We hear it all the time: you’ve reached your prime, but are now experiencing vision that is growing increasingly blurry. Chances are you have cataracts, and you aren’t alone: cataracts are part of the eye’s aging process that will impact most people. In fact, the likelihood of developing cataracts increases with each decade after 40, and by the time they reach 70 more than half of Trusted Source Cataract Tables 1 National Eye Institute Go to Source Americans will have developed a cataract.
Millions of eyes form cataracts every year. If and when this happens to you, at Alliance Vision Institute, our goal will be to bring you the clearest post-cataract vision, with the most comfortable experience start-to-finish. Led by an expert surgeon who has years of experience using our state-of-the-art laser surgery platform, our team has provided tailored cataract surgeries and restored vision to countless patients in the Fort Worth, Dallas, and DFW areas.
Cataracts are a normal part of the eye’s aging process. At around the age of 40, proteins in the eye’s lens begin to break down and form clumps. These clumps cause a cloudy area on the lens (opacification), which is a cataract. Less light is able to pass through a cloudy lens to the retina, which is why cataracts cause blurry vision and other vision Trusted Source Cataracts National Eye Institute Go to Source problems.
Cataracts usually progress slowly, and at first a person may be able to see clearly enough by simply updating their eyeglass or contact lens prescription. Eventually, though, cataracts will cloud a person’s vision to the extent that treatment is necessary. The only effective treatment for cataracts is cataract removal surgery, during which an ophthalmologist removes the cloudy natural lens of the eye and replaces it with an artificial intraocular lens implant (IOL).
Cataracts begin to form in a person’s late 40s to early 50s, but may not significantly affect their vision until many years later. Trusted Source Cataracts Cleveland Clinic Go to Source Symptoms of cataracts include vision problems such as:
Historically, cataract surgery was performed using handheld instruments, which were employed to break up the clouded lens of the eye so that it could be removed and replaced with an artificial lens (IOL). While this method worked, we are lucky to live in a time of exciting advances in eye care. At Alliance Vision Institute, we know that our patients deserve the best so we only offer all laser cataract surgery. Laser cataract surgery is more precise and efficient and studies show that it reduces the possibility of Trusted Source The Latest Evidence with Regards to Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery and Its Use Post 2020 Levitz LM, Dick HB, Scott W, Hodge C, Reich JA Go to Source complications.
Benefits of all-laser cataract surgery include:
At Alliance Vision Institute, we are proud to perform all-laser, bladeless cataract surgery, which affords us enhanced precision and accuracy. We invest in the very latest laser cataract surgery technology, including:
The LENSAR® femtosecond laser system is designed and built specifically for laser cataract surgery. It’s more gentle, precise, and efficient than manual cataract surgery, and its advanced imaging capabilities help our cataract surgeons plan your procedure down to the smallest detail.
The Zeiss Artevo® 800 is a groundbreaking digital microscope that produces 3D images of your eye with higher resolution than was ever before possible. This microscope is integrated with advanced data and images, giving our cataract surgeons superior visualization and real-time data specific to your unique Trusted Source Seeing more with the first digital microscope Zeiss Go to Source eye anatomy.
Another fantastic advancement in surgical technology gives our cataract surgeons “heads-up” three dimensional visualization during cataract surgery, projecting highly detailed images of your eye onto a screen in the operating room. Using the Zeiss Artevo 800, this technology is referred to as “heads-up” because it allows our surgeons to sit up straight during surgery rather than bending over microscopic Trusted Source Three-Dimensional Heads-up Cataract Surgery Using Femtosecond Laser: Efficiency, Efficacy, Safety, and Medical Education-A Randomized Clinical Trial Wang K, Song F, Zhang L, Xu J, Zhong Y, Lu B, Yao K Go to Source eyepieces.
During cataract surgery, the eye’s natural lens is removed and replaced with a clear, artificial intraocular lens implant (IOL). Our patients have a range of IOL options to choose from.
Basic IOLs, or monofocal lenses, are covered by insurance when used to replace a lens clouded by cataracts. These lenses restore clarity after cataracts cause blurred vision, and can also help patients achieve clearer near vision or distance vision, but not both. Most of our patients will still need reading glasses after cataract surgery with standard IOLs.
