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Cataract Surgery

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What Is a Cataract?

A cataract is a medical condition in which the normally clear lens of the eye becomes cloudy or opaque. This lens focuses light onto the back of the retina so that images can appear clear and normal. The clouding that takes place with a cataract distorts these images, and as a result, our vision suffers.

Cataracts are a normal part of the aging process, affecting about 73 percent of the senior population each year, resulting in millions of cataract surgeries performed.

TriCounty Eye Institute offers cataract surgery to residents of Corona, Riverside, the Inland Empire, and Orange County.

Cataract Treatment

At TriCounty Eye Institute, Dr. Mark Schneider uses the most advanced techniques available for treating cataracts and offers the latest in lens replacement options.

The types of cataract treatment vary according to each patient, but the most common include the following:

  • Phacoemulsification
  • Laser Cataract Surgery

Lens options also vary according to the patient’s condition, but can include the following:

  • ReSTOR® IOL Lens
  • ReZoom® Multifocal Lens
  • Crystalens® Lens
  • Visian™ ICL Lens
Chart Illustrating the Cataract Surgery Process

Cataract Surgery and Treatment

TriCounty Eye Institute is known for bringing advanced microsurgical techniques and lens implant technology to area residents. The word cataract comes from the Greek word for waterfall. A cataract is the natural clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye resulting in a gradual deterioration of vision. Cataracts affect over 73 percent of seniors age 65 and older in the United States today, and millions of cataract procedures are successfully performed annually.

A cataract blocks the passage of light coming into the eye that is needed to see clearly. They form slowly over time and can cause a painless, gradual decline in vision. Some cataracts stay small and hardly affect vision at all, but when the cataract becomes cloudier it may be time to remove it surgically.

The most common complaint we hear from cataract patients is that reading and driving have become difficult. Sensitivity to light, glare and halos around lights, colors that are faded or fuzzy looking, frequent changes in eye glass prescriptions, and double vision are all common symptoms of cataracts. A recent study in the national medical journal Archives of Ophthalmology found that older drivers with cataracts, even in only one eye, were at increased risk for car accidents. The study of 274 older drivers, who thought they had good vision, found they were six times more likely to be involved in an accident.

Cataracts develop for a variety of reasons, but the most common is that as we age the lens of our eye hardens and begins to yellow. The development of a cataract can also be due to heredity, trauma to the eye, diabetes, the long-term use of oral steroids, smoking, and glaucoma. Some scientist even think cataracts are caused by exposure to ultraviolet light.

Cataracts are one of the most treatable causes of vision loss. Currently, there are no medications, eye drops, exercises, or lasers that can treat cataracts. To achieve clear vision, the cataract must be removed surgically. Cataract surgery is one of the most common and successful procedures performed in the U.S. today, …restoring clear vision in 96% of cases.

Modern-day cataract surgery remains one of the safest and most common surgical procedures performed today. Patients at TriCounty Eye Institute enjoy the additional benefit of having their cataract procedure performed in the comfort, safety, and convenience of our Medicare-Approved Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC). This outpatient method of surgery also provides the most cost-effective cataract procedure for both patients and the insurance industry alike.

Common Symptoms

The following are common symptoms of cataracts:

  • Poor reading vision
  • Difficulty driving at night
  • Halos and glare around lights
  • Colors appear dull
  • Double vision
  • Frequent changes in eye glasses

Whether or not you have a cataract is determined by Dr. Schneider during a thorough comprehensive eye examination. Once you have been diagnosed with cataracts, Dr. Schneider will recommend one of several options including surgery or a change in your eye glass prescription along with frequent monitoring of changes in your vision. Typically, when decreased vision affects everyday activities or hobbies, the cataract should be treated. The procedure is typically covered by most major medical plans and Medicare.

Closeup of a Cataract in an Eye

Cataract Surgery at TriCounty Eye Institute

For over twenty years, Dr. Mark Schneider and his experienced team of vision experts have been performing advanced treatment for the removal of cataracts. Dr. Schneider was one of first surgeons in the TriCounty area to perform the clear cornea, no-stitch cataract procedure. This advanced surgical technique offers our patients a safe, comfortable procedure with a rapid recovery of vision so you can quickly see the important things in life!

