Cataracts

What Is A Cataract?

A cataract is the clouding of the eye’s naturally clear lens. The lens is part of the eye that helps focus light on the retina. The retina is a light-sensitive layer of tissue lining the inner surface of the eye. The optics of the eye create an image of the visual world on the retina through the cornea and lens. The clouding caused by a cataract reduces the sharpness of images reflected in the retina resulting in blurred vision.

Cataracts Illustration

Most cataracts are related to aging, usually starting at age 40. Cataracts are so common that by age 80 more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have already had cataract surgery.

What Types of Cataracts are There? 

There are three main types of cataracts: 

  • Cortical cataract 
  • Nuclear cataract 
  • Subscapular cataract 

These aren’t the clearest to understand terms, so let’s try to break it down further. A cortical cataract occurs in the part of the lens surrounding the center of the lens. They are known for the white opacities that begin near the side of the lens, then move towards the center. 

Nuclear cataracts, on the other hand, are typically connected to the aging process. They form deep in the nucleus of the lens. 

Lastly, a subscapular cataract happens at the back of the lens. You have a higher chance of a subscapular cataract forming if you have diabetes or take high doses of steroid medications. 

What Causes Cataracts? 

As we know, cataracts form in the lens of the eye. This lens consists mostly of protein and water. In a healthy lens, the proteins stay out of the way, keeping the lens clear of obstruction and letting light pass through. 

However, in some people, these proteins huddle together. This creates a cloudy formation in the lens. As this cloudiness grows, it can obscure vision, making things appear blurry. 

While we understand under what conditions cataracts form, we know less about why these conditions occur. One common theory is that as we age, the oxidation level of the eye lens changes. The change in oxidation levels makes it easier for proteins to group, thus causing a cataract. This theory is backed by several studies showing that diets high in antioxidants, such as some fruits and vegetables, tend to prevent cataracts. 

Beyond age, though, experts have come up with a list of risk factors that could act as causes of cataracts: 

  • Diabetes 
  • Exposure to ultraviolet radiation 
  • Hypertension 
  • Genetics 
  • Longterm use of some cholesterol medications 
  • Obesity 
  • Previous eye injury, inflammation, or surgery 
  • Smoking 

What are the Symptoms of Cataracts? 

Different types of cataracts can cause various symptoms. A subscapular cataract can develop with little or no symptoms until it’s fully grown. Nuclear cataracts, on the other hand, can improve near vision. This improvement is only short-term, though, and the common cataract symptoms will soon appear. 

For instance, the first symptom you’ll experience is blurry vision. Many people describe the effect as if you were looking through foggy glass. 

As your cataract continues to develop, you’ll start to find that some lights become too bright. When driving at night, headlights from oncoming traffic become more glaring. Additionally, once bold colors will begin to dull. 

How Is My Vision Affected By Cataracts?

Healthy eye vs eye affected by Cataracts

A cataract is caused by one of two changes in the lens: clumping of protein or discoloration. The lens is primarily composed of water and protein. In the case of cataracts, the protein clumps up in areas clouding the lens and reducing the amount of light that reaches the retina. This can start with small clumps and increase in size to completely cover the lens requiring cataract surgery.

In the case of discoloration the lens slowing changes to a yellow and/or brownish color. Over time this brown tint to the lens becomes more prominent making it difficult to read and identify colors such as blues, purples, and blacks. Gradual discoloration of lenses does not affect the sharpness of the image. The natural wear and tear on eyes due to job requirements, lifestyle, and environment are possible factors causing cataracts.

Can Cataracts Be Prevented? 

There’s no tried and true method proven to eliminate your odds of developing a cataract during your lifetime. But we can look at the above risk factors for some ways to potentially reduce those odds.  

Several studies have found that diet can play a role in preventing cataracts, for example. One study found that diets high in vitamin E, lutein, and zeaxanthin are associated with a lowered risk of developing cataracts. Lutein and zeaxanthin are two naturally occurring compounds that are found in green, leafy vegetables. You can find high levels of vitamin E in almonds, sunflower seeds, and spinach. 

