentle suction. After all of the pieces have been removed, the intraocular lens is inserted through the same incisions and positioned behind the iris and the pupil in the space formerly occupied by the natural lens. Once the IOL has been properly positioned, the incision is self-sealing, and a pair of sunglasses are placed over the over the eyes.
You will be monitored for a short period of time after surgery and then released into the care of a companion, who should drive you home. You will receive instructions for your recovery.
What is Cataract Surgery Recovery Like?
For most patients, the recovery period following cataract surgery is short and complication-free. You may experience initial side effects such as redness and blurred vision, but these should resolve quickly.
You will need to use prescription eye drops several times a day for a few weeks following your procedure. You should wear your protective eye shield for a week after surgery while you are sleeping to avoid accidentally poking or rubbing your eyes. You will also receive a special pair of post-operative sunglasses to wear outside to protect your eyes from sunlight and bright light.
Intraocular Lens Implant Options
One of the components of cataract surgery is replacing the cataract (clouded lens) with an intraocular lens implant. TOC Eye® cataract patients have a choice in their intraocular lens implant (IOL). There are several types of intraocular lens implants with unique designs and features to accommodate a variety of visual needs.
AcrySof ReSTOR is a multifocal IOL that provides clear vision at multiple distances: near, intermediate and distant.
AcrySof IQ PanOptix is the first trifocal IOL that provides sharp vision at all distances: near, far, and intermediate.
Tecnis multifocal IOLs restore sharp vision at near, intermediate and distant ranges with superior image contrast, even in low-light conditions.
Cataract Surgery FAQs
Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed procedures in the country. As such, our doctors receive a lot of questions regarding the surgery and what to expect. Please read through frequently asked questions about cataracts.
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens. Cataracts are typically attributed to the aging process.
Are cataracts common?
Yes, cataracts are very common in older adults. About half of all adults over the age of 60 have cataracts; nearly all adults over the age of 70 have cataracts.
How do I know if I have cataracts?
The only way to determine whether you have cataracts is to meet with an ophthalmologist and have a comprehensive eye exam (and additional testing). You may have cataracts if you experience any of the following:
- Blurry or hazy vision
- Double vision
- Poor vision in bright light conditions
- Poor night vision
- Halos around lights
- Yellowish-tinged vision
- Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
Can cataracts be treated with medicine?
No, cataracts cannot be treated with medicine. The only way to treat them is to remove them during a surgical operation.
Do I need to have cataract surgery?
If your cataracts are still small and in the early stages, they may not be interfering with your vision. Cataracts only need to be removed when they have progressed to the point where they are disturbing your vision significantly and impacting your daily activities.
What happens if I don’t have cataract surgery?
If you choose not to have your cataracts removed, your vision will continue to deteriorate as the lens becomes more clouded. Eventually, you may go blind.
What is the process for removing cataracts?
Cataract removal is an outpatient procedure. Incisions are made on the front of the eye and in the capsule that holds the lens. Ultrasound energy is used to break up the cataract-diseased lens into small pieces. The pieces are gently removed from the eye with suction. Then, an artificial lens is placed in the eye to restore normal vision and clear focusing power.
What are my artificial lens options?
We offer several different kinds of artificial lenses with special features. Some are designed to restore clear vision at a fixed distance, whereas others restore clear vision at multiple distances. Others are designed to correct the effects of presbyopia, the age-related loss of vision.
Does cataract surgery hurt?
No, cataract surgery does not hurt. Numbing eyedrops are used to prevent you from feeling any pain. You may also take a sedative medication prior to treatment to help relax you.
How long is the recovery?
Most people notice an improvement in their vision within a day or two of the surgery. There may be a slight adjustment period as the eye adapts to the new artificial lens implant.
Can cataracts return after surgery?
Cataracts cannot return after surgery. However, at some point in time, a portion of the lens capsule may become hazy. This is known as a “secondary cataract” and can be easily treated with a short, minimally invasive, in-office procedure for clearer vision.
Learn More about Cataracts
For more information about cataract symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment, please contact the team at TOC Eye® by calling 631-751-2020 today.
Long Island IOLs
Cataract removal is one of the most common operations performed in the U.S. today. It is also one of the safest and most effective eye surgeries. Everyone is born with a natural lens inside their eye but overtime the lens clouds. This clouding of the lens can be attributed to aging, certain medication use, and trauma.
Most people over the age of 60 suffer from age-related changes that cause different levels of blurry vision mainly resulting from the growth of cataracts as well as the loss of near vision (presbyopia). This causes people to need glasses for almost all activities.
IOLs are small, flexible lenses about one-third the size of a dime. They are placed in the eye at the same time the cataract-diseased lens is removed. IOLs become a permanent part of the eye and require no special care. Patients cannot see or feel IOLs in the eye.
