Cliffside Laser Eye and Cataract Center
Richard Levine, MD
Refractive Cataract and LASIK Specialist
Cataracts are a normal part of aging, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with your blurred vision. The cloudiness your see always gets worse over time, but can safely and comfortably be treated by Richard Levine, MD at Cliffside Laser Eye and Cataract Center. You’ll enjoy seeing more clearly than you have in years, and even eliminate the longstanding need for glasses. Dr. Levine specializes in cataract treatment in Cliffside Park, New Jersey. To find how you can benefit, book an appointment by calling Cliffside Laser Eye and Cataract Center or by using the online scheduler.
Cataracts Q & A
What causes cataracts?
Doctors aren’t entirely sure what causes cataracts, but they do know what happens and which factors make them more likely. A cataract forms when protein collects in the lens of your eye. This prevents light from passing through, making your vision cloudy. Your eyes may also look a bit cloudy from the outside. All of this can happen for various reasons, including:
- Increasing age
- Certain illnesses such as diabetes
- Exposure to toxic substances, UV light, or radiation
- Certain medications, such as diuretics or corticosteroids
- Traumatic injury to your eye
What symptoms do cataracts cause?
Cataracts can cause a variety of symptoms, which tend to appear gradually. In addition to foggy vision, you may experience:
- Blurry vision, or a ‘film’ in front of your eyes
- Haze, halos, glare
- Difficulty driving at night because of factors such as excessive glare from headlights
- Colors that look yellow, or washed-out
How are cataracts diagnosed?
Cataracts are diagnosed through a comprehensive medical eye examination. Dr. Levine may dilate your pupils with drops to better examine the lens and other areas of your eyes. As a result, your vision may be temporarily blurry after your appointment. If you wear contacts or glasses, bring them along. While you can likely drive afterward, keep in mind that your eyes may be sensitive to light.
To ensure early diagnosis and treatment for cataracts, aim for an eye doctor appointment at least every two years until age 50, then once a year beyond that. If you have diabetes or a history of other eye conditions, you may need more frequent exams.
How are cataracts treated?
Treatment for cataracts varies, depending on factors such as the severity of your symptoms. If your vision issues can be fixed with glasses or contacts alone, Dr. Levine may provide a prescription. If not, you may need surgery. Dr. Levine specializes in rapid-recovery treatment for cataracts, a painless procedure that takes 10-15 minutes. A cataract replacement lens (IntraOcular Lens or IOL) is placed during cataract surgery to restore natural vision. Patients now have options to receive a standard lens implant and wear glasses, or an advanced technology multifocal lens to reduce or eliminate glasses. Dr. Levine has found that Multifocal iOL lenses provide exceptionally clear vision, close up and far away.
How are cataracts treated?
Treatment for cataracts varies, depending on factors such as the severity of your symptoms. If your vision issues can be fixed with glasses or contacts alone, Dr. Levine may provide a prescription. If not, you may need surgery. Dr. Levine specializes in rapid-recovery treatment for cataracts, a painless procedure that takes 10-15 minutes.
A cataract replacement lens (IntraOcular Lens or IOL) is placed during cataract surgery to restore natural vision. Patients now have options to receive a standard lens implant and wear glasses, or an advanced technology multifocal lens to reduce or eliminate glasses. Dr. Levine has found that Multifocal iOL lenses provide exceptionally clear vision, close up and far away.
What happens during cataract surgery?
During your procedure, you’ll sit in the treatment chair and feel relaxed, thanks to a gentle sedative. Drops will completely numb your eye and as Dr. Levine conducts the surgery, you may feel a mild pressure sensation and notice light changes, which are normal. The steps involved with the procedure include:
- Removal of the cataract with a technique called phacoemulsification, or “phaco,” which starts with tiny incisions that allow a tiny probe to be inserted into the eye
- Opening of the surface of the capsular bag, which contains the crystalline lens, to provide access to the cataract
- Breaking up of the cataract and vacuuming out the tiny pieces, making room for the implant
- Insertion of the Intraocular lens through the small incision where the cataract was
Keep in mind that this is a safe, effective, and routine procedure and Dr. Levine and his staff will be present to monitor you the entire time.
What happens after cataract surgery?
