Dropless cataract surgery.

For many years cataract care has required the use of antibiotic and steroid eye drops, both before and
after the procedure, in order to prevent infection and inflammation of the eye and to promote healing postoperatively. These drops are effective as long as the patient remains compliant and takes their drops as directed, but maintaining this strict regimen can be tenuous, especially for those who have difficulty taking eye drops. Additionally, depending on insurance plans these drops can cost from $100 to over $500.

For patients who medically qualify for the Dropless procedure, the surgeon administers a specific mixture that contains both an antibiotic and a steroid medication during surgery. This medication then remains in the eye and slowly dissolves during the healing process eliminating the need for prescription eye drops for most patients.

The Dropless technique is just one more way that Nethery Eye Associates brings the very best in medical and surgical eye care to their patients.

What is a cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of your natural lens. Symptoms include blurry or hazy vision, sensitivity to light and glare, diminished color perception, poor night vision, double vision and frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescriptions. Cataracts can occur in one or both eyes, but they cannot spread from one eye to the other.

How are cataracts diagnosed?

Fortunately, cataracts are usually easy to diagnose and treat. A Nethery Eye Associates physician will examine your eye to determine the type, size and location of the cataract.

Who is at risk?

Most of the time, cataracts are simply a part of the aging process and generally occur by age 65. By age 80, more than half of all Americans have experienced cataracts. However, there are also other types of cataracts:

  • Secondary cataract – Cataracts can sometimes form after surgery for other eye conditions, such as glaucoma, or as a complication of another health problem, such as diabetes. Cataracts are sometimes linked to steroid use as well.
  • Traumatic cataract – Cataracts can develop as a result of an eye injury, sometimes years later.
  • Congenital cataract – Some people are born with cataracts or develop them during childhood. Often, these cataracts are so small that they do not affect vision, but if they do, the lenses may need to be removed.

How are cataracts treated?

In their early stages, cataract symptoms can be improved with new eyeglasses, brighter lighting, anti-glare sunglasses or magnifying lenses. If these measures do not help, surgery is the only effective treatment. This involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial one.

The doctors at Nethery Eye Associates perform a no-needle, no-stitch, no-patch cataract surgery, which is an outpatient procedure. The only anesthesia required is the same type of eye drops used in a standard examination. During the procedure, a small, less than an eighth of an inch incision, is made in the clear part of the eye known as the cornea. The cataract is then dissolved using ultrasound, and a clear lens implant (also known as an intraocular lens, or IOL) is injected into place. An IOL is an artificial lens that becomes a permanent part of your eye. You will not see or feel the new lens, but you will notice much improved vision.

There are various types of IOLs. Conventional lens implants are often covered by Medicare, and they are used only to restore clear vision by replacing the cloudy lens. Patients who receive a conventional lens implant will continue to need glasses. However, Nethery Eye Associates also offers advanced multifocal lens implants that allow you to see better at all distances and may eliminate the need for glasses altogether.

Cataract and Refractive Surgery Options

Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery using LenSx Laser Technology

For select patients, we can offer laser assisted cataract surgery. The LenSx Laser Technology enables your surgeon to see your cataract in high resolution while obtaining intraoperative measurements of different structures of the eye. A computer-controlled laser beam of light is then used to assist the surgeon in performing these critical parts of the cataract surgical procedure:

  • Making the corneal incisions
  • Creating the opening of the capsule surrounding your cataract
  • Softening the cataract prior to its removal
  • Precisely treating your astigmatism

For further information, please view the video below.

How long does recovery take?

One of the great things about this type of procedure is the rapid recovery time. You will not need an eye patch or stitches to be removed, and vision is improved within hours. With a few precautions, you will be able to resume normal activities that same day.