Cataract Surgery and Your Options

Maybe you have been told by your eye doctor that you have cataracts or you have been noticing changes in your vision. Cataract surgery has become one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the U.S. with over 2 million cases performed each year. Technological advances have not only decreased the recovery time with cataract surgery, but also the options available to patients. At Eyes of York, we understand that not every person has the same medical history, eye health, and expected outcomes with surgery which is why we offer a variety of options for patients having cataract surgery.

Most people are familiar with cataract surgery where the surgeon removes your natural, clouded lens and cataract-lens-comparison replaces it with a new lens implant. While this option improves your vision by removing the cataract, some patients may select an option that will allow them to reduce or eliminate their need for glasses. This is called refractive cataract surgery because the goal is to fix all or a portion of the refractive error.

Our surgeons offer three different options when it comes to refractive cataract surgery: High Definition, Legal to Drive, and Forever Young. Each of these options also includes the ORA OptiPlus which is a machine that takes real-time measurements of your eye during surgery to help our surgeons optimize your visual outcome.

High Definition – Patients who opt for this package typically have a small amount of astigmatism in their cornea that causes the need for distance glasses. Astigmatism is a visual distortion caused by the cornea having more of an oval shape versus a nice spherical shape. During this procedure, the laser corrects the astigmatism by reshaping the cornea. These patients are pleased to eliminate their dependence on distance glasses but understand they will still need reading glasses after surgery.

Legal to Drive – This option is best for patients who have higher amounts of astigmatism that the laser cannot fully treat. Instead of the laser correcting the astigmatism, a different lens called a Toric Lens is implanted to replace the one that developed the cataract and also corrects for the higher astigmatism. These patients are pleased to eliminate their dependence on distance glasses but understand they will still need reading glasses after surgery.

Forever Young – Patients who qualify for this option may or may not have astigmatism. This option uses a special lens to correct patients at all ranges of vision. The laser may also be used to correct for astigmatism. Patients who choose this option enjoy vision at all ranges after surgery without the full-time dependence on their glasses.

So how do you know which option might be the best for you? Our office offers an elective test called the OPD (Optical Path Difference). The OPD provides the surgeon with the diagnostic images and measurements of the eye that help determine the amount of astigmatism, expected visual outcome with or without glasses after surgery, detects dryness, and any abnormalities of the cornea that could potentially affect the healing and visual outcome after surgery. Once this testing is completed, the surgeon can then evaluate and discuss with you which options they believe would be most beneficial to you.

Have more questions about cataract surgery? Check out our FAQ’s page for more information or give our office a call at 717-767-2000.