PREMIUM CATARACT SURGERY

ABOUT CATARACT SURGERY AT CLARUS EYE CENTRE

At Clarus, we are focused on improving lives. One of the primary methods in which we are able to affect someone's life in the most positive way is through our premium cataract correction services.  Our cataract surgeons have been trained at some of the most respected eye institutes in the country. Their expertise, combined with experience and compassionate care, makes them some of the most trusted and well-respected ophthalmologists in the South Sound Region of Washington and beyond.  When you choose Clarus for cataract correction, you're choosing excellence in cataract eyecare.  Learn more below or schedule your cataract consultation today by calling 360-456-3200 or requesting an appointment at the top of this page. 

WHAT ARE CATARACTS?

A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of your eye. For people who have cataracts, seeing through cloudy lenses is like looking through a frosty or fogged-up window. Clouded vision caused by cataracts can make it more difficult to read, drive a car (especially at night) or see the expression on a friend's face.

Most cataracts develop slowly and don't disturb your eyesight early on. But with time, cataracts will eventually interfere with your vision.

At first, stronger lighting and eyeglasses can help you deal with cataracts. But if impaired vision interferes with your usual activities, you might need cataract surgery. Fortunately, cataract surgery is generally a safe, effective procedure.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF CATARACTS

Signs and symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Clouded, blurred or dim vision
  • Increasing difficulty with vision at night
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Need for brighter light for reading and other activities
  • Seeing "halos" around lights
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
  • Fading or yellowing of colors
  • Double vision in a single eye

At first, the cloudiness in your vision caused by a cataract may affect only a small part of the eye's lens and you may be unaware of any vision loss. As the cataract grows larger, it clouds more of your lens and distorts the light passing through the lens. This may lead to more noticeable symptoms.

When to see a doctor

Make an appointment for an eye exam if you notice any changes in your vision. If you develop sudden vision changes, such as double vision or flashes of light, sudden eye pain, or sudden headache, see your doctor right away.

HOW DO CATARACTS FORM?

Most cataracts develop when aging or injury changes the tissue that makes up your eye's lens.

Some inherited genetic disorders that cause other health problems can increase your risk of cataracts. Cataracts can also be caused by other eye conditions, past eye surgery or medical conditions such as diabetes. Long-term use of steroid medications, too, can cause cataracts to develop.

How a cataract forms

The lens, where cataracts form, is positioned behind the colored part of your eye (iris). The lens focuses light that passes into your eye, producing clear, sharp images on the retina — the light-sensitive membrane in the eye that functions like the film in a camera.

As you age, the lenses in your eyes become less flexible, less transparent, and thicker. Age-related and other medical conditions cause tissues within the lens to break down and clump together, clouding small areas within the lens.

As the cataract continues to develop, the clouding becomes denser and involves a bigger part of the lens. A cataract scatters and blocks the light as it passes through the lens, preventing a sharply defined image from reaching your retina. As a result, your vision becomes blurred.

Cataracts generally develop in both eyes, but not evenly. The cataract in one eye may be more advanced than the other, causing a difference in vision between eyes.

Types of cataracts

Cataract types include:

  • Cataracts affecting the center of the lens (nuclear cataracts). A nuclear cataract may at first cause more nearsightedness or even a temporary improvement in your reading vision. But with time, the lens gradually turns more densely yellow and further clouds your vision.

    As the cataract slowly progresses, the lens may even turn brown. Advanced yellowing or browning of the lens can lead to difficulty distinguishing between shades of color.

  • Cataracts that affect the edges of the lens (cortical cataracts). A cortical cataract begins as whitish, wedge-shaped opacities or streaks on the outer edge of the lens cortex. As it slowly progresses, the streaks extend to the center and interfere with light passing through the center of the lens.
  • Cataracts that affect the back of the lens (posterior subcapsular cataracts). A posterior subcapsular cataract starts as a small, opaque area that usually forms near the back of the lens, right in the path of light. A posterior subcapsular cataract often interferes with your reading vision, reduces your vision in bright light, and causes glare or halos around lights at night. These types of cataracts tend to progress faster than other types do.
  • Cataracts you're born with (congenital cataracts). Some people are born with cataracts or develop them during childhood. These cataracts may be genetic or associated with an intrauterine infection or trauma.

    These cataracts also may be due to certain conditions, such as myotonic dystrophy, galactosemia, neurofibromatosis type 2 or rubella. Congenital cataracts don't always affect vision, but if they do they're usually removed soon after detection.

