Cataracts

West Texas Eye Associates perform the most advanced cataract surgery in western Texas. Cataract surgery is the safest, most common eye surgery in the US. New technological advancements in cataract surgery allow us to produce results that were not possible just a few years ago.

Over fifty percent of people over the age of 60, and quite a few younger than that, suffer from cataracts. A cataract is a progressive clouding of the eye’s natural lens that interferes with light passing through to the retina. Sufferers usually describe the condition as being similar to looking through a waterfall, or a piece of wax paper, with a gradual blurring or dimming of vision. Reading may become more difficult and driving a car can actually become dangerous. Cataract sufferers may also be troubled by a bothersome glare, halos around lights, or even double vision. Currently, there is no treatment to reverse or prevent the development of cataracts. Once they form, the only way to achieve clear vision again is to physically remove the cataract from the eye.
Cataract Vision Example

Today, cataract surgery is performed on an out-patient basis, uses a local anesthetic or sometimes only “eye-drop” anesthesia, and takes only a few minutes. In most cases, the cataract is broken into microscopic particles using high-energy sound waves and then gently suctioned from the eye using an advanced technique called phacoemulsification. This surgery is performed through a very small incision which is usually self-sealing, requiring no sutures. To compensate for the removal of the eye’s natural lens, an intra-ocular lens (IOL) is implanted into the eye.

Everyone heals somewhat differently, but many cataract patients report improvement in their vision almost immediately. Most patients return to their normal work and lifestyle routines within a day or two.

What is a Cataract?

With a clear normal lens, the images are focused clearly on the retina. Vision is clear. With a cataract, the lens is cloudy, causing the image to become blurred and yellowed. Vision is hazy and colors become faded.

How Cataracts Affect Vision

Shown is a normal, clear field of view as seen through the clear lens of the eye. When a cataract is present vision becomes darkened, cloudy, yellow and blurred.

The Surgery

1. A very small “No Stitch” incision is made in the side of the cornea. Such an incision promotes fast and more comfortable recovery.

2. The bag of the lens is opened and a special ultrasonic probe (phacoemulsifier) removes the cloudy lens.

3. A small foldable artificial lens is inserted through the small incision to replace the cataract lens.

4. The final replacement lens is shown in place. It is not required to suture the small “No Stitch” incision.

The Result

Before cataract surgery, the lens is cloudy, causing images to be blurred and yellowed. Vision is hazy and colors are faded. After surgery, the new replacement lens provides a clear and focused image on the retina. Vision is clear.

Intraocular Lens Implants (IOL)

West Texas Eye Associates offers patients the newest choices in Intraocular Lens Implants. A conventional lens implant (“monofocal” lens) may be the best option for those people that don’t mind wearing glasses or those who have certain eye health issues. Patients will most likely have the need for glasses after surgery with this type of implant. Other premium implant choices are available and provide the vision to do everyday tasks without depending on glasses. Your doctor will explain the options that are right for you. Our highest priority is to provide the right cataract treatment for your individual lifestyle and eye health.