As UV radiation can help promote cataract growth, another easy prevention technique is to wear appropriate sunglasses whenever you’re outside. Ideally, this means sunglasses that shield your eyes from 100 percent of UV rays. 

Can Cataracts Be Treated? 

Many cataract treatments can help improve vision and reduce side effects. Blurriness can be treated with new glasses or added magnification, such as through strong bifocals. Improved visual aids and better lighting can also help with glare. 

Surgery can be a scary word to some, but it is an effective treatment, especially as cataracts beings to disrupt your day-to-day routines. It’s a simple procedure that involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens. Typically, there is little to no pain involved with the surgery. 

As technology continues to improve, so do the increased benefits to patients. For example, some new lenses can shield your eye from UV radiation, which we know to be a risk factor for cataract development. 


Laser Cataract Surgery

Eye doctors performing Eye SurgeryAre you having trouble driving at night, reading the small print, or watching TV? These are typically the starting signs of a cataract. If you’re having trouble seeing or notice that images are starting to become more blurred, now is the time to schedule an evaluation with WK Eye Institute. Dr. Shelby and Dr. Coleman are highly trained ophthalmologists who specialize in refractive cataract surgery.

At The Cataract Surgeons, a division of WK Eye Institute, our top priority is to improve your vision and quality of life. From your first appointment to your last follow-up, we’ll make sure you fully understand the procedure and have the information needed for a quick and painless recovery. Alongside vision improvement, we aim to provide our patients with a stress-free cataract surgery experience and lasting patient care.

What is Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery is a procedure that involves removing the natural cloudy lens inside your eye and replacing it with a clear plastic artificial one. Electing to undergo this procedure will improve your vision, night vision, vibrancy, and general quality of life. Many patients report immediate improvement insight and full recovery within a few days.

FAQ’s

Is Cataract Surgery safe?

Is Cataract Surgery safe?

Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most effective surgical procedures in the history of medicine. It is also the most performed surgery in the U.S. More than 98% of cataract surgery patients have an uncomplicated course and an excellent visual result.

What is “refractive” cataract surgery?

What is “refractive” Cataract Surgery?

Refractive is a term used to describe whether an eye needs perception glasses to see clearly. People with nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism have a refractive error. Standard cataract surgery has the purpose of removing the cloudy cataract allowing more light into the eye. Refractive cataract surgery also has the goal of leaving a person free from, or less dependent on glasses by eliminating all nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism at the time of cataract surgery.

What does Cataract Surgery cost?

What does Cataract Surgery cost?

Standard cataract surgery is typically covered by almost every insurance plan covering outpatient surgery. Refractive cataract surgery to decrease or eliminated the need for glasses along with cataract surgery is considered elective by insurance providers. The out-of-pocket cost is $1,000-$3,000 per eye depending on the type of intraocular lens used.

How do I prepare for the procedure?

How do I prepare for the procedure?

Preparation is relatively simple. Women are asked not to wear makeup around the eyes the day of surgery. Patients are asked to not eat or drink after midnight before the procedure, except for any usual morning meds with a small amount of water (the exception is diabetic meds which should be held the morning of surgery). Wear comfortable clothes to the surgery center. We will not require you to remove them, but just provide a gown to wear over the top. In most cases, all necessary eye drops will be provided to you by WK Eye Institute at no additional charge.

Will I be put under anesthesia?

Will I be put under anesthesia?

Typically, people are not put completely to sleep for cataract surgery and only require sedatives to be given through an IV. Eye drops are also used to numb the eye itself during the procedure and most people describe feeling the water flowing over the eye and feeling a mild amount of pressure.

What type of lens replaces my natural lens?

What type of lens replaces my natural lens?

Virtually everyone undergoing cataract surgery in the U.S. will receive some form of an acrylic intraocular lens. There are many different lens manufacturers and types, but in basic terms, they fall into three categories: monofocal, toric, and multifocal. A monofocal IOL is the standard lens and typically targets good distant vision. Toric IOL’s are used to correct astigmatism from within the eye. Multifocal lenses provide quality distance and near vision with the purpose of decreasing the need for glasses while reading or seeing at distance. The particular lens will depend on the specific measurements of your eye, along with your vision goals.

