Cataracts & Sarasota, FL

What is a Cataract?

Mature CataractsMuch like the lens of a camera focuses light on the film, the lens of your eye focuses light on the retina. If the front of your camera’s lens becomes dirty or fogged, then the picture taken will be hazy or blurred. A cataract causes light focusing on the retina of your eye to be blurred in a similar manner.

A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye. This clouding blocks the passage of light through the eye. Cataracts are usually the result of aging although some very young patients can develop cataracts for unknown reasons. Injuries, certain diseases, and some medications can also cause cataracts.

Some cataracts progress slowly over many years and cause a gradual loss of sight. Other cataracts develop more rapidly, resulting in significant visual impairment in just a few months' time.

What are the Symptoms of Cataracts?

You may notice a problem with your vision at any time during the development of a cataract.

Vision with Cataracts

Any of the following symptoms may occur:

Cataract Surgery in Sarasota

Once a cataract has been diagnosed, it is up to you to decide how it affects your life and when you should have the cataract removed. The best guideline is to consider action when the cataract starts to interfere with your work or normal activities.

Cataract Surgery Diagram

At this time, the only effective treatment of a cataract is the surgical removal of the clouded lens. If your eye is healthy except for the cataract, the likelihood of obtaining normal vision following cataract surgery is greater than 95%.

After several tests have been completed, Dr. Weinkle will discuss with you the need for cataract surgery including possible complications. You will need to weigh the benefits of surgery against the fact that, as with all medical treatment, there are potential risks. Millions of cataract extractions have been performed and modern implant surgery is one of the most common and successful procedures performed in the United States today.

State of the Art Cataract Surgery

State Of The Art Cataract SurgeryCataract microsurgery painlessly removes the clouded lens and replaces it with a new artificial lens implant to restore your vision. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis with topical (eye drops only) or local anesthesia and takes about ten (10) minutes.

Dr. Weinkle performs no-stitch, no-patch cataract surgery utilizing phacoemulsification, and advanced form of microsurgery, to remove your cataract through a one-eighth inch self-sealing incision. With this method, cataracts can be removed using ultrasound and gentle suction, and sutures are rarely required. This technique results in rapid healing and faster visual recovery.

The placement of a lens implant within the eye after cataract removal is one of the most important medical advances in history. Intraocular lenses offer several advantages including the elimination of contact lenses or thick cataract glasses, improved depth perception and side vision, and a normal appearance after surgery. Every year new implant designs emerge with special features such as foldable implants ideally suited for small-incision no-stitch procedures, as well as Premium special lenses that provide better vision making many patients less reliant upon glasses. Dr. Weinkle is constantly evaluating the desirability of each type of intraocular lens implant in order to offer you the highest quality and safest device available.

After Cataract Surgery

Patient with CataractsToday, cataract surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, using a topical or local anesthetic, which assures a rapid recovery. For added safety and comfort, Dr. Weinkle is assisted by an experienced anesthetist. The surgery itself takes about twenty (20) minutes and you can usually return home within a few hours.

Arrangements should be made for someone to drive you home after surgery. Plan to stay home and rest with a family member or friend if one is available. Pain medication is seldom necessary.

The following morning you will return to our office, and Dr. Weinkle will examine your eyes. You will be instructed to use eye drops for 4 to 5 weeks. During the day wear your regular spectacles or complimentary sun shields to protect your operated eye.

You may use your eyes as much as you wish during the recovery period. Feel free to watch television, sew and read, and in general, return to your normal lifestyle. Avoid lifting heavy objects or other strenuous activities for one week, and keep eye dry and free of soap products, no swimming for 2 weeks.

The first few days after surgery your vision may be fuzzy. Over the next several days, as your eye heals, your vision will improve. When your eye has stabilized, usually within three to four weeks, you will be examined for new eyeglasses.

Common Cataract Questions and Answers

Q. Do I need to wait until my cataract is mature or "ripe" before I can have implant surgery?

A. Cataract can be removed at any stage of its development. Surgery is recommended when your vision begins to interfere with normal activities.

Q. Can a cataract be removed using a laser?

A. No. However, a cloudy lens capsule (sometimes called an “after-cataract”), which occasionally forms after cataract surgery, can be removed using the YAG laser.

Q. If I have glaucoma, can I still have cataract surgery?

A. Yes. Cataract and implant surgery can be safely performed in most patients with glaucoma.

Q. Will I need to wear glasses after implant surgery?

A. Yes. Best vision often requires reading glasses or bifocals. No contact lenses or thick cataract lenses are necessary.

Q. Am I too old for cataract surgery?

A. No. Many people over 100 years of age have undergone successful cataract surgery. If you are in reasonably good health, there is no reason to live with poor vision due to cataracts.

Q. My cataract surgery was years ago. Can I still have a lens implant?

A. Yes. A “secondary” intraocular lens implant can be inserted after previous cataract surgery when a patient fails to adjust to thick cataract glasses or contact lenses.

Q. What if I have cataracts in both eyes?

A. Only one eye is operated at a time. Cataract surgery can generally be performed on the second eye two to four weeks after the first operation.

Q. Can astigmatism be corrected during cataract surgery?

A. Yes. Astigmatism can be reduced utilizing carefully placed incisions created with specially calibrated diamond blades, known as LRI or Limbal Relaxing Incisions.  Many patients are candidates for a premium Toric lens to reduce astigmatism.  Check with the doctor.