In cataract surgery, the natural clouding lens is replaced by an intraocular lens (IOL). An IOL is a clear, artificial lens that requires no care and becomes a permanent part of your eye. With an IOL, you’ll have improved vision because light will be able to pass through the new lens to the focus on the retina. Also, you won’t feel or see the new lens.
Now, imagine being able to see distance, intermediate and near activities without the dependency on glasses! There is advanced technology out there today that can help reduce ones dependency on glasses. This is called Refractive Cataract Surgery. These Premium IOLs are implants that are designed to fit your lifestyle and measured to correct your visual needs.
Premium IOLs are artificial lenses that are implanted in the eye to replace natural lenses for patients with cataracts, presbyopia or severe refractive errors. Until recently, IOLs were only available to correct distance, leaving the patient to need glasses for reading and intermediate vision. Now, advancements in technology have produced multifocal and accommodative IOLs that allow patients to see clearly at all distances -near, far and many distances in between. Multifocal IOLs and accommodative IOLs preserve distance vision and near vision so patients can enjoy clear sight without relying on glasses for everything. The procedure to replace a patient’s natural lens with a multifocal or accommodative IOL is the same as that used in cataract surgery.
With the latest in advanced technology, there are procedures and lenses available that can help you achieve the visual demands you have always wanted. As a result of these advances, people are electing to have cataract surgery at a younger age to help reduce dependency on glasses for distance and reading. If refractive cataract surgery is something you are interested in you should ask your TOC Eye® doctor if you are a candidate for these Premium IOL’s.
TOC Eye® understands that, because every patient is unique, it is important to offer our patients a choice in IOLs. We don’t believe in offering a one-size-fits-all fix; instead, we customize the solution to the individual patient. Our team helps every cataract patient select the IOL that best suits their personal vision needs and goals. We can also explain your financing options, including the 24-month interest-free financing plan through CareCredit.
What are Monofocal IOLs?
Traditional IOLs are known as mono-focal lens implants. They focus the light entering the eye at a single focal distance. With a monofocal lens implant, you will see best at a far, near or intermediate distance (when not wearing glasses). If you opt for a monofocal lens implant, you can decide the focusing power. Most people with monofocal lens implants opt for strong distance vision (and wear reading glasses for near vision).
Multifocal and Accommodative IOLs (Refractive Cataract Surgery)
Advancements in optical technology have led to the development of multifocal and accommodative IOLs, which restore vision at multiple distance points. Their special design enables patients to see clearly up close, far away and at many distances in between — without glasses.
Am I a Candidate for Multifocal IOLs (Refractive Cataract Surgery)?
- Multifocal IOLs may be right for you if you experience any of the following:
- Difficulty reading
- Difficulty seeing objects up close
- Difficulty driving (especially at night)
- Need for glasses
- Frequent change in eyeglass prescription
What are the types of Multifocal IOLs (Refractive Cataract Surgery)?
The AcrySof ReSTOR is one of the leading multifocal lenses on the market today. These lenses are designed to optimize image quality and reduce visual disturbances in all lighting conditions. The lenses’ patented “apodized diffractive” design controls the distribution of light to near, intermediate and distance focal points based on the ambient light. Aspheric optics, another feature of the ReSTOR lenses, reduces the occurrence of seeing halos around lights.
The AcrySof® IQ PanOptix® Trifocal IOL is a new cutting-edge multifocal IOL that optimizes intermediate vision without compromising near and distance vision. The PanOptix Trifocal IOL focuses images clearly on the retina at the back of the eye. This allows for sharp vision after cataract removal. Most people are thrilled to have better vision after cataract surgery than they’ve ever had before! This new lens uses ENLIGHTEN®Optical Technology to achieve this. With today’s lifestyles, people want to view mobile devices and computer screens. They also want to have high-quality distance vision in a variety of lighting conditions. The center of the PanOptix lens offers better near (reading) and intermediate (computer) vision than a monofocal lens can provide.
The AcrySof IQ Aspheric Monofocal IOL is an outstanding monofocal lens. It’s used for restoring vision after cataract surgery. It offers several advantages over other monofocal products. Standard monofocal IOLs can produce glare and halos around lights. This can interfere with driving at night. The AcrySof IQ Aspheric Monofocal IOL reduces glare and halos and can make driving safer. Its aspheric design helps to bring light rays into a single, ideal focal point. This reduces optical blurring and results in improved clarity. It offers greater contrast sensitivity. This is the ability to distinguish objects from their background. Unlike other standard monofocal IOLs that only protect the eyes from UV rays, the AcrySof IQ IOL offers protection by filtering harmful blue light rays.
