Cataracts are the clouding of the eye’s lens. In order for our vision to be clear, the lens, through which light travels to the retina, must also be clear. Initially, as cataracts begin to develop, you may not notice any change in your vision. But as it progresses, your vision will become blurry or cloudy, as though looking through a dirty window, and colors won’t be as bright as they once were.
Cataracts are one of the most common causes of vision loss. The most effective way to treat cataracts is with surgery, during which the cloudy lens is removed and a clear artificial lens, known as an intraocular lens, is implanted in its place.
New advances in cataract treatment have made headlines recently because they offer a higher level of safety and result in a greater range of vision. Here is a quick rundown of three new treatments for cataracts.
Astigmatism is a condition in which the cornea isn’t perfectly round, but rather shaped like a spoon. This dramatically affects both near and distant vision. Astigmatic lens implants for cataracts compensate for the astigmatism, reducing the need for glasses to correct it.
As we age, our eyes naturally lose the ability to focus optimally, which is why once we hit middle age, we need reading glasses. The Crystalens Implant restores some of that focus to enable us to see more clearly at a distance and close-up, decreasing the need for bifocals or reading glasses.
Femptosecond Laser Cataract Surgery
This treatment involves a highly accurate laser that is far more precise than the manual technique of cutting and removing the lens. The laser promises more reliable calculations for implant power, increased precision, and a higher level of safety. The laser can also treat an astigmatism, precluding the need for an astigmatic implant.
Keep in mind that since these are new advances, insurance doesn’t always cover them. You may need to pay more out-of-pocket expenses for treatment, but depending on the state of your vision, doing so may be well worth the cost.