Cataracts are a natural clouding of the lens of the eye, resulting in blurred vision. A common condition, occurring in 91% of Americans aged 75 and over, cataracts can be treated with an innovative laser surgery or ultrasound-based extraction performed at Northeastern Eye Institute’s state-of-the-art Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) by one of our experienced, board-certified eye surgeons. Cataract surgery is a quick procedure that restores your vision and can even give you 20/20 eyesight.
If you have cataracts or are experiencing changes in your vision, please contact our eye doctors in Northeastern Pennsylvania at (800) 844-6315 to schedule your eye exam today. The Northeastern Eye Institutes have 15 locations including a surgical center in Scranton for cataract surgery, retina problems, LASIK and other vision correction procedures.
Our ophthalmologists realize you have many questions regarding cataracts and your available options. Some of the information and products we feel you should be aware of include:
- How Cataract Surgery Works
- Custom Laser Cataract Surgery
- Intraocular Lens Implants (IOL)
- Crystalens IOL
- ReSTOR® Multifocal Lens Implant
- Tecnis IOL
- Toric IOL Options for Astigmatism
- Examples of Poor Vision
- What to Expect from our Cataract Surgical Services
How Cataract Surgery Works
Also known as phaco-emulsification, cataract extraction from Northeastern Eye Institute is an outpatient procedure that requires no stitches and allows most patients to return home the same day as surgery. Cataract surgery offered at our ambulatory surgical center (ASC) is very successful in restoring vision and is among one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures in the United States. Nearly two million cataract surgeries are performed each year, with over 90% of patients regaining excellent vision.
During the cataract procedure, our board-certified ophthalmologists will remove your clouded lens and, in most cases, replace it with a clear, artificial intraocular lens known as an IOL. An IOL is generally covered by your insurance.
Each year, newer and more advanced IOLs are being developed to make the procedure even less complicated than it is now and to offer even better results for patients. As the leading provider of cataract extraction surgery in the Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton and the northeastern Pennsylvania region, Northeastern Eye Institute uses premier IOLs including the Toric lens, Tecnis, reSTOR®, and Crystalens.
Advanced or premium lens implants or multifocal IOLs can eliminate or greatly reduce the need for contacts or glasses for distance and near vision including reading ability for post-cataract patients. However, such premium lenses are not covered by insurance.
Custom Laser Cataract Surgery
No two people have eyes that are exactly alike. Your eyes have a unique size, depth, and curvature that differentiate them from everyone else’s. It is important to customize your cataract surgery procedure to ensure that the distinctive properties of your eyes are considered.
A computerized laser is used to make highly precise incisions in your eye. The use of a laser significantly increases the accuracy of these incisions compared with blade-created incisions used in traditional cataract surgery techniques. As a result, our ophthalmologists are able to carefully measure and map out the unique properties of your eyes prior to your surgery, ensuring a truly customized procedure.
The primary benefit of choosing custom laser cataract surgery is increased precision and improved surgical results, which is achieved by utilizing:
- High-resolution 3D imaging technology to map your eye during the planning phase of your procedure.
- Image-guided surgical planning software that provides our ophthalmologists with the most accurate way to program the shape, size, and location of your incisions.
- Touch-screen graphic user interface which allows our cataract surgeons to customize every aspect of your procedure.
Other benefits of custom laser cataract surgery include:
- Increased predictability of visual outcomes
- Reduction in inflammation during surgery
- Improved safety
- Increased comfort
If your cataracts have advanced to the point where your vision has been significantly impacted, then it may be time to consider cataract surgery.
Intraocular Lens Implants (IOLs)
Traditional lens implants during cataract surgery typically provided good distance vision. However, most patients will still need reading glasses following surgery, and others may need glasses for astigmatism or distance vision. Such lens implants are generally covered by insurance. Modern lens implants open the possibility of correcting astigmatism as well as near vision, thereby greatly reducing or potentially eliminating the need for glasses following cataract surgery.
Our board-certified eye surgeons at Northeastern Eye Institute choose from a variety of advanced lens implants depending upon the prescription and ocular condition of the patient. Also known as premium lens implants, the advanced IOLs preferred by our ophthalmologist include:
- ReSTOR® Multifocal Lens
- Tecnis Multifocal Lens
- Toric Lens for Astigmatism
The choice of lens is dependent upon the patient’s prescription and his or her vision goals and needs.
There are many benefits to an advanced lens implant:
- Better range of vision: Following cataract surgery, most patients implanted with a premium lens will have excellent near and distance vision, plus good intermediate vision without reading glasses or bifocals. Many patients have their vision improved to the point that they would be able to pass the visual acuity portion of the driver's license exam in most states without corrective eyewear.
- The ability to read quickly and easily: Depending upon the lens, patients experience a vast improvement in reading and near vision capabilities, enabling them to read newspapers, labels, and other close-up objects.
- Better vision for various lighting situations: An advanced, premium lens delivers quality vision for various lighting situations, similar to the way the eye naturally adjusts to a change in brightness. In brightly lit conditions, the central diffractive portion of the lens sends light waves simultaneously to both near and distant focal points. In dimly lit conditions, the surrounding refractive area uses greater energy for distance vision.
The ability to quickly change focus between distances is called “accommodation.” Crystalens, by Bausch + Lomb, is currently one of the only FDA-approved intraocular lenses (IOL) that uses the accommodation method, enabling sharper vision at multiple distances for people who have undergone cataract surgery. When placed in the eye, the same ciliary muscles that previously controlled the natural lens' shape can create accommodation in the Crystalens. The muscles push it forward for near vision and pull back a little for distance vision.
A Crystalens is ideal because, beginning at around middle-age, most people lose the ability to see at multiple distances due to the occurrence of presbyopia, an age-related condition that necessitates the use of reading glasses. This condition develops when the eye's natural lens-focusing system grows more rigid and can no longer move or change shape sufficiently enough to enable sight at all distances.
If you receive a standard IOL during your procedure instead of one that corrects or minimizes presbyopia, you may have great distance vision but likely would need reading glasses following cataract surgery.
In June of 2008, the FDA approved the "HD" or high-definition version of Crystalens. This version of Crystalens incorporates an improved optic design enabling better near vision, without hampering distance or intermediate vision. According to Bausch + Lomb, the Crystalens HD is less likely to cause side effects of glare or halos at night. In the U.S., clinical studies involving 125 patients implanted with the Crystalens HD, 80% achieved 20/20 or better near vision quality.
In early 2010, Bausch + Lomb introduced another version of the IOL — the Crystalens Aspheric Optic (AO). This lens has an elongated shape designed to improve contrast sensitivity and reduce higher order aberrations that can distort vision.
ReSTOR® Multifocal Lens Implants
The innovative AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL by Alcon, popularly known as the ReSTOR® Lens, now provides cataract surgery patients with good or improved vision at near, far, and all distances in between—to a degree not previously possible using conventional or standard IOLs.
The ReSTOR® IOL is not moved by the ciliary muscles. Instead, built-in concentric steps create circular areas across the lens that react to light differently. The center step contributes to near vision and as the steps move towards the periphery, provides distance vision. The ReSTOR® IOL is made of a proprietary material called AcrySof®.
With the ReSTOR® Multifocal Lens, 80% of patients in a clinical trial reported being able to read, drive, and do other tasks after having the lens implanted in both eyes without having to wear glasses, compared to only 8% of patients with monofocal IOL lenses.
However, as with many things, there may be a tradeoff. Before cataract surgery, discuss all the benefits and risks of the AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL with your Northeastern Eye Institute ophthalmologist.
The Tecnis IOL is a clear intraocular lens (IOL) that replaces the eye's natural lens and restores vision including night vision. While some people notice vision improvement immediately, most will see clearer the following day.
The unique design of the Tecnis IOL provides many benefits. The lens addresses the spherical aberrations in the cornea. The Tecnis IOL can allow for vision correction far superior to traditional lenses, and the correction comparable to the eyesight of a young adult.
Though some patients may require corrective lenses in some situations after their procedure, most will enjoy excellent vision. The haziness and blurred vision of cataracts disappear, and color vision returns to full saturation. Controlled studies have shown that the Tecnis IOL provides up to a 31% improvement in contrast sensitivity in normal light conditions compared to traditional lenses.
Perhaps most impressive is the improvement in night vision with the Tecnis IOL. Studies have shown that patients enjoy up to a 53% improvement in contrast sensitivity in low-light conditions over traditional lenses. Ability to detect a pedestrian while driving at night was significantly greater with the Tecnis IOL in direct comparison with a control lens. Many patients report that after their procedure they regain confidence to drive at night.
The Tecnis lens also has concentric areas that react to light differently. However, its design is based on Wavefront technology data: the same technology used for laser vision correction (Custom LASIK). This corrects myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and other vision defects in the same way as LASIK and corrective lens, and provides better night vision than standard IOLs.
As with any surgery, there are some risks associated with the Tecnis lens. Though rare, the eye may react adversely to the intraocular lens, resulting in infection, inflammation, and/or thinning of the cornea. Prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses may be necessary in some situations following implantation of the Tecnis lens.
Toric IOL Options for Astigmatism
Astigmatism is a condition that occurs when the cornea has an oval shape instead of a spherical shape and causes blurry vision at all distances. Toric IOLs are designed to compensate for this while simultaneously correcting near and distance vision in the same way as glasses or contact lenses. These IOLs are known as "Premium Lenses" because of this double correction.
A toric lens can be implanted during cataract surgery to correct a patient’s astigmatism, thereby eliminating or reducing the need for glasses following cataract surgery. While cataract surgery can improve distance vision, a Toric lens is an excellent solution to correct astigmatism during the same procedure, further reducing the need for eyewear following the surgery.
The FDA approved the AcrySof® IQ Toric IOL (Alcon) in September 2005. Toric IOLs can correct 1.50 to 3.00 D of astigmatism. This lens also is available in aspheric versions for crisper vision. Different models can filter potentially damaging ultra-violet or blue light.
Risks include poor vision due to the lens rotating out of position, with the possibility of further surgery to reposition or replace the IOL. These can be discussed with your cataract surgeon at Northeastern Eye Institute.
Examples of Poor Vision
At Northeastern Eye Institute, we treat many different kinds of vision problems. Perhaps the most common vision problems people have are nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
However, it's one thing to tell you what these are and how these problems affect your vision and another to show them to you. These four examples show how your vision is normally, and what it's like to be nearsighted, farsighted, or affected by astigmatism.
If you recognize your own visual acuity as anything other than the normal photo, please contact NEI online or call us to find out how we may be able to help you see things clearly.
What to Expect from Our Cataract Surgical Services
It is imperative to get screened early for cataract surgery in order to achieve the best possible results and avoid complications. At Northeastern Eye Institute, cataract surgery is performed by the following surgeons:
- Jerome W. Jordan, MD, FACS
- Mary J. Boland Frattali, MD, FACS
- Arthur J. Jordan Jr., DO
- William Jordan Jr., DO
- Thomas S. Boland, MD
- Christopher S. Jordan, MD
We offer premium eye care, and our ophthalmologists take pride in achieving the best results possible. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world, and The Northeastern Eye Institute can restore your vision.
If you’ve been diagnosed with cataracts or have noticed changes in your vision, please contact our eye doctors in Pennsylvania as soon as possible at (800) 844-6315 to schedule your eye exam and cataract screening. The Northeastern Eye Institute has 15 locations and serves patients in Scranton, Hazleton, Wilkes-Barre and surrounding areas of Pennsylvania.