Your eyes and brain will gradually adapt to the procedure, bringing improved vision over time. Many patients notice excellent vision improvements within one day of surgery. You may experience mild side effects such as itchiness and light sensitivity, which should diminish within two days. You may also notice glares and halos in your vision initially, which should reduce on their own. In some cases, these effects continue.
You’ll apply medicated eye drops, as directed by Dr. Levine, for enhanced healing and be able to go back to many of your usual daily activities, including watching TV, using a computer, reading, and walking, straight away. Driving, however, is not recommended at first. When you’re outdoors in sunlight or sleeping, wear protective eyewear throughout the healing process. Avoid rubbing or touching your eyes as well as heavy exercise or lifting, which can cause pressure in your eyes and interfere with healing. Be sure to see Dr. Levine for your follow-up appointment the day after your surgery and follow his aftercare instructions.
What happens to needing glasses after cataract surgery?
Modern cataract surgery not only fixes the cloudy lens causing blurred vision, it can also reduce or eliminate a lifetime of spectacle-dependence. Dr. Levine can customize the lens implant used during cataract surgery to provide full-focus from near to far without glasses.
Multifocal IOL Implants
Intraocular lenses (IOL’s) are prosthetic lens implants that are placed in the eye after a cataract is removed. These plastic lenses are permanently placed in the eye after the eye’s natural crystalline lens is removed because of a cataract. Monofocal intraocular lenses have only a single zone of clear focus. Patients with monofocal lenses see distance clearly, but still, require the use of glasses for reading. Multifocal intraocular lenses offer vision correction for distance vision, just like monofocal implants, but also have another zone so patients are able to read.
There are several types of multifocal IOL lenses available: ReSTOR and TECNIS. Both of these lenses offer different ring-shaped zones so patients can clearly see both objects near and far. The advantage of a multifocal IOL is the ability to be less dependent on reading glasses for near activities. Many people have presbyopia, or the loss of the eye’s ability to zoom from an object in the distance to near objects, such as a newspaper, and this condition will start to bother them. Multifocal IOL’s offer a better alternative to many people who are frustrated by their dependence on reading glasses.
Toric IOL’s are designed to correct astigmatism in cataract patients. Often, astigmatism can lead to blurred vision, because the eye’s cornea or lens has an irregular shape. A normal eye’s cornea will be a circular shape, but an eye with astigmatism has a longer, more oval shape.
Most astigmatisms are not severe enough to require surgery and can be corrected by wearing glasses or contact lenses. Cataract patients with pre-existing astigmatism will benefit from a procedure to correct both their cataract and their astigmatism. Cataract patients who have astigmatism can request a Toric IOL to correct their vision. Requesting a Toric IOL could eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses after surgery.
In the past, surgeons tried to change the shape of the cornea through an incision during cataract surgery. Now, with the creation of the Toric IOL, vision can be improved through implanting the Toric IOL lens, a lens designed with the same technology as contact lenses.
Laser Cataract Surgery
Introducing the LENSAR™ Femtosecond Laser System
If your vision is getting cloudy, if you are losing your color perception or you are having trouble seeing at night, you may be in the early stages of developing cataracts. Although cataract surgery is considered to be one of the safest and most successful procedures performed in medicine today, laser cataract surgery improves the precision of many of the key surgical steps to provide possibly better outcomes and potentially make cataract surgery even safer.
Things to think about before cataract surgery
1. Should I consider laser cataract surgery instead of traditional cataract surgery?
2. What type of lens implant would be best for me after cataract surgery, a monofocal or multifocal lens implant?
When you select Dr. Levine for your cataract removal, you will enjoy all the benefits of excellence and experience for which we are proud to be known. Now Dr. Levine is offering the safest and most advanced cataract surgery.. This new advancement in cataract surgery is known as laser cataract surgery. The LENSAR™ system has a unique ability to define the cataract’s entire anatomy allowing for a safer solution for cataract removal.
If you are seeking the most advanced cataract surgery be sure to contact our office directly. We are happy to provide a consultation to determine the best and safest approach to cataract surgery for you. There are many items to consider prior to having cataract surgery including your choice of lens implant. Dr. Levine is a cataract implant specialist and has a great understanding of all lens implants and how they have performed over the years of his experience. During your consultation, he will explain the differences between lens implants and how modern advanced lens technology can give you clear, eyeglass-free vision again.