Cataracts are among the most common age-related eye conditions; it is estimated that over 60% of Americans will develop a cataract at some point during their lifetimes. The exact triggers for cataracts are not fully understood, although it is generally agreed that ultraviolet light and exposure to cigarette smoke can be factors. This condition is characterized by the lens of the eye becoming cloudy, impairing vision to varying degrees. Some symptoms include:
- Blurred or distorted vision
- Sensitivity to light, especially bright lights from oncoming car headlights
- Need to get closer to see distant objects, such as road signs
- Loss of depth perception
- A change in the color of the pupil to a milky white or yellow
Fortunately, cataracts are highly treatable. In the early stages, glasses and contacts will help the problem. As the cataract progresses, however, vision quality will usually decrease to the point where surgery is the best option. Dr. Ernest, in keeping up with the most advanced procedures, is an expert in intraocular lens implant surgery. This procedure is one of the least invasive cataract surgeries available. Using ultrasound, the cloudy lens is disintegrated and removed. Then, through a very small incision, a new lens is implanted. Due to the careful construction of the incision, it does not require sutures and will heal very quickly on its own. Most patients can resume their normal schedule the day after undergoing intraocular lens implant surgery.
No-Stitch Cataract Removal
Dr. Paul Ernest is one of the originators of the no-stitch technique for cataract surgery. In use since February 1990, Dr. Ernest believes that this type of cataract surgery is the safest and most efficient technique available and offers several benefits over conventional surgery:
- Eliminates need for stitches by using the eye’s internal pressure to keep the incision tightly closed
- Eye’s shape is not distorted at all, as with older techniques
- Patient is able to return to their normal activities the day after surgery, including bending, lifting, housework, and golfing
- Patient can receive a new prescription for eyewear only 14 days after surgery
Since cataract surgery is such a common procedure, there are very few complications reported. The most likely complication is a rupturing of the capsule around the lens during the procedure. This situation does not always result in a loss of vision, and it should be emphasized that rupture is very rare. In fact, the usual rate of this complication for cataract surgery is about 1 in 100; Dr. Ernest is proud of a complication rate that is only 1 in every 1,000-2,000 cases. He is also the author of a published article that illustrates methods for decreasing the chance of this complication.
Laser Cataract Surgery
Until now, standard cataract procedures and custom cataract surgeries were performed without the precision of lasers. With the introduction of the ﬁrst FDA approved custom cataract laser, Dr. Ernest can now create incisions and potentially reduce astigmatism up to 10 xs more precise than manual techniques for some portions of the cataract surgical procedure. In Michigan, this type of laser precision combined with Dr. Ernest experience is available at Specialty Eye Institute. This laser is a revolutionary step in cataract surgery, providing better use of current lifestyle lens options in correcting astigmatism, offering computer controlled precision as it automates some of the most challenging steps of traditional refractive cataract surgery.
Dr. Paul Ernest is pleased to offer his patients no-stitch cataract surgery and custom refractive cataract laser surgery. To learn more about cataracts and to discuss the best surgery options for your cataract treatment, please contact Dr. Ernest’s office today.