Chances are that sometime after you reach the age of 50, you will have begun developing cataracts. A cataract can cause vision loss due to a clouding of the lens within the eye. This problem cannot be fixed with contact lenses or glasses. One of the best ways to treat this issue is by undergoing laser cataract surgery at our office in Wichita.
Cataracts and Aging
Cataracts are usually linked to the aging process. Over two-thirds of Americans over the age of 80 have cataracts, according to the National Eye Institute.
Since Americans are living increasingly longer, the number of cataract cases is expected to increase significantly in coming years. The good news is that laser cataract surgery is extremely common and safe. Over 3 million of these surgeries are performed annually, with the vast majority leading to satisfying outcomes.
Traditional Cataract Surgery
When you have cataract surgery, the goal is to replace your cloudy lens with an artificial one to restore the clarity of your vision. The procedure is normally an outpatient one and does not necessitate an overnight stay. Once each part of the cloudy lens is taken out, Dr. Patel inserts a clear lens in its place, which is held securely behind the iris.
Laser Cataract Surgery
In recent years, lasers similar to those used in the creation of corneal flaps in LASIK procedures became FDA-approved in performing cataract surgery. They were approved for creating corneal incisions that grant surgical access to the lens and the removal of the lens anterior capsule. The FDA also approved the lasers for fragmenting cataracts, which helps in their removal and forming corneal incisions to minimize astigmatism.
How Does Laser Surgery Compare to Traditional Surgery?
Although conventional cataract surgery is performed routinely and has a good safety record in the hands of a skilled professional like Dr. Patel, it still necessitates using a hand-held blade for multiple incisions. During a conventional cataract surgery, corneal incisions are made with hand-held instruments. An opening is created manually.
In laser cataract surgery, the laser is used to form a circular opening to access and remove the cataract. Studies have found that using a laser makes the opening 10 times more precise than when performed manually. The laser is used to soften and break up the cataract, which makes its removal much easier and gentle than in traditional cataract surgery.