  • Secondary cataracts: Cataracts can form after surgery for other eye problems such as glaucoma. Cataracts also can develop in people who have other health problems such as diabetes. Cataracts have also been linked to prolonged steroid use.

  • Traumatic cataracts: Cataracts can develop after an eye injury, sometimes years later.
  • Radiation cataracts: Cataracts can also develop after exposure to some types of radiation.
CAUSES & RISK FACTORS

Most cataracts are due to age-related changes in the lens of the eye that cause it to become cloudy or opaque. However, other factors can contribute to cataract development, including:

  • Diabetes mellitus. People with diabetes are at higher risk for cataracts.
  • Drugs. Certain medications are associated with cataract development. These include:
    • Corticosteroids.
    • Chlorpromazine and other phenothiazine-related medications.
  • Ultraviolet radiation. Studies show an increased chance of cataract formation with unprotected exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
  • Smoking. There is possibly an association between smoking and increased lens cloudiness.
  • Alcohol. Several studies show increased cataract formation in patients with higher alcohol consumption compared with people who have lower or no alcohol consumption.
  • Nutritional deficiency. Although the results are inconclusive, studies suggest an association between cataract formation and low levels of antioxidants (for example, vitamin C, vitamin E, and carotenoids). Further studies may show that antioxidants can help decrease cataract development.
  • Family History. If a close relative has had cataracts, there is a higher chance of developing a cataract.

Rarely, cataracts are present at birth or develop shortly after. They may be inherited or develop due to an infection (such as rubella) in the mother during pregnancy. A cataract may also develop following an eye injury or surgery for another eye problem, such as glaucoma.

DIAGNOSIS, TREATMENT AND PREVENTION

Diagnosis

Cataracts are diagnosed through a comprehensive eye examination. This examination may include:

  • Patient history to determine if vision difficulties are limiting daily activities and other general health concerns affecting vision.
  • Visual acuity measurement to determine to what extent a cataract may be limiting clear distance and near vision.
  • Refraction to determine the need for changes in an eyeglass or contact lens prescription.
  • Evaluation of the lens under high magnification and illumination to determine the extent and location of any cataracts.
  • Evaluation of the retina of the eye through a dilated pupil.
  • Measurement of pressure within the eye.
  • Supplemental testing for color vision and glare sensitivity.

Further testing may be needed to determine how much the cataract is affecting vision and to evaluate whether other eye diseases may limit vision following cataract surgery.

Using the information from these tests, your eye doctor can determine if you have cataracts and advise you on your treatment options.

Treatment

Cataract treatment is based on the level of visual impairment they cause. If a cataract minimally affects vision, or not at all, no treatment may be needed. Patients may be advised to monitor for increased visual symptoms and follow a regular check-up schedule.

In some cases, changing the eyeglass prescription may provide temporary vision improvement. In addition, anti-glare coatings on eyeglass lenses can help reduce glare for night driving. Increasing the amount of light used when reading may be beneficial.

When a cataract progresses to the point that it affects a person's ability to do normal everyday tasks, surgery may be needed. Cataract surgery involves removing the lens of the eye and replacing it with an artificial lens, which can significantly improve your vision. 

As with any surgery, cataract surgery has risks from infection and bleeding. Cataract surgery also slightly increases the risk of retinal detachment. It is important to discuss the benefits and risks of cataract surgery with your ophthalmologist. Other eye conditions may increase the need for cataract surgery or prevent a person from being a cataract surgery candidate.

Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most effective types of surgery performed in the United States today. Approximately 90% of cataract surgery patients report better vision following the surgery.

Prevention

There is no treatment to prevent or slow cataract progression. In age-related cataracts, changes in vision can be very gradual. Some people may not initially recognize the visual changes. However, as cataracts worsen, vision symptoms increase.

While there are no clinically proven approaches to preventing cataracts, simple preventive strategies include:

  • Reducing exposure to sunlight through UV-blocking lenses.
  • Decreasing or stopping smoking.
  • Increasing antioxidant vitamin consumption by eating more leafy green vegetables and taking nutritional supplements.
  • Researchers have linked eye-friendly nutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc to reducing the risk of certain eye diseases, including cataracts. 