Can I drive home after Cataract Surgery?

Can I drive home after Cataract Surgery?

Driving is not allowed on the day of surgery, mainly because of the sedation that is given. It is important that you arrange transportation to and from the surgical center to avoid accidents and potential after-surgery risks. Before your upcoming procedure, be sure to ask a close friend or family member for transportation. If you have no access to transportation for surgery, please let a member of our staff know and we will help you make arrangements.

What Can I Expect for Aftercare?

What Can I Expect for Aftercare?

While many people report better vision the day after surgery, it is not uncommon to experience some haziness for a few days after the procedure. Pupil dilation can last a couple of days, and vision progressively improves as the pupil comes back to normal size. As a precaution, cataract surgery patients are asked to keep lifting under ten pounds for one week. You will also wear an eye shield while sleeping as a reminder not to rub the eye. Drops will be applied for about one month and a detailed schedule will be provided. Follow up visits are conducted about a day, a week, and a month after surgery. Pain is unusual and if it becomes significant, call your doctor.

Finding The Best Eye Surgeon For Your Procedure

Close up of an eye after eye surgeryChoosing an eye surgeon isn’t an overnight decision. As you conduct your research on local cataract surgery providers, make sure to consider the following details –

  • Board Certification
  • Educational experience
  • Technological expertise
  • Use of modern equipment
  • Experience and customer testimonials
  • Surgical volume per year

As is true in all fields, people are usually good at what they do the most. It is essential when choosing a surgeon, to find someone who performs enough procedures to be very proficient; 1,000 per year is a good benchmark. In a surgical field heavily dependent on technology for optimal outcomes, it is important to find a surgeon with access to and experience using modern technology. Equally important as skills and experience are a surgeon that will take time to understand your particular needs and work with you to formulate a personalized plan that achieves your visual goals.

What Technology Is Used in Cataract Surgeries?

The Cataract Surgeons in Shreveport, LA use the following technologies and methods to effectively and safely correct your vision.

  • Incision Technology: The first step is to make an incision to access your eye’s lens. Doctors may use a scalpel or an ultra-short-pulse (femtosecond) laser, which allows for a more precise incision.
  • Capsulotomy: Removing the front lens capsule is very important. This may be done with a small needle and forceps or with a femtosecond laser. The remainder of the capsule must stay intact.
  • Phacoemulsification Procedure: Next, doctors use ultrasound technology to break up and remove the cloudy lens.
  • Intraocular Technology: After the ultrasound technology emulsifies your lens, the new lens is put in, and you are ready to begin the recovery process.

FAQ’s

If you are considering cataract surgery, it helps to understand the terms and options for the procedure. The following words and definitions are important to know:

What is a lens?

What is a lens?

A lens is part of your eye that bends light to help you see clearly.

What is a cataract?

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is best defined as a vision problem that limits your visibility and clarity, especially at night. Some symptoms include cloudy blurry, or even less colorful sight.

What is cataract surgery?

What is Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery is a procedure that removes the lens that is in your eye to replace it with one that allows you to see more clearly.

What is an intraocular lens?

What is an intraocular lens

An intraocular lens is a clear artificial lens that replaces your damaged lens during cataract surgery.

Schedule Cataract Surgery

If you’re having trouble seeing clearly at night, reading, or enjoying other activities because of your vision, contact The Cataract Surgeons right away. We’re dedicated to improving your vision quickly and effectively while providing a relaxing and comfortable experience! Contact us today to schedule an appointment and visit doctors who are committed to your care and experience.


LenSx – Laser Cataract Surgery

Dr. Coleman performing Cataract SurgeryTechnology has improved the safety and outcomes of cataract surgery. In traditional cataract surgery, several small incisions are made manually with a blade and a manual technique is used to break up the cataract. Our surgeons were the first in Louisiana to offer the newest LenSx technology with laser-assisted cataract surgery.

