Cataracts


The cataract is a cloudiness of the natural lens of the eye, which helps to focus the light as it enters the eye. You can think of the eye like a miniature camera. There’s a focusing system in the front part of the eye, which consists primarily of the cornea and the natural lens. This image is then focused onto the “photographic film” at the back of the eye, which is called the retina.

 

The natural lens can become cloudy for various reasons. This can happen very early in life and may even occur in childhood. This is the most common cause of the normal metabolic changes that occur as we get older. It is important however, to remember that a patient may develop a cataract at any age. Aside from aging, other causes of cataracts include injuries, medications, drugs, viruses and other types of metabolic problems.

 
     

The changes that occur with cataract may occur so slowly that many patients may not even be aware that their vision is decreasing. However, the symptoms that most patients will experience will include difficulty with nighttime vision, problems with reading, and an overall decrease in the quality of their vision. More unusual symptoms may include double-vision, decreased color perception, problems with depth perception, and difficulty judging distances.

 

 

At OptiVue, we use the most advanced techniques possible in order to correct vision for patients who have cataracts. OptiVue has been a national leader in providing state of the art cataract care. Under the leadership of Dr. William Martin, OptiVue and its predecessor companies have participated in a number of practice “firsts”:
 


OptiVue was the first practice in Northwest Ohio to introduce the advanced cataract concept of phacoemulsification.


OptiVue was the first to introduce the use of foldable intraocular lenses in cataract surgery.

OptiVue was the first to do YAG lasers for the treatment of opacification of the posterior capsule.


OptiVue introduced small incision cataract surgery to Northwest Ohio and was one of the first practices in the country.


OptiVue introduced LASIK to Northwest Ohio and was one of the first practices in the country to do PRK.


OptiVue was the first to do presbyopic lens procedures during the 1980’s.

More recently, OptiVue was the first to introduce the concept of bioptics high-definition refractive lens exchange, which allows patients with or without cataracts to get rid of glasses for both distance and near.

 
Dr. William Martin, M.D., Medical Director and Chief Surgeon, is a sought after speaker and is on the Speaker’s Bureau of several national ophthalmic companies. In addition, he has taught extensively, both in the United States and in other countries.


Yags Capsulotomy

Patients will often ask whether or not cataracts can grow back. The answer is that they can’t. Once the cataract is gone, it’s gone forever. However, the area behind where the cataract was, called the capsule, may become cloudy in about 20% of patients. In the past, some doctors called this a “secondary cataract”. Today we realize that this is a deceptive and confusing term, since the cataract cannot come back.

At one time, treatment for opacification of the posterior capsule - the contemporary term (sometimes also called posterior capsule opacification) required a hospital stay of 2 days. Surgery for the capsule opacification often was more complex and dangerous than the cataract surgery itself.

During the 1980’s, OptiVue was one of 10 centers in the nation that pioneered the use of yag capsulotomy. The yag laser uses an invisible wavelength of light to open a clear area in the cloudy capsule without creating an incision on the surface of the eye. The term “yag” stands for the crystal that is the center of this remarkable laser. This crystal is composed of a combination of yttrium, aluminum and garnet.

This remarkable procedure takes less than one minute to perform in most cases. However, the patients are asked to remain for 30-60 minutes following the treatment in order to check vision and pressure. This procedure is very safe and so simple that most patients may drive in for their appointment and drive home immediately afterward, since no surgery is involved.

It is important to remember that early treatment for capsule opacification is generally better than waiting. Any patient that shows any decrease in visual acuity, especially at night time or for reading, should treat it; since the earlier the treatment is done, the more successful it is. Early treatment for these patients is especially important in the new relux high definition procedures, which we are performing.

 
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