LASER CATARACT EYE SURGERY

Cataract surgery provides a unique opportunity to change the way you see the world. It can also change your relationship with glasses. Using state-of-the-art technology, premium laser cataract surgery can greatly reduce your dependence on glasses. To achieve this enhanced outcome, various state-of-the-art technologies may be used:

· The Catalys® Precision Laser system images the structures of your eye during your procedure and provides computer-guided laser-precision for several key steps of cataract surgery. Under your surgeon's guidance, the Catalys® laser performs these delicate maneuvers with real-time 3D imaging and incredible precision.

· The ORA System® Intraoperative Wavefront Aberrometer takes additional measurements of your eye during surgery after the cataract has been removed to optimize your postoperative visual outcome. ORA technology allows your surgeon to further customize your surgery to achieve a higher level of precision and accuracy, resulting in improved visual outcomes.

· Cutting-edge, technologically advanced intraocular lenses, including toric (astigmatism-correcting) lenses, the latest generation multifocal lenses, and extended depth of focus lenses, may be utilized to help achieve the best possible visual outcome to match your personal visual goals and lifestyle needs.

 

 

Retina 2
WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR CATARACT CONSULTATION APPOINTMENT

After your doctor has requested that one of our ophthalmologists evaluate your cataracts, you will be scheduled for a cataract consultation appointment. 

Important things to note for your visit:

  • Your eyes will need to be dilated (even if this was done recently by your optometrist) in order for our surgeon to thoroughly evaluate your eyes and plan your surgery.
  • Your visit will take approximately two hours. We will measure your eyes, the doctor will examine your eyes, and your surgery and lens options will be discussed. You will also meet with our surgery coordinator for scheduling.

At Clarus, we aim to provide the most advanced surgical experience possible. In order to do this, we ask that you please prepare for your cataract evaluation by doing the following:

1. REVIEW YOUR CATARACT SURGERY OPTIONS (provided in the packet you will receive prior to your appointment and also available on this page of our website): This will help you and your surgeon decide what type of cataract surgery, and what type of lens implant is right for you.

2. COMPLETE THE CATARACT VISION CORRECTION QUESTIONNAIRE (provided in the packet you will receive prior to your appointment and also available on this page of our website) and either submit it via email to info@claruseye.com OR bring it to your appointment. This guides the discussion between you and your doctor about which lens to choose.

3. IF YOU WEAR CONTACT LENSES:

  • Soft Contact lenses - Please discontinue their use ONE WEEK prior to your visit
  • Gas Permeable lenses - Please discontinue their use TWO WEEKS prior to your visit

NOTE: Some exceptions apply. Questions? Please call us at 360-456-3200.

4. PLEASE PLAN TO USE ARTIFICIAL TEARS (PRESERVATIVE-FREE, NO VISINE) at least four times per day for one week prior to your consultation. This will improve the quality of your measurements.

Upon arrival at Clarus, we will take measurements that will be used by your surgeon to:

  • Evaluate how your cataracts affect your vision.
  • Determine which lens options would best suit your needs.
  • Calculate the power of the intraocular lens that will give you the best vision after surgery.

Following these measurements, your eyes will be dilated and you will meet with the surgeon for a thorough eye examination. Your surgeon will discuss with you the risks and benefits of surgery, along with the lens options that are available and most appropriate for your vision needs. At the conclusion of your visit, we hope to have a lens selection made, but you are not required to make the decision that day. We ask only that if you are unable to choose a lens option that day, you have your choice made at least two weeks prior to surgery.

Finally, you will meet with our surgery counselor, who will help choose a surgery date and complete paperwork for the surgery. They will also be able to help you understand your financial obligations for the surgery.

We hope this information will take some of the mystery out of your upcoming visit. Remember, you will not be having surgery until after you have met with your surgeon to discuss your surgery and lens options.

ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE YOUR VISION

Cataract surgery provides a unique opportunity to change the way you see the world. It can also change your relationship with glasses. Using state-of-the-art technology, premium laser cataract surgery can greatly reduce your dependence on glasses. To achieve this enhanced outcome, various state-of-the-art technologies may be used:

  • The Catalys® Precision Laser system images the structures of your eye during your procedure and provides computer-guided laser-precision for several key steps of cataract surgery. Under your surgeon's guidance, the Catalys® laser performs these delicate maneuvers with real-time 3D imaging and incredible precision.
  • The ORA System® Intraoperative Wavefront Aberrometer takes additional measurements of your eye during surgery after the cataract has been removed to optimize your postoperative visual outcome. ORA technology allows your surgeon to further customize your surgery to achieve a higher level of precision and accuracy, resulting in improved visual outcomes.
  • Cutting-edge, technologically advanced intraocular lenses, including toric (astigmatism-correcting) lenses, the latest generation multifocal lenses, and extended depth of focus lenses, may be utilized to help achieve the best possible visual outcome to match your personal visual goals and lifestyle needs.