An image-guided femtosecond laser allows our surgeons to make incisions with efficiency and precision without the use of a blade. The laser also assists in breaking up the cataract so that removal of this cloudy lens requires less ultrasound energy, which is easier on the eye. This new laser technology also allows for better management of our patient’s corneal astigmatism. This technique is available only with the premium lens implants, which ensures the best visual outcome for our patients.

Our goal through this latest technology of laser-assisted cataract surgery along with premium lens implants is to increase the likelihood of patients not needing glasses following their cataract surgery.

Why LenSx® is a Better Option

From the first incision to recovery, LenSx® serves as a superior alternative to traditional cataract surgery. A form of laser cataract surgery, LenSx® uses modern technology to make the process less intensive and more precise while providing benefits almost immediately.

Traditional cataract surgery relies on the surgeon’s steady hands and deep concentration to make the first cut into the eye. If the surgeon’s mark is off, they may need to extend the incision. This larger cut will often require stitches to help close it. These stitches will remain on the eye for at least a week.

LenSx®, though, uses micro-images of your eye to help the surgeon find the ideal incision spot. They can then use a laser to make a small, accurate cut.

Furthermore, LenSx® only needs half the ultrasonic energy of traditional cataract surgery to help remove the damaged lens. This makes surgery less painful and incurs less trauma and inflammation.

Because of its sophisticated computer mapping process, LenSx® can also insert the new lens, called an intraocular lens, more efficiently and accurately than typical cataract surgery. This makes recovery easier, with vision improving almost immediately after the surgery and without the added pain, discomfort, and other side effects of previous lens replacement processes.

LenSx® FAQ

How does the LenSx® laser work?

How does the LenSx® laser work?

LenSx® simplifies what was once the most difficult part of cataract eye surgery: making incisions in the eye. Instead of relying on a surgeon to identify where to cut and use a blade to do so, the LenSx® system provides real-time imaging to the surgeon, making it easier to find the best spots to make incisions. The surgeon then uses the LenSx® laser to make precise cuts where needed.

What is a femtosecond laser?

What is a femtosecond laser?

Femtosecond lasers were originally used to perform LASIK surgery. It can shoot pulses of light that last for incredibly small fractions of time, around one-millionth of a billionth of a second. This makes the femtosecond laser amazingly accurate, predictable, and safe.

Will insurance cover this procedure like most cataract surgeries?

Will insurance cover this procedure like most cataract surgeries?

Traditional cataract surgery is usually covered by public and private health insurers. If you’re not sure if your health insurance carrier covers cataract surgery, make sure to reach out to them and ask.

As LenSx® is a premium procedure, there’s typically an out-of-pocket fee you’ll need to pay. This fee can vary based on a variety of factors, and you should be provided with a specific price during your consultation.

What are the complications associated with the LenSx® laser??

What are the complications associated with the LenSx® laser?

As with any procedure, it’s possible for complications to arise during this procedure. However, the process and system are designed and calibrated to offer higher levels of safety than traditional surgery options.

What are the advantages of the LenSx® laser vs. traditional cataract surgery?

What are the advantages of the LenSx® laser vs. traditional cataract surgery?

There are three primary advantages of using LenSx®:

  • The laser is more precise than a blade.
  • It’s less invasive, so it minimizes risk.
  • It offers more control to the surgeon due to its real-time imagery.

What should a patient expect after surgery?

What should a patient expect after surgery?

You should expect improved vision almost immediately after surgery. This improved vision will free you from glasses, contact lenses, or other corrective eyewear.

Furthermore, because the procedure replaces the clouded lens with a new, artificial one, the problem of blurry vision caused by cataracts is completely resolved. Any progressive vision loss caused by cataracts will also cease immediately upon completion of the procedure.

It should be noted that there may be some redness on the eye for around a week afterward. This redness is common in many patients and should not cause any pain.

How long does the LenSx® laser procedure take?

How long does the LenSx® laser procedure take?

The length of the procedure will depend on the nature of the patient’s cataracts. Complex cases may take longer, but the entire procedure usually lasts no longer than 10 minutes.


