Cataract Treatment & Surgery
Dr. Sam Cohlmia, M.D. is a Wichita ophthalmologist & eye surgeon specializing in the treatment of cataracts through cataract surgery.
What Causes Cataracts?
A cataract is an opaque and cloudy area within the natural lens of the eye that develops due to many factors. The main reason cataracts form is due to the normal aging process. Other factors that influence the formation of cataracts include certain medications (steroids, chemotherapeutic medicines), diabetes, and trauma. Some individuals are born with congenital cataracts. The symptoms include gradually decreasing vision and glare or haloes from bright light, especially upon night driving or on sunny days.
One theory of cataract formation that’s gaining favor with eye doctors, ophthalmologists, and eye surgeons is that many cataracts are caused by oxidative changes in the human lens. This is supported by nutrition studies that show fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants may help prevent certain types of cataracts (see below).
What are the Symptoms of Cataracts?
Most cataracts start out small, and you may not see a change in your vision. Over time, you’ll notice your vision is starting to become blurry. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Cohlmia as soon as you notice your eyesight starting to worsen. Cataracts do not cause any pain. It will effect the light going into your eye, and the sun, headlights, and other lights may seem too bright or glaring. Colors may become less vivid as well.
Getting Tested for Cataracts
Dr. Cohlmia, your eye doctor, will review your medical history, discuss your cataract symptoms, and perform an eye exam and cataract test. A standard visual acuity test using a letter chart will see if you’re experiencing vision loss due to a cataract. Dr. Cohlmia will also check your cornea, iris, and lens to see the cataract if there’s one present. Your eye doctor may also dilate your eyes and perform a retinal exam to further test for cataracts.
Cataract Treatment & Cataract Surgery in Wichita
The treatment of choice is cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is a very quick and easy 5-minute surgery that entails removing the natural cloudy lens of the eye and replacing it with a synthetic plastic lens implant (IOL), that will never have to be changed. Cataracts do not recur if cataract surgery has been performed correctly. Dr. Cohlmia’s cataract surgery is 99% successful with minimal complications.
Intraocular Lens Implants for Cataract Surgery
The ReSTOR multifocal intraocular lens (IOL) is a revolutionary lens implant which can help correct distance, intermediate, as well as near vision. This lens can be implanted in patients who will undergo either cataract surgery or refractive surgery. In certain larger markets, this technique has even surpassed the use of LASIK and the accommodating IOL’s as a means to surgically correct the vision. At least 80-90% of the ReSTOR IOL patients will be spectacle-free after surgery, with the result including a full range of quality vision from near to distance. This new revolutionary lens implant has been used at the Cohlmia Eye Center since its FDA approval on cataract surgery patients as well as RLE (refractive lens exchange) patients.
The AcrySof® Natural intraocular lens implant is an acrylic lens, manufactured by Alcon, which received FDA approval for surgical use in September of 2003. This intraocular lens, as opposed to all the others, not only blocks ultraviolet light from damaging the retina, but more importantly, blocks blue light as well. Blue light has been shown to cause progressive damage to the retina and further macular degeneration. The AcrySof® Natural lens, however, has been shown to slow down that degeneration. Unfortunately, blue light is not only a product of sunlight, but also of ambient home and/or office lighting.
This lens is implanted at the same time the natural lens of the eye is removed, as in cataract surgery, for instance. It is very safe to implant and causes no distortion of color. In fact, it enhances contrast sensitivity and decreases glare and halos at night. This intraocular lens is used exclusively at the Cohlmia Eye Center.
What Does Post-Cataract Laser Eye Surgery Entail?
The posterior capsule of the lens, which supports the lens implant, sometimes turns cloudy (after cataract) several months or years after the original cataract operation. If this blurs your vision, a clear opening can be made painlessly in the center of the membrane with a laser. This indeed is a procedure in which the patient sits in the chair and the laser, without making any incision quickly clears the vision.