Cataracts / Visian Implantable Collamer Lens / Refractive Lens Exchanges
Icon is the ONLY Clinic Offering VICTUS Laser Assisted Cataract Surgery
If you're having trouble reading, seeing in the distance, or noticing difficulty with night vision, it may be due to cataracts. Cataracts are overwhelmingly common and start to develop as early as 50 years of age. In fact, eventually everyone will develop cataracts, that is, if you live long enough!Schedule your cataract appointment now
ICON was the first eye care clinic in Colorado with the Victus laser. The Victus allows the surgeon to perform laser assisted cataract surgery!
What causes cataracts?
Cataracts can be caused by trauma, excessive exposure to ultraviolet light; but normally develop due to natural changes in the lens of the eye that over time cause the lens to become cloudy and lose its clarity. When the lens is no longer clear, and vision is disrupted, the lens is said to have developed a cataract.
A cataract is one of the most common causes of vision loss among the elderly, but unlike other conditions it can be corrected in almost all cases. While the elderly are more prone to developing cataracts, it can also affect young adults and children. Many people do not realize that they have a cataract in the early stages. There is a gradual clouding of the vision, blurring or dimming of sight. The condition worsens slowly over months and years but cataract surgery can correct the problem.Common causes of cataracts
- Exposure to ultraviolet light
- Natural changes in the eye due to aging
How are cataracts fixed?
Cataracts can be fixed comfortably, quickly, and effectively with a surgery using phacoemulsification. In this surgery, the lens is broken into pieces, removed, and an artificial lens is put back in its place. Typically, vision is restored in days. While all surgeries have risks, success rate is extremely high. Surgery is typically very comfortable, with minimal to no discomfort at all.
Almost everyone having cataract surgery will receive a lens implant to replace the cataract. There are different choices for which type of artificial lenses to implant during cataract surgery, including the following specialized implants: Restor, Rezoom, Crystalens.
What to do if you think you have a cataract(s)?Here are the first steps to taking care of your cataracts
- Setup an appointment at ICON LASIK.
- If you have a cataract your eye doctor will present you with surgical options to fix the cataract and to restore your vision.
How to prevent cataracts
There are no studies that have conclusively proven that cataracts can be entirely prevented. One of the main risk factors for the development of cataracts is advancing age, which of course there is nothing that any of us can about getting older. For this reason the elderly are advised to undergo routine screening for cataracts.
However, there are a host of other modifiable risk factors that are now known to be potential culprits. Therefore, several lifestyle measures can make a difference in delaying the onset of cataracts and possibly slowing its progression. This includes:
- Managing any existing health problems as directed by a physician. Diabetes in particular is known to increase the risk of cataracts.
- Stopping cigarette smoking and reducing alcohol intake as these two lifestyle habits have been linked to cataract formation.
- Protecting the eyes from sunlight exposure as UVB (ultraviolet B) light has been shown to contribute towards cataracts.
- Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle overall by exercising regularly, managing weight problems and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Regular eye examinations can detect cataracts in the early stages even before the symptoms of the condition become evident to a person. Early diagnosis can slow the progression of the condition if the proper treatment is instituted at the outset.
The Cost of Cataract Surgery is $2650 - $4500 per eye
Cataract surgery has become significantly more affordable in recent years. It is covered by health insurance only once the condition reaches a point that it is significantly affecting vision and hampering daily life. The cost of cataract surgery can vary from $2,650 per eye for standard lens replacement to approximately $4,500 per eye for more high tech options.
Statins and cataracts
A recent study regarding statins and cataracts has raised concern about the use of these drugs. It was found that a statin user has a slightly higher risk of developing cataracts. Statins are cholesterol-lowering drugs that are an important part of preventing heart attacks and strokes. These drugs should never be stopped in an attempt to prevent a cataract. The risk is minimal and while a cataract can be effectively treated, a heart attack or stroke can end up with fatal consequences if it is not properly managed. Statins can also lower energy levels. Ubiquinol has been found to help counter the loss of energy. Ubiquinol.org is a good resource for patients on taking statins and the potential side effects and how to minimize those side effects.
Glasses cannot be used to treat cataracts
Cataracts can only be treated with surgery to replace the lens of the eye. In the early stages, many cataract sufferers may find that they need frequent changes to their regular glasses prescription. Eye glasses will neither treat nor prevent the condition in long term but sunglasses may help in the prevention of cataracts to some degree. With certain cataract surgeries, eye glasses may be needed to correct visual disturbances that develop afterwards. However, this largely depends on the type of lens used in the cataract surgery.
LASIK and cataracts
LASIK is a commonly performed eye procedure to correct common visual disturbances like nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. It is an entirely different procedure from cataract surgery, but there are several myths and misconceptions regarding LASIK and cataracts. Firstly, LASIK does not cause cataracts. Furthermore, LASIK cannot be used to treat cataracts. A person who has undergone cataract surgery can have LASIK to correct refractive errors of the eye. However, LASIK should be delayed if the cataracts are the primary reason for vision problems.
Visian Implantable Collamer Lens
ICL lenses are also used for some individuals that are not candidates for traditional lasik surgery. For those who cannot have Laser vision correction, or those with very high corrections (high myopia), the implantable collamer lens by Visian may be a wonderful option to reduce or eliminate your dependence on glasses/contacts. This thin lens can gently be slipped inside the eye though a small incision. Once positioned, it rests behind the iris and in front of the natural lens of the eye. As these lenses are tailored to your correction, even for extreme nearsightedness, uncorrected vision is typically improved in dramatic fashion. Further, implantable lenses have a fundamental advantage over laser correction; they can be removed from the eye if needed. Also the cornea is minimally affected, with no corneal tissue removed or ablated. Typically surgery is painless, and recovery is exceedingly fast.
Refractive Lens Exchange
For some individuals refractive lens exchange, also know as a clear lens replacement, refractive lensectomy, or clear lens extraction, may be a better option than Lasik or PRK. A refractive lens exchange is essentially the same procedure as a cataract surgery but performed to eliminate or reduce a person’s need for contact lenses or glasses. Stop in for a consult to learn more information regarding this procedure.
Newest Intraocular Lens Technology
ICON offers the latest options in lens technology including the cutting-edge Restor, Rezoom, and Crystalens. Each of these newer designed lenses were produced to help maximize your independence from glasses after cataract surgery, taking it a step further from the typical 'monofocal' lens implants of yesterday. There are pros and cons to each lens choice, and you should have a detailed discussion with your doctor regarding candidacy for cataract surgery and which lens/lenses would be ideal for your particular visual needs.
Setup a Cataract or Eye Care Appointment Today
- Call 720-524-1001 for more information on IOL or other lens surgery.
- You can book your cataract appointment online using our online scheduling tool.
- Related research:
- Learn more about the differences between pterygiums and cataracts