For patients who would like to increase their visual freedom and rely less (or not at all) on eyeglasses or contact lenses, we offer a number of premium IOL options. These include Toric IOLs for patients with astigmatism, multifocal IOLs to correct vision at more than one range, which gives patients their greatest opportunity for seeing clearly at all ranges. We also offer the RxSight™ Light Adjustable Lens, which is the only intraocular lens that can be adjusted after placement, making it possible for our doctors to fine-tune and customize each patient’s vision until they reach their visual goals.
Once you’ve been diagnosed with cataracts, you’ll meet with one of our highly trained eye specialists at Alliance Vision Institute to discuss your cataract surgery options. We’ll help you review each type of IOL we offer, so you can select the type of lens that best fits your vision needs and lifestyle. Your procedure will be scheduled, and we’ll give you detailed pre- and postoperative instructions.
Cataract surgery is a fast and comfortable outpatient procedure that takes less than 10 minutes per eye. You’ll recline in a treatment chair while anesthetic eye drops are applied to numb your eyes. You’ll also be given an oral or IV sedative to help you relax.
Your cataract surgeon will use a femtosecond laser to make small incisions in the front of your eye, then dissolve and remove the clouded lens in a process called phacoemulsification before placing your new intraocular lens implant. That’s all! The tiny incision used for cataract surgery is so small, it heals itself.
When you leave our eye surgery center, you will wear a protective eye shield. You’ll only need to wear this for a short while, and you will wear a plastic eye shield to protect your eye when you sleep. Your eye doctor will prescribe antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops that you’ll need to use for a few weeks, but you should feel very little discomfort. Most of our patients are able to get back to work the very next day after cataract surgery.
Once cataracts have clouded a person’s vision to the extent that their ability to perform normal tasks is affected, cataract surgery is deemed medically necessary and is covered by insurance. However, medical insurance only covers basic cataract surgery. Patients who choose to further improve their vision with laser cataract surgery and/or premium IOLs will incur some out-of-pocket costs.
Not at all. Your cataract surgeon will use anesthetic eye drops to numb your eye during the procedure.
When your cataracts are in their early stages, you’ll probably be able to see clearly enough by updating your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses. Eventually, though, cataracts will cloud your vision so much that daily activities will become difficult. If left untreated, cataracts may result in total vision loss. The only way to treat cataracts and preserve your vision is to undergo cataract surgery and replace the cloudy lens with a new lens.
Cataract surgery is one of the most frequently performed surgical procedures worldwide, and is widely considered to be safe. Still, there are risks and complications associated with any surgical procedure. The American Academy of Trusted Source Cataract Surgery: Risks, Recovery, Costs 8 American Academy of Ophthalmology Go to Source Ophthalmology reports that risks of cataract surgery, while rare, may include infection, inflammation, bruising of the eyelid, and increased intraocular pressure.
1 National Eye Institute. Cataract Tables. Available: https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/outreach-campaigns-and-resources/eye-health-data-and-statistics/cataract-data-and-statistics/cataract-tables Accessed January 6, 2023.
2 National Eye Institute. Cataracts. Available: https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/cataracts. Accessed January 6 2023.
3 Cleveland Clinic. Cataracts. Available: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/8589-cataracts Accessed January 6, 2023.
4 Levitz LM, Dick HB, Scott W, Hodge C, Reich JA. The Latest Evidence with Regards to Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery and Its Use Post 2020. Clin Ophthalmol. 2021 Mar 30;15:1357-1363. doi: 10.2147/OPTH.S306550. PMID: 33833494; PMCID: PMC8019659.
5 Zeiss. Seeing more with the first digital microscope. Available: https://www.zeiss.com/meditec/us/products/ophthalmology-optometry/cataract/visualization/surgical-microscopes/artevo-800.html. Accessed January 6, 2023.
6 Wang K, Song F, Zhang L, Xu J, Zhong Y, Lu B, Yao K. Three-Dimensional Heads-up Cataract Surgery Using Femtosecond Laser: Efficiency, Efficacy, Safety, and Medical Education-A Randomized Clinical Trial. Transl Vis Sci Technol. 2021 Aug 2;10(9):4. doi: 10.1167/tvst.10.9.4. PMID: 34342608; PMCID: PMC8340661. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8340661/. Accessed January 6, 2023.
7 Mayo Clinic. Cataracts. Available: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cataracts/symptoms-causes/syc-20353790 Accessed January 6, 2023.
8 American Academy of Ophthalmology. Cataract Surgery: Risks, Recovery, Costs. Available: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-cataract-surgery Accessed January 6, 2023.
The doctors at Alliance Vision Institute have reviewed and approved this content.