Corneal astigmatism means that the cornea is more oval shaped than round. As a result, light rays do not focus on one place in the eye. Traditional monofocal IOLs do not correct this problem. In the past, patients with astigmatism still needed glasses after cataract surgery. Today, patients with astigmatism can have freedom from glasses after cataract surgery with the AcrySof® IQ Toric IOL. This IOL clears vision when the cataract is removed and reduces blurring and distortion from astigmatism. The AcrySof® IQ Toric IOL has a unique “aspheric” surface that reduces most night vision distortions. It also reduces any loss of contrast sensitivity, which may occur with standard IOLs. It offers filtering of both UV and blue light rays to protect the eyes. While the AcrySof IQ Toric Lens is ideal for astigmatic patients who want clear distance vision, patients will still need glasses for reading and computer work.
Tecnis multifocal lenses restore clear vision at near, intermediate and distant ranges. Many people with Tecnis lenses are able to achieve independence from eyeglasses in various lighting conditions, including in low light at night. The lenses are designed to provide enhanced focus where it is most needed.
The preloaded Tecnis iTec system is an implanting device that already contains a Tecnis Monofocal IOL. It helps your eye surgeon place the IOL lens into the eye without touching it during surgery. This reduces the risk of infection and inflammation to the eye. The Tecnis Monofocal Lens is engineered for sharp, high-quality vision. It is an excellent choice for driving, even under low-light conditions. It helps you see streetlights, stage performances, and sporting events. You will still need glasses to focus on closer objects such as books, cell phones, and iPads.
Learn More about Your IOL Options
To learn more about the IOLs used in cataract surgery and pick out the best one for your needs, please contact the team at TOC Eye® by calling 631-751-2020 today.
Laser Cataract Surgery on Long Island
At TOC Eye®, our Long Island ophthalmologists stay abreast of the latest methods and technologies to provide patients options in their cataract care. In addition to traditional cataract surgery, TOC Eye® now offers laser cataract surgery with the advanced CATALYS® Precision Laser System. While traditional cataract surgery has a high safety and success rate, laser cataract surgery is an increasingly appealing option because of the customization and accuracy it offers to patients with cataracts. In addition, the enhanced precision of the CATALYS® system and placement of a premium IOL offers patients the ability to see clearly after surgery — free from glasses! If you would like to achieve crisp, clear vision following cataract surgery without relying on visual aids, a tailored treatment with the CATALYS® laser system IOL may be right for you.
What is the difference between Traditional Cataract Surgery and Laser Cataract Surgery?
Both traditional and laser cataract surgery involve removing the eye’s natural lens and replacing it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) to restore clear vision. The difference between the procedures lies in how several of the critical steps of the cataract removal process are performed. In traditional cataract surgery, the surgeon uses a surgical blade to create a small incision in the eye to access the capsule holding the lens. The lens is then broken up using ultrasonic energy and removed with gentle suction. This process is very safe and successful; millions of people have enjoyed crisp, clear vision thanks to traditional cataract surgery.
Laser cataract surgery builds upon the safety and effectiveness of traditional cataract surgery. During the procedure, the surgeon will create a perfectly sized and shaped incision in the lens capsule using low laser energy. The laser will also be used to break up the cataract before it is removed using gentle suction. Performing these critical steps with a laser enhances the precision and predictability of treatment, as well as reduces some of the risks associated with the manual instruments used in traditional cataract surgery.
Vision with cataracts vs. vision without cataracts
What is the CATALYS® Precision Laser System?
One of the most advanced laser systems available, the CATALYS® Precision Laser System provides a customized cataract surgical experience with enhanced visual outcomes. CATALYS® offers the following benefits:
Customized treatment with 3D imaging. Prior to cataract surgery, CATALYS® creates a three-dimensional map of your eye using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) technology. CATALYS® takes detailed measurements and takes into account your eye’s unique characteristics, allowing your surgeon to tailor your treatment for enhanced accuracy.
Laser precision. The femtosecond laser creates a precise opening in the lens, preserving as much of the lens capsule as possible. Maintaining the integrity of the capsule is important for positioning and holding the artificial IOL. Accurate positioning and placement of the IOL is crucial for the best visual outcome.
Gentle treatment. CATALYS® is able to soften the hard cataract, which enables the surgeon to remove the cataract gently. This ensures a more comfortable cataract surgery experience.
Freedom from Glasses with Premium IOLs
In years past, patients selected an IOL to restore crisp vision at a single, fixed distance and relied on glasses to see clearly at other distances. At TOC Eye, we are pleased to offer premium IOLs that restore vision at multiple distances, providing greater independency from glasses. Please visit our IOLs page to learn more about the premium lens options we offer, including:
- AcrySof ReSTOR
- Trulign Toric IOL
- Tecnis Symfony
Like its traditional counterpart, laser cataract surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and takes about 10 to 15 minutes to perform. Recovery is short, and most patients are able to resume normal activities the next day. Visual improvement often occurs within 24 hours after surgery.
If you have been diagnosed with cataracts and would like to discuss your options for cataract surgery, schedule an appointment with TOC Eye®. A member of our team would be happy to meet with you in person. Contact us by calling 631-751-2020 today.