What is cataract?
A cataract is a cloudiness of a natural lens, a part of the eyeball that is located behind the iris, the colored part of the eyeball. The eyeball is like a camera, it needs a lens to focus the light in. When we are born the lens is clear. With time it becomes cloudy and causes blurry vision.
What are the symptoms of cataracts?
Cataracts may cause:
Blurry or cloudy vision
Yellowish tint to everything you see
Haloes around lights
Poor night vision
Difficulties with driving or reading
What is the best treatment for cataracts?
Cataracts are treated surgically. There are 2 types of cataract surgery: traditional surgery and laser cataract surgery. In both surgeries the natural lens is replaced with an artificial implant.
Traditional cataract surgery
In traditional cataract surgery, Dr. Hennen uses ultrasound to break the cataract into small pieces, and vacuum to remove those pieces from the eyeball.
Laser cataract surgery
In laser cataract surgery, Dr. Hennen pre-treats the cataract with laser before breaking it with ultrasound and using vacuum to remove it.
What kind of implants are used for cataract surgery?
Dr. Hennen uses two types of intraocular lenses: standard and premium. Regardless of the implant you choose, your vision will improve following cataract surgery.
Standard intraocular lens:
You can get a standard IOL that corrects vision at one distance: either driving or reading. Majority of patients prefer to have clear vision for driving and use reading glasses following cataract surgery. This implant is covered by insurance.
Premium intraocular lens:
A premium IOL corrects near, intermediate, and distance vision.
It is important to remember that the premium IOL decreases (but does not eliminate) the need for glasses. It is regarded a luxury item and not covered by your insurance.
What are the complications of cataract surgery?
Complications may include:
Rupture of the posterior capsule that holds the cataract inside the eye. The cataract may fall inside the eyeball, necessitating a second procedure to remove it all together
Increased eye pressure
Cystoid macular edema or CME. In this case the central part of the retina (a film that lines the back of the eye) can become swollen and cause blurry vision. It resolves with steroid and anti-inflammatory eye drops. Sometime these medications are injected around or inside the eye to allow for faster resolution.
Though these complications are possible, they are nevertheless rare. Overall, cataract surgery is a very safe and successful procedure to improve your vision.
Does cataract come back after the surgery?
No, once a cataract is removed, it doesn’t come back. Sometimes a scar tissue forms on the capsule that holds the intraocular lens in place. It is called “posterior capsule opacification” or PCO. It can make vision blurry like a cataract.
How do you treat PCO?
Dr. Hennen uses a laser to remove PCO in the office. The procedure is called “YAG capsulotomy,” it is painless and takes about 1-2 minutes to perform. There are no restrictions following this procedure.
What are the side effects of YAG capsulotomy?
The side effects are rare and include:
Blurry vision, which resolves within 2 hours
Increased eye pressure
Disclaimer: This information is not comprehensive to cover all your ophthalmology needs. Call the office to book an appointment to discuss your condition with Dr. Hennen.
Cataract Glaucoma Eye Exam
Eyecare MPLS: Stella Hennen, MD, MSPH
3033 Excelsior Blvd #205
Uptown, Minneapolis, MN 55416
Monday. 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Tuesday. 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Thursday. 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Friday. 9:00 am - 12:00 pm