Dulles Eye Associates

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What is Cataract?

 

A cataract is a clouding of the eye's natural lens, which lies behind the iris and the pupil. Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in people over age 40 and is the principal cause of blindness in the world. In fact, there are more cases of cataracts worldwide than there are of glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy combined, according to Prevent Blindness America (PBA).

Today, cataracts affect more than 22 million Americans age 40 and older. And as the U.S. population ages, more than 30 million Americans are expected to have cataracts by the year 2020, PBA says.

Tens of thousands of people in Northern Virginia, including Fairfax and Loudoun counties suffer from cataracts. Our Surgeon (Dr. Ahmed Nasrullah) has operated on thousands of people in Northern Virginia restoring their vision and giving them the sight they have not had in decades.

 

Types of cataracts include:

 

• A subcapsular cataract occurs at the back of the lens. People with diabetes, high farsightedness or retinitis pigmentosa, or those taking high doses of steroid medications have a greater risk of developing a subcapsular cataract.

• A nuclear cataract forms deep in the central zone (nucleus) of the lens. Nuclear cataracts usually are associated with aging.

 

• A cortical cataract is characterized by white, wedge-like opacities that start in the periphery of the lens and work their way to the center in a spoke-like fashion. This type of cataract occurs in the lens cortex, which is the part of the lens that surrounds the central nucleus.

Though different types of cataracts exist there is much cross-over in the symptoms people experience and this can be experienced at any age and in otherwise healthy people.

Cataract Symptoms and Signs:

A cataract starts out small and at first has little effect on your vision. You may notice that your vision is blurred a little, like looking through a cloudy piece of glass or viewing an impressionist painting.

 

Hazy or blurred vision may mean you have a cataract.

 

 

A cataract may make light from the sun or a lamp seem too bright or glaring. Or you may notice when you drive at night that the oncoming headlights cause more glare than before. Colors may not appear as bright as they once did.

The type of cataract you have will affect exactly which symptoms you experience and how soon they will occur. When a nuclear cataract first develops, it can bring about a temporary improvement in your near vision, called "second sight."

 

Unfortunately, the improved vision is short-lived and will disappear as the cataract worsens. On the other hand, a subcapsular cataract may not produce any symptoms until it's well-developed.

 

MOST IMPORTANTLY,  IF  YOUR VISION IS BEGINNING  TO CHANGE IT IS IMPORTANT TO BE EVALUATED BY OUR SPECIALISTS TO ENSURE THAT THE CONDITION IS DISCOVERED AND YOUR OPTIONS FOR BETTER VISION ARE EXPLAINED IN A COMPASSIONATE AND CARING WAY… THE ONLY WAY WE KNOW HOW!

 

Cataract Treatment

 

When symptoms begin to appear, you may be able to improve your vision for a while using new glasses, strong bifocals, magnification, appropriate lighting or other visual aids.

Think about surgery when your cataracts have progressed enough to seriously impair your vision and affect your daily life. Many people consider poor vision an inevitable fact of aging, but cataract surgery is a simple, relatively painless procedure to regain vision.

Technologically Advanced Cataract surgery with our fellowship trained surgeons is very successful in restoring vision. In fact, it is the most frequently performed surgery in the United States, with more than 3 million Americans undergoing cataract surgery each year, according to PBA. Nine out of 10 people who have cataract surgery regain very good vision, somewhere between 20/20 and 20/40.

During surgery, the surgeon will remove your clouded lens and in most cases replace it with a clear, plastic intraocular lens (IOL).

New IOLs are being developed all the time to make the surgery less complicated for surgeons and the lenses more helpful to patients. Presbyopia-correcting IOLs potentially help you see at distance and close up.  We can also treat astigmatism, eliminating the distortion in vision many people suffer with even with some vision correction.

 

Astigmatism/Toric Implant

 

Cataract and Cornea Astigmatism Correction

Referred to as “the emerging standard” and a "triumphant moment in cataract surgery," the AcrySof® IQ Toric IOL and Technis Toric IOL corrects for cataracts with pre-existing astigmatism simultaneously by delivering more precise, predictable outcomes and quality distance vision—without the need for glasses following surgery.

The AcrySof® IQ Toric IOL and Technis Toric IOL may also eliminate, in many cases, the need for limbal relaxing incisions, a technique in which incisions are made at the edge of the cornea to cause it to heal in a more spherical shape.   Cornea: The clear, curved surface at the front of the eye through which light enters the eye. Along with the sclera, the cornea provides external protection for the eye.

 

Multifocal Implant for Cataract Surgery

Cataract Symptoms and Signs as Discussed by Dr Ahmed Nasrullah

 

A cataract starts out small and at first has little effect on your vision. You may notice that your vision is blurred a little, like looking through a cloudy piece of glass or viewing an impressionist painting.

 

Hazy or blurred vision may mean you have a cataract.

 

A cataract may make light from the sun or a lamp seem too bright or glaring. Or you may notice when you drive at night that the oncoming headlights cause more glare than before. Colors may not appear as bright as they once did.

The type of cataract you have will affect exactly which symptoms you experience and how soon they will occur. When a nuclear cataract first develops, it can bring about a temporary improvement in your near vision, called "second sight."

Unfortunately, the improved vision is short-lived and will disappear as the cataract worsens. On the other hand, a subcapsular cataract may not produce any symptoms until it's well-developed.

With more than 50 million implants in cataract surgeries worldwide, the AcrySof® family of lenses are the most frequently used intraocular lenses (IOLs) in the world, largely because physicians appreciate the long-term clinical results and unmatched stability.

The first multifocal IOL of its kind, the AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® IOL draws upon decades of expertise and technology for an intraocular lens that truly helps cataract patients see it all—near, far, and everything in between—without the need for reading glasses or bifocals after surgery.

In a clinical trial, after having the AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® IOL implanted in both eyes, at 6 months post-op, 78 percent of patients reported not needing glasses.

Nearly 94 percent of patients (implanted with the +3.0 D IOL) indicated that they would have the lenses implanted again, according to a patient satisfaction survey.

Here’s what makes AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® IOLs so unique:

The majority of modern IOLs are made from either silicone or a hard plastic called polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), but AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® IOL uses a soft, foldable acrylic, which makes implantation easier for the surgeon and more comfortable for the patient. A smaller incision also removes the need for stitches, providing faster recovery times and clearer, more youthful vision.With AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® IOL, patients with both cataracts and presbyopia can have both conditions corrected at the same time, eliminating the need for spectacles after surgery in most patients.

Another multifocal implant, Technis Multifocal IOL, uses a similar platform as AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® IOL, but subtle differences in technology may make this a better option for you.  The best way to find what is best for you is to speak to your knowledgeable surgeon at Dulles Eye Associates to discuss these exciting advances in eye surgery.

 

 

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