What is a cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens in the eye.
The lens in the eye is similar to the lens in a camera. It is normally a clear structure that focuses light on the back of the eye where the retina, like the film in a camera, captures the image. Any clouding of that lens is a cataract. Everyone develops cataracts in their late 50's to early 60's, and sometimes much sooner. There is no pain associated with cataracts, but common symptoms include blurred or cloudy vision as well as glare and halos at night. These symptoms may be particularly noticeable when driving. Most people with early cataracts do not need treatment for them as the symptoms may be very mild or absent. As the cataract progresses, however, the symptoms become more noticeable and begin to interfere with daily activities. Only a comprehensive eye exam can determine if a cataract is causing the symptoms and whether treatment may be helpful.
Can it be treated?
Fortunately, we now have very effective treatment for cataracts.
Initially, this may be simply changing the prescription in your glasses or contact lenses. If the cataract advances to the point where changing your glasses is not sufficient, the only treatment to improve vision is cataract surgery. There are no drops or medicines that are effective. Modern cataract surgery is one of the most common procedures performed in the United States today. In cataract surgery, the lens is removed and replaced with a new lens implant.
How is the surgery done?
Dr. Randall Tozer and Dr. Kevin Tozer perform cataract surgery, using the most advanced, minimally invasive surgical techniques available.
Dr. Randall Tozer was one of the first ophthalmologists in the Phoenix area to use "needle-free" topical anesthesia. This eliminates the need for a shot of novocaine- type medication into the eye. The procedure is done as an outpatient and takes approximately ten minutes. No stitches or patches are usually necessary. Patients can resume normal daily activities the next day.
Your surgeon will discuss risks and benefits as well as present the options available for intraocular lenses, some of which may allow one to become glasses independent.