Any additional procedures needed to achieve the desired refractive goal after the surgery are performed at no additional cost.

CATARACT SURGERY OPTIONS

PREMIUM CATARACT SURGERY OPTIONS

EXPANDED FOCAL RANGE       

  • Corrects low to high levels of astigmatism
  • Corrects vision for distance, mid-range, and near
  • Reduces dependence on glasses for most activities                                        

This may be your best option if you desire glasses independence for MOST activities.  Different types of lenses are available that may allow you to see objects clearly in the distance, as well as near and intermediate-range.  For people who are active and find wearing glasses inconvenient, this option may be the best choice to achieve your visual goals.  Due to the design of these lenses, most patients will notice some glare and halos around lights when driving at night after surgery.  These symptoms usually diminish over time as you adapt to the lens, but symptoms may persist. Your surgeon will help you choose the type of expanded focal range lens implant that best suits your individual goals. Astigmatism will be treated using either the Catalys laser or an astigmatism-correcting toric intraocular lens when needed.    

          

SINGLE FOCUS                                                                                      

  • Corrects low to high levels of astigmatism
  • Corrects vision for distance OR near
  • Glasses are still required for some activities

This may be your best option if you desire glasses independence at a single distance and you do not mind wearing glasses for tasks that require clear vision at other distances. A monofocal lens implant will be placed to minimize your need for glasses for DISTANCE OR NEAR vision after cataract surgery. Astigmatism will be treated using either the Catalys laser or an astigmatism-correcting toric intraocular lens when needed.  If you choose a DISTANCE goal, glasses will be needed for all near and intermediate vision, such as reading, working on a computer, and reading your phone.  Alternatively, if you choose a NEAR goal, glasses will be needed for all distance activities such as driving and watching television. 

 

MONOVISION                                                                                             

  • Corrects low to high levels of astigmatism
  • Corrects one eye for distance and one eye for near
  • Glasses may be required for some activities

This may be a good alternative to expanded focal range lenses if you want to reduce your dependence on glasses for both distance and near vision. The dominant eye is set for distance and the non-dominant eye is set for near, both with a single focus lens. This goal with monovision is for both near and far objects to be in focus. Monovision requires some time for the brain to adapt because the eyes are focusing at different distances.  There are also some compromises with monovision, so it is not suitable for all patients. Visual quality, both distance and near, is never as good as when both eyes are focused together, and depth perception may be reduced.  Some patients with monovision still prefer to use glasses for certain activities such as night driving and extended reading. Astigmatism will be treated using either the Catalys laser or an astigmatism-correcting toric intraocular lens when needed.

 

TRADITIONAL CATARACT SURGERY (Covered by most medical insurance)

This is a good option if you don't mind wearing glasses for all activities after surgery. During your cataract surgery, the cloudy natural lens will be removed from your eye and a monofocal lens implant will be placed inside your eye. A monofocal lens provides vision at one focal point, such as distance or near. The preoperative measurements done prior to surgery will determine the intraocular lens power to be used. It is important to understand that it is normal and expected to need glasses for both distance and near vision following traditional cataract surgery.  After surgery, most patients do see better than before cataract surgery, but, unlike with premium surgery, most patients do require glasses for their best vision for all activities. This is especially true for people who have astigmatism.

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Regardless of which option is chosen, your insurance company will be billed for standard cataract surgery. The cost of the premium portion of your surgery listed above is IN ADDITION to standard cataract surgery and is not covered by most medical insurance plans. You will be responsible for any co-payments, deductibles and/or co-insurance based on your individual insurance plan, as well as the additional premium fee. Premium fees must be paid before surgery. Financing options are available.

THE BENEFITS OF CATALYS

Highly customizes cataract eye surgery using advanced 3D imaging

More precise treatment

Gentler and easier cataract removal

Generally, a more rapid visual recovery

After removing your cataract, our surgeons will insert a replacement intraocular lens (IOL) in your eye to correct your vision. Many patients opt for bifocal implants, which reduce the need for glasses and allow you to see near, far and often in-between.

Cataract eye surgery is done on one eye at a time using topical or local anesthesia. Recovery is fast—most patients resume daily activities within hours. In fact, a majority of patients see well enough to drive to the post-operative check with their surgeon the very next day.

MEET OUR CATARACT SURGEONS