How Are Cataracts Treated?

Advanced state-of-the-art surgical techniques and artificial lenses contribute significantly to restoring natural vision. The cataract procedure uses a small incision that is less than 3 millimeters in length in the side of the cornea. An ultrasonic probe (phacoemulsifier) is then used to dissolve and gently remove the cataract. An artificial intraocular lens is inserted through the tiny incision which seals itself naturally. This advanced technique eliminates the need for stitches. The small incision technique allows for rapid healing and a quick recovery of vision. Most patients return to their normal routines within a day or two.


Lifestyle Lenses

Today’s single vision and multi-focal artificial lenses allow Dr. Schneider to replace the natural lens of your eye, which has become cloudy due to cataracts, with the best choice to optimize your vision. These lenses can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism reducing your dependency on reading glasses and bifocals, often for the very first time.

Correcting Distance Vision with a Monofocal IOL

A monofocal IOL, or single focus lens, is designed to provide clear distance vision. This means you will be able to see objects that are far away. However, you will need glasses for reading and any type of close, detailed work following surgery. Millions of monofocal IOLs have been successfully implanted providing patients with clear distance vision.

Correcting Distance and Near Vision with a Multifocal IOL

Previous lens replacement technologies correct distance vision leaving patients dependent upon reading glasses, or bifocals, after cataract surgery. Recent advances now make it possible for you to read magazines, newspapers, and computer screens while still clearly seeing objects at a distance, without depending on glasses. Studies support patients who chose the advanced lifestyle lens options are spectacle free for all activities over 80% of the time. In addition, for the clear lens refractive surgery patients over the age of 50 (presbyopic patients without cataracts), multifocal lenses can restore the lost near point of focus.

What Can I Expect on the Day of Surgery?

For the convenience of his patients, Dr. Schneider performs cataract surgery on site in the Medicare approved, ambulatory Corona Outpatient Surgicenter. You will need to bring someone with you to stay during your procedure and to drive you home. Once you have arrived at the center, you will be greeted by one of our staff who will review your paperwork and your post-operative care instructions and will escort you to the surgery center. Following your procedure, a shield will be placed over your eye for protection and after a short recovery period you will be able to return home.

Common Questions About Cataracts

Dr. Schneider Answers Common Questions About Cataracts

We are able to determine if you have a cataract during your comprehensive eye health examination. Cataracts are easily detected, and you and your doctor will decide together if your vision can be improved through a change in your eye wear prescription or whether it is time to consider surgery. Our team of cataract experts will perform several tests to determine how much your vision has been affected by a cataract. But typically, when decreased vision affects your everyday activities or hobbies, a cataract should be treated.

Currently there is no medical treatment to reverse or prevent the development of cataracts. Once they form, the only one way to achieve clear vision again is through cataract surgery.

Cataract surgery is not painful. You may experience mild light sensitivity for a few days following your procedure. A special pair of sunglasses will be given to you in your post-operative kit. Most patients find wearing these sunglasses takes care of this problem.

Insurance Coverage

TriCounty Eye Institute is a participating Medicare provider and accepts most major insurance plans. Typically, Medicare will cover most fees associated with cataract surgery with little out-of-pocket expense for the single focus lens. Patients are responsible for any co-payments and deductibles that may apply and the additional cost of the lifestyle lens if this lens type is selected.

The insurance specialists in our office will be happy to assist you with any questions you may have and will provide you with a detailed review of your plan coverage and any out-of-pocket costs.

TriCounty Eye Institute offers comprehensive eye care and skin care to residents of Corona, CA, Riverside, CA, the Inland Empire, and Orange County. Our family of eye care and cosmetic specialists is specially trained and qualified to help you enjoy a lifetime of clear vision and skin with breakthroughs in cataract surgery, the latest in laser vision correction procedures, and the most advanced technology in skin care.

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