Lens Implants

Dr. Shelby performing Cataract SurgeryImproving your vision through cataract surgery can be a multi-step process that requires input from you and your eye doctor. Selecting the best intraocular lens, or IOL, to replace your natural lens is one crucial part of cataract treatment. With the right IOL, not only will you have a clearer vision, you can correct lifelong eye problems such as near- or farsightedness and enjoy close to 20/20 vision. In some cases, however, eyeglasses may be needed after surgery to fine-tune distance and/or reading vision.

Multifocal Lens Implants

Multifocal IOL lens implants enable patients to see near, far and intermediate distances after surgery. With a multifocal IOL, the central portion of the lens has a series of steps that are carved in a very precise arrangement with varying step heights and distances between steps. Each of the steps of this diffractive optic bends the incoming light differently; creating a near focus that is quite separated from the distance focus formed by the remaining refractive portion of the lens. This large separation between the two images allows for fewer artifacts or distortion in either of the images, providing good quality of vision at both distance and near.

Accommodating IOL

Accommodating lens implants have garnered a significant amount of positive reviews and testimonials from thousands of early patient adopters. These special lenses are designed to mimic or accommodate, just like the eyes natural lens would. The hinge design of the lens enables it to move inside the eye just like the original natural lens. The end result is that patients can see better at multiple distances. The only accommodating IOL available is known as the Crystalens® by Bausch & Lomb.

Toric IOL

Toric lens implants are a unique type of lens implant that is used to correct astigmatism. A Toric lens implant is NOT the only method of astigmatism correction, so consult a doctor about the current possibilities. The asymmetric steepening of the cornea or natural lens causes light to be focused unevenly, which is the main optical problem in astigmatism. To individuals with uncorrected astigmatism, images may look blurry or shadowed. Astigmatism can accompany any form of refractive error and is very common. Astigmatism can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, corneal relaxing incisions, laser vision correction, and special implant lenses. If a cataract patient has astigmatism and has aspirations to be glasses-free after surgery, the Toric lens implant is a good option. Toric lens implants are NOT a correction option for presbyopia. The AcrySof® Toric lens implant is a popular choice for this type of lens.

Premium lens implants can be very exciting for patients that want to have a new level of spectacle freedom after cataract surgery, or with clear lens extraction. Due to the complex nature of each person’s visual system, it is difficult for a patient to make an assessment of the right lens without consulting a medical ophthalmologist.

PanOptix Trifocal Lens

For years, patients who got cataract surgery had a successful outcome but still needed to wear glasses afterward. Traditional cataract surgery can fix long-distance vision or near vision, but not both. Now, there is a new option that can provide clear vision for near, intermediate, and far distances without needing to wear glasses or contacts.

Diagram with information about the PanOptix Trifocal Lens

What Is The New Technology?

The new technology is called the PanOptix trifocal intraocular lenses. The PanOptix trifocal lens is the first and only trifocal lens in the United States. This technology has already been used successfully in countries around the world. It is changing lives and redefining post-cataract surgery outcomes for patients.

More than 120 million people worldwide have benefitted from the trifocal intraocular lens. This lens has been available for several years before it received FDA approval in the U.S.

Why Should I Consider The PanOptix Trifocal Lens?

While cataract surgery removes a patient’s cloudy lens with a new, clear lens, it is limited to providing clear vision at one or more distances. This depends on which intraocular lens the patient chooses.

Cataract surgery patients are limited to a lens that will correct distance vision or near vision, but not both. While cataract surgery clears up blurry vision and side effects caused by cataracts, many patients find they still need glasses for near work or to see far distances.

The PanOptix trifocal lens reduces the need for glasses as the first lens of its kind to provide correction at all three distances – near, intermediate and far. For the first time, you can imagine what life would be like without glasses and save the money you spend on glasses and contact lenses.

How Does The PanOptix Trifocal Lens Work?

The PanOptix trifocal lens is an advanced technology lens used to focus images clearly to the retina. This provides clear vision post-cataract surgery. It serves as a trifocal lens and provides more benefits that a monofocal cannot provide. This includes better vision while reading, working on a computer, or driving. It has better image quality over other trifocal lenses.

