Cataract surgery is not only a way to correct deteriorating eyesight from cataracts, but it can be an opportunity to achieve the vision you’ve always wanted! At Hill Vision Services, in addition to standard, insurance-covered treatment plans, we offer many premium options. With the help of premium implant lenses or laser-assisted surgery, you can potentially leave your glasses behind! 

Our ophthalmologists are skilled, experienced, and motivated to help each patient determine the best cataract surgery plan to achieve his or her individual goals. Contact us today to get started!

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What Are Cataracts?

A cataract is a clouding or yellowing of the normally clear lens inside the eye . It is not a film or growth on the front of the eye but is the clouding of the lens itself. It blocks light from entering the eye and also scatters light, causing a glare or even double vision. Cataracts are a common age-related condition; however, injury, illness, and certain medications can also contribute to cataract formation. Cataracts typically progress slowly but can be rapid in some cases.

The different types of cataracts are:

  • Nuclear Sclerotic Cataract – This is the most common type of cataract that occurs with aging and typically progresses slowly. The natural lens becomes denser and the center of the lens becomes more yellow or brown.
  • Cortical Cataract – This type of white-gray cataract forms in the outer lens cortex, gradually extending its spokes from the outside of the lens to the center. This type of cataract is more likely to cause trouble with nighttime driving.
  • Posterior Sub Capsular Cataract (PSC) – This type of cataract may occur at a younger age and can progress very rapidly. A PSC is an opacity on the back surface of the lens. Patients with diabetes, radiation treatment, and trauma are more prone to develop this type of cataract.
  • Combined – Cataracts can often be a combination of the types listed above.

Cataract Symptoms

Cataract symptoms include:

  • A gradual deterioration in vision over time
  • Objects may appear yellow, hazy, blurred or distorted
  • Vision at night or in low light conditions may be reduced
  • Vision in bright light or in the sun may be difficult due to glare
  • Halos may appear around bright lights at night

If cataracts limit a patient’s vision and become so cloudy that even the best prescription of glasses or contacts is not enough to see, then they may be a good candidate for cataract surgery.

Cataract Treatment

Cataract surgery is a procedure that involves the removal of your cataract and placement of an intraocular lens (IOL). This painless, outpatient procedure is quick, involves a small, non-invasive incision, and has a short recovery time. This surgery is one of the most common procedures performed in the United States every year, and it is a highly refined and successful operation.

Once we have performed a thorough examination of your eyes and have determined that cataract surgery is recommended, our doctors and our surgery scheduling team will explain your implant lens options, and will develop a personalized treatment plan just for you.

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Learn More About Cataract Surgery Lens Options

Cataract Surgery Premium Options

At Hill Vision Services, we strive to go above and beyond when it comes to your eyes. This is why we offer premium lens implants, laser assisted cataract surgery, or a combination of both to achieve the vision result you’ve always wanted. Premium options can correct your astigmatism, give you a greater range of focus without glasses, and refine your surgery to allow faster healing. Whatever your situation, speak with your doctor to see how our premium options can help.

Our ophthalmologists want each patient to understand the available options for cataract surgery. We believe that patients who are well-informed and have careful guidance from our surgical team are able to make the best decisions and are happiest with the results of their cataract surgeries. Get in touch with us!

Cataract Surgery

Cataract Surgery Step-by-Step

  1. Like most surgeries, patients are given anesthesia. However, unlike more invasive procedures, patients are not put under general anesthesia. The team at the surgery center will work with you to choose the right anesthesia to help keep you relaxed. Patients are also given topical numbing eye drops. For certain patients, a local block can be done that provides a deeper level of anesthesia.
  2. After applying the local anesthetic, a very small incision is made manually or with a laser at the junction of the white and colored parts of the eye. This incision is so small it seals without sutures in 99% of cases.
  3. A sophisticated ultrasound vacuum (phacoemulsification) is used to remove the clouded cataract from within its outer clear membrane sac, called the capsule.
  4. An intraocular lens implant (IOL) is inserted into the empty capsule providing a clear focusing pathway for light. This implant is individually calculated to be as accurate as possible to your eye’s prescription.

Nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia can be corrected at the same time the cataract is removed, which can significantly reduce or sometimes eliminate the need for distance glasses.

Cataract Post-op Care

You will be prescribed medicated drops to use after your cataract surgery. You will take an antibiotic drop to prevent infection, a steroid drop to control inflammation, and a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drop. There are a few other things you will be required to do following cataract surgery, such as wearing a plastic shield over the eye during sleep, avoiding rubbing the eye, and wearing protective sunglasses outside.

For about a month after cataract surgery, it is normal to experience the following:

  • Initial blur as if you are looking through a steamy shower door
  • Fluctuating vision with progressive clearing over the next few weeks
  • Mild “fluttering” in the vision due to early movement of the IOL
  • Minor discomfort such as dryness, mild ache, or scratchiness
  • Glare, halos, or starbursts around lights at night

Cataract Surgery FAQs

How do I know if I am a candidate for cataract surgery?
You may be a good candidate for cataract surgery if you are experiencing decreased or blurred vision, glare and halos, impaired depth perception, increased color distortion, or are having trouble seeing even with your new glasses.

What are the benefits of cataract surgery?
Good vision is often vital to an enjoyable lifestyle. Numerous research studies show that cataract surgery enables patients to once again enjoy their favorite activities, including reading, sewing, playing cards, and golfing. Patients also feel more confident and safe driving during the day and at night. Those who have had cataract surgery often report that their quality-of-life greatly improves after the procedure.

Will I still have to wear glasses after cataract surgery?
Whether glasses or contacts are needed after your procedure depends on the type of lens implant you choose. Patients who choose to implant monofocal lenses will have to wear glasses for either distance or up-close work since monofocal lenses are designed to focus only at one distance. Patients who choose to upgrade to premium multifocal lenses will have a broader range of vision and more freedom from glasses.

How long will it take for my vision to become normal?
After the surgery, you may notice an immediate improvement, but your vision may be blurry initially. After the surgery, the eye needs time to heal, adjust, and for the prescription to stabilize. This healing period may take several weeks. How long it takes to see normally depends on the lens you choose and how severe the cataract was prior to surgery. Those who have had corneal pathology or procedures may take longer to heal. Patients often describe that objects appear brighter and colors more vivid. It may take several weeks to adjust to this change.

Does insurance pay for cataract surgery?
Since cataract surgery is a medical procedure, many insurance companies and Medicare will cover the surgery and the implantation of a monofocal lens. Check with your insurance provider. If you choose a multifocal or premium lens, you may have to pay for the additional cost of the lens upgrade. We at Hill Vision Services can help you understand your financing options and what questions to ask your benefits administrator.

Contact Our Team for Cataract Surgery!

An initial evