Freedom from Cataract Symptoms
With more than 2.5 million cataract cases in Canada, cataract treatment ensures our aging population’s lifestyle quality. Cataracts cause:
- Blurred vision
- Inhibited night vision
- Light sensitivity
- Color fading
- “Halos” around lights
Monofocal and aspheric implants relieve cataract symptoms.
Freedom from Glasses
Treatment can not only resolve cataract symptoms, but now, cutting-edge implants improve distance and near vision.
Toric and multifocal implants correct vision, ensuring freedom from glasses.
Need cataract surgery?
Let Dr. Conlon find you the implant solution to meet your needs.
Follow these three simple steps to rid yourself of cataracts...
Develop a plan to receive the treatment that's right for you.
Dr. Conlon provides a procedure that meets your vision goals.
Follow-up Care with Life-Changing Results
We ensure you can enjoy your results as quickly as possible.
If you believe you may have a cataract, it is important you are thoroughly informed of the treatment options available. Please make an appointment with your ophthalmologist, optometrist, family doctor, or contact the Conlon Eye Institute, as no referral is necessary.
A comprehensive eye examination is used to detect cataracts. If a diagnosis is made, we will have an in-depth discussion regarding your options. You have the choice between traditional or laser cataract surgery.
Traditional Cataract Surgery uses ultrasound technology to removes the cataract, which is replaced by a standard (mono-focal) lens. Glasses are then required to achieve your optimal vision.
Laser Cataract Surgery uses femtosecond laser technology to remove the cataract, replacing your lens with an advanced technology (multi-focal) lens that reduces or eliminates the need for glasses.
Q: What is a cataract?
A: A cataract is an opacity or cloudiness in the eye’s typically clear natural lens, resulting in blurred vision. As one ages, changes in the protein and water content of the lens cause it to become cloudy.
Q: How do I know if I have a cataract?
A: The most common cataract symptoms are vision clouding and blurring. Other symptoms of cataracts include glare, halos around lights, or even double-vision.
In some patients, the hardening or stiffening of the natural lens leads to frequent glasses prescription changes. And in some cases, a transient improvement in their near vision or “refractive myopia.”
Q: What is Laser Cataract Surgery?
A: Laser Cataract Surgery stands for Femto-second Laser Assisted Cataract Surgery (FLACS). This surgery combines femtosecond laser technology with 3D Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). Thus, surgery steps are more precise than those performed with traditional surgical instruments.
Q: What is Standard (Traditional) Cataract Surgery?
A: In conventional (traditional) cataract surgery, the eye surgeon creates a small incision in the cornea’s side using a metal or diamond scalpel blade. Ultrasound energy breaks up the lens’ cloudy centre. Then, the broken-up pieces of lens are suctioned out of the eye. An artificial intraocular lens replaces the cloudy natural lens. After surgery, a special liquid and self-seal fill the corneal incision’s side walls. Most commonly, stitches are unnecessary.
Q: What are the benefits of Laser Cataract Surgery?
- The laser makes a perfect circular opening in the lens, which is 10X more accurate than the traditional opening made with a surgical instrument. A perfect opening facilitates manipulation and removal of the cataract, and allows for improved implant positioning.
- The laser makes a precise corneal incision (astigmatic keratotomy) to correct astigmatism. These incisions are adjustable, allowing for fine-tuning after the procedure.
- FLACS is gentle on the eye. Breaking up cataracts with the laser requires less ultrasound energy. Applying less energy to the eye minimizes potential damage to the cornea, thus speeding recovery time.
- The laser makes the corneal incisions, specifically tailored to eye shape, eliminating the need to use a hand-held metal blade.
Q: How safe is cataract surgery?
A: Cataract surgery is one of the most common and successful surgeries in North America. With an experienced surgeon using advanced technology, patients usually have an excellent outcome. Yearly, there are more than 350,000 surgeries performed in Canada and over 15 million cataract operations performed worldwide.
Q: Is the surgery painful?
A: Cataract surgery is painless. Topical anesthesia (using drops, not an injection) is applied, and the surgery only lasts a few minutes. Thus, there are no needles or sutures.
Q: When should I start my regular medications?
A: You are usually able to take any medications, including blood thinners (aspirin, warfarin, and non-steroidals), before surgery. Start all of your medications immediately following cataract surgery.
Q: Will I require an implant at the time of cataract surgery?
A: Yes, all patients need an implant of a specific power. The natural lens normally helps focus light onto the back of the eye for vision. An implant will help focus light and eliminate the need for thick glasses.
Q: What are the different types of implants?
A: The main classifications of implants are standard aspheric, toric, and multifocal.
The standard implant is covered by Saskatchewan’s Medical Services Branch (MSB).
- The standard aspheric implant is an advancement over the traditional implant because it reduces aberrations and improves contrast sensitivity. Most patients with the implant will need glasses to fine-tune sight. In Saskatchewan, the majority of lenses implanted are aspheric.
MSB does not cover other implants but they are available for private purchase. These include:
- Toric implants reduce spherical aberration and enhances vision quality. They also reduce astigmatism, making them the best choice for higher degree astigmatism patients. The implant is rotated to a specific orientation in the eye, increasing astigmatism correction.
- Multifocal implants improve both distance and near vision without glasses. Multifocal implants are also available in toric corrections to correct astigmatism at all distances. This type of implant may cause glare and/or halos but these symptoms tend to diminish with time.
Q: Why does MSB only cover the cost of a standard implant?
A: MSB covers all implants and procedures deemed medically necessary. The advanced technology lenses, such as toric and multifocal implants, are considered elective lenses. As glasses remain an alternative, these implants are not considered medically necessary.
Q: Will I require glasses after surgery?
A:It depends on the implant type chosen. Patients that choose a standard or aspheric implant typically require glasses for both distance and near vision. Those that choose a toric implant will usually only need glasses for reading. And those that select a multifocal implant typically do not need glasses unless the print is very small or the lighting is poor.
Q: What are the most common complications?
A: The most common complication is a transient corneal edema. The cornea can respond to the ultrasound (i.e. phacoemulsification) with some swelling that typically resolves in a few days. Patients may have some irritation or foreign body sensation during the first few weeks from the micro-incisions. Artificial tears or lubricating drops usually help this symptom.
Q: What will my vision be like after surgery?
A: Immediately after the procedure, your vision will be blurry, but it will start to clear up over the next 24-48 hours. In some cases, it may take a few days longer. Your vision will gradually improve over the next 3-4 weeks.
Q: What medications should I use after surgery?
A: Please use a combination drop (antibiotic and anti-inflammatory), and a second anti-inflammatory drop. Dr. Conlon will prescribe both of these to you.
Q: Can I bend after cataract surgery?
A: After surgery, avoid excessive bending (head below hips) and lifting heavy objects (20lbs+) for the first week.
Q: How long should I wait between eye drops?
A: Wait 5 minutes between the application of one eye drop and the other. You do not want to wash the first drop out with the other. The order in which you apply the eye drops does not matter.
Q: What can I do if I have difficulty reading immediately after surgery? And when are glasses prescribed (if necessary) after cataract surgery?
A: A pair of drug-store reading glasses can reduce issues until a proper pair is prescribed. This is done once the eye is fully healed, which is usually 3 to 4 weeks after surgery.