Like other lenses, it is permanently placed in your eye. Unlike other lenses, the advanced technology maximizes the amount of light that reaches the retina. This gives patients crisp and clear vision at every distance.

It also works under various lighting conditions. Your eye physician can set the intermediate vision focal point with PanOptix to a distance suited to your lifestyle. When the lens is implanted in the eye during cataract surgery, the eye and brain adjust to looking through the correct part of the lens. This depends on where the person is focusing.

Unlike other multifocal lenses, the PanOptix trifocal lens delivers excellent contrast sensitivity. In the trifocal lens design, 50% of light energy goes to distance vision, 25% goes to intermediate vision, and 25% to near vision.

The PanOptix trifocal lens works best for patients who want to be able see with ease. This is the case whether they are doing close work like reading, intermediate work, such as typing on a computer; or seeing far away, such as playing golf.

How Do I Know If The PanOptix Trifocal Lens Is Right For Me?

If you are a candidate for cataract surgery, you can consider choosing a PanOptix trifocal lens. It’s best to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor who has experience with multifocal intraocular lenses to determine if it is right for you.

At Willis Knighton Eye Institute, whether you’re in Shreveport, Coushatta, or Natchitoches, you can discuss your vision goals with an experienced eye physician. Your doctor will discuss all your cataract surgery options with you.

Willis Knighton Eye Institute is the first eye care practice in Louisiana to offer the PanOptix trifocal lens to patients.

Some patients opt for a monofocal intraocular lens, which allows clear vision at one distance – either near or far. Those patients continue to wear glasses after cataract surgery.

Another option is that one eye receives an intraocular lens for distance and the other for close vision. With this option, a patient must use one eye at a time for each distance. This will reduce the need for some glasses but may affect depth perception.

Deciding on the correct intraocular lens is an important decision. You should take into account your vision goals, lifestyle, and other health issues.

Exploring your options is best-done face-to-face with an experienced eye physician. We at the Willis Knighton Eye Institute are one of the few practices that offer trifocal lenses to our cataract patients.

Does The PanOptix Trifocal Lens Have Risks?

In some instances, patients may still need glasses for intricate, detailed, or close work. Be sure to discuss that possibility during your consultation with your eye doctor.

During clinical trials with the trifocal lens, some patients reported temporarily experiencing glare, including halos around lights. This was most noticeable at night and decreased or became less noticeable over time.

Once your first eye is implanted with a PanOptix Trifocal lens, your vision may not be completely clear until you have the lens put in your second eye. After treating the second eye, patients reported having good vision at near, intermediate and far distances. This happened within a few days of surgery.

Some people take a little longer to adapt to their new vision than others, so stay in touch with your eye doctor after cataract surgery. On rare occasions, your eye surgeon may recommend a minor “touch up” procedure to refine your vision.

Once your post-cataract surgery vision has settled, you can enjoy routine activities without the need for glasses. Because the PanOptix trifocal intraocular lens is a premium lens, it may not be covered by your insurance plan or Medicare. Our billing and insurance office is available to discuss different options for you.

Wondering if the PanOptix trifocal lens may be right for you? Schedule a cataract screening at Willis Knighton Eye Institute in Shreveport, LA today!


ORA System™ Technology

ORA System™ has been helping doctors deliver the best possible outcomes to their laser cataract surgery patients.  The ORA system offers many benefits to both doctors and patients, such as:

  • Helping your surgeon achieve better results and provide you an improved quality of vision
  • Giving your surgeon an added level of confirmation for an optimal outcome
  • And if you have astigmatism, the ORA System™ may improve the accuracy of your correction to help reduce the need to wear eyeglasses after surgeryORA System Example

ORA System™ is a big advancement in eye lens surgery, allowing doctors to make the best choices during surgery as to what will benefit your eyesight the most. The ORA system is especially helpful in astigmatic patients. Because ORA uses Wavefront technology to analyze imperfections in the eye and what is causing a refractive error, your surgeon knows exactly what needs to be corrected. Also, ORA can tell during surgery whether or not the eye is focused, and if it is not, the ORA System helps the surgeon focus the eye.