Can I Get Cataract Surgery If I Have Presbyopia?

Can I Get Cataract Surgery If I Have Presbyopia?

Created on: Monday, April 13, 2020
Author: Chesen Laser Eye Center

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You need to be prepared to face many different challenges to your vision as you get older. Two of the most common problems you will face at some point are cataracts and presbyopia. 

While they can both result in vision problems, the two are completely unrelated, other than usually being age-related. Keep reading to find out if you can get cataract surgery while having presbyopia!

What are Cataracts?

Cataracts develop as we get older due to proteins inside of the eye breaking down. These proteins are specifically located in the lens of the eye. 

They are normally arranged in such a way that light is able to pass through uninhibited. But as the proteins fall apart, they clump together. 

As the clumps become larger, they begin to block light. They eventually mature enough to cause significant vision loss or even total blindness. 

Other symptoms include fading colors, light sensitivity, double vision, and halos.   

Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery involves removing and replacing the lens of the eye. To remove the lens, the eye is first numbed to make an incision in the cornea. 

The cornea, which is the transparent layer of tissue at the front of the eye, has a flap made in it. The cataract surgeon creates the flap and inserts a small device through the opening. 

This goes past the pupil and into the membrane that holds the lens. The device uses sound waves to disrupt and break apart the lens. 

This is a process called phacoemulsification. The small pieces are retrieved through the opening. A synthetic lens is then inserted into the opening.

The synthetic lens is an artificial lens called an IOL, which stands for an intraocular lens. There are many different types of IOLs. Some provide better vision with no need for glasses after cataract surgery!   

What is Presbyopia?

Presbyopia is a vision problem that also occurs in the lens. As we age, our lens becomes more rigid. 

This is a problem, as the lens has to be able to move to achieve seeing at different distances. As the lens loses flexibility, it becomes stuck in one position. 

As a result, this makes the patient suffer from the effects of farsightedness. 

How to Deal with Presbyopia

Presbyopia can be treated with glasses or contacts, as well as vision surgery. As it affects the lens and not the cornea, presbyopia is often treated with the same surgery that cataracts are. 

This means that if you have cataracts and presbyopia, you may be able to treat two problems with one surgery! The lenses of the eyes are removed and replaced with IOLs. 

Premium IOLs are the kinds that can correct farsightedness, nearsightedness, or even astigmatism. Because they correct refractive errors, they are more expensive than a standard IOL. 

Many people agree that the benefits of not needing glasses or contacts after cataract surgery are worth the extra cost. If premium IOLs fit in your budget, they are certainly worth considering.

Not sure what the best IOL would be for you if you have presbyopia? Schedule a cataract screening at Chesen Laser Eye Center in West Reading, PA today!    


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