A cataract is the clouding of the lens inside the eye, causing blurry or hazy vision and sensitivity to glaring light. There has never been a better time to have cataract surgery because of all the vision improvement options available. Once you have decided to have cataract surgery you and your doctor will work together to decide what type of artificial intraocular lens (IOL) is right for you. VisionFirst Eye Center was the first in Alabama to offer the revolutionary bladeless laser cataract surgery using the LenSx femtosecond laser.
Until recently, people who had cataract surgery had to settle for either distance or near vision, but not both. Combining LenSx laser and the newest artificial lenses, our patients can see BOTH at distance and at near. The new toric lens is used to correct vision in patients high levels of astigmatism. A multifocal lens is used to provide better near, far and intermediate vision, thus minimize or eliminate your need of reading glasses. These specialized lenses are available for an additional fee, usually not covered by your insurance. The monofocal lens, typically covered by insurance, provides distance or near vision, but some patients will need glasses after surgery.
A cataract is the result of a natural change inside your eye making your vision less sharp over time. Usually cataracts form with age, but can also be caused by trauma, disease and family history. Your eye doctor will check for the presence of cataracts. The examination is important, because it demonstrates what effects cataracts may be having on your visual acuity. It’s also possible that the cataract may not warrant medical treatment. Sometimes changing your glasses prescription may help.
Cataracts develop slowly and painlessly and you may not realize your vision is changing. Symptoms of cataracts include the following:
VisionFirst Eye Center introduced the LenSx femtosecond laser to Alabama. This is the first laser of its kind approved by the FDA for cataract surgery.
Dr. Mark Bearman and Dr. Carolyn Hebson, ophthalmologists at VisionFirst, were the first to offer this blade-free laser cataract surgery in Alabama. The LenSx femtosecond laser uses 3-D image guided technology that maps the patient’s eye. The laser then uses this computer-guided image to perform precise incisions. The LenSx can also be combined with a premium lens implant such as the ReSTOR or Toric Lens for further freedom from glasses.
With over 50 years of combined experience in performing cataract surgery and state-of-the-art vision correction techniques, Dr. Bearman and Dr. Hebson are elated to perform this revolutionary laser cataract surgery at Shelby Baptist Medical Center.
Your cataract evaluation at VisionFirst will include a comprehensive eye exam, diagnostic testing and medical history review. We will walk you through the procedure and make sure all your questions are answered. You and your doctor will decide on which artificial intraocular lens (IOL) is right for you. We only operate on one eye at a time. Before the surgery, you will begin administering prescription eye drops.
The typical cataract surgery lasts 20 to 30 minutes and the entire process that day takes just a few hours. The entire procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home from the surgery center.
Your eye will be anesthetized and you will receive a mild sedative so you will stay relaxed and comfortable during your procedure, but you won’t be put to sleep. Our surgeons use minimally invasive state-of-the-art technology and micro-incision techniques (no-stitch). During this procedure, using an ultrasonic hand piece, the lens is removed from the eye and an IOL is folded, delivered through a small incision, unfolded and fixed into position once inside the eye. This is a minimally invasive technique conducted under local anesthesia; it involves no sutures, resulting in faster healing and fewer complications than conventional surgical methods.
It is time to enjoy your newly restored vision! Your doctor will prescribe a personalized recovery schedule and specific instructions. You will be prescribed medications to put in your eye based on this schedule. You typically will return for a follow-up the next day, one week, three weeks and three months after surgery to make sure your eye is healing properly. If you're interested in cataract surgery, call VisionFirst at (205) 949-2020 today. We perform cataract surgery in outpatient care centers in Trussville, Alabaster and Birmingham, AL.
Many people believe cataracts have to be "ripe" before they can be removed. This is no longer true. Today, cataract surgery is a routine procedure that can be performed as soon as your vision interferes with your quality of life.
Over time, the clouded areas of your lens can become larger and denser, causing your sight to become worse. This can take anywhere from a few months to many years. Eventually, though, your entire lens can cloud over and cause blindness.
No single lens works best for everyone, and only your eye doctor can determine the most appropriate option for you, based on your lifestyle, eye health and visual needs.
No - only presbyopia-correcting lenses such as multifocal IOL give you a full range of clear vision, near to far, and everywhere in-between.
Once a cataract has been removed, it cannot return. So, the lens you choose is usually the one you will have for the rest of your life. However, over time, patients may notice that their vision has once again become cloudy. This condition is known as a secondary cataract, and it can be easily and rapidly treated by a laser procedure in our office.
All Medicare and most insurance plans generally cover cataract surgery. Please contact our office for specific information. You typically have to pay the extra costs for the premium IOLs and LenSx blade-free laser. We offer financing through CareCredit and you may also use “flexible spending account” health care programs.