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.
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.
Dr. Tozer uses the most advanced, minimally invasive surgical techniques available.
He 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.
Dr. Tozer performs all cataract surgery himself and will discuss with you in detail the risks and benefits associated with the procedure. He will present the options available for intraocular lenses, some of which may allow one to become glasses independent. Dr. Tozer personally has performed over 14,000 cataract surgeries.
At Tozer Eye Center patient safety is our top concern. This is especially true during the current coronavirus pandemic. For this reason, based on recommendations from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the governor’s office and federal agencies we are scheduling patients only for urgent care visits and emergency surgery at this time. We are rescheduling all routine eye exams and elective surgeries including cataract surgery for a later date. Routine selection and fitting of glasses will be postponed. If the patient has lost their only pair of glasses, please call the optical shop and a replacement can be ordered and mailed out without visiting the optical shop. Contact lenses can also be mailed to the patient.
We are taking special precautions for those patients we do see. We are checking the temperature of everyone, including the staff and doctors, who enters the office. Each patient will be asked a series of screening questions to determine if they might pose a potential risk of infection to other patients or the staff. We are asking that anyone who accompanies a patient wait outside in their car. Patients may also elect to wait in their car and be contacted when we are ready to bring them to the examining room. All surfaces in the waiting room will be cleaned frequently. We have removed many chairs in the waiting room and spaced the remaining chairs appropriately. The exam rooms will be cleaned after every patient. The doctors and staff are wearing masks and gloves at all times when appropriate.
Signs or symptoms for which you might call the office include:
If you feel you have an urgent problem, even if not mentioned above, please call the office at (480) 947-4493. We are spacing out the visits to avoid overcrowding the office and minimize exposure to our staff and patients.
We appreciate your understanding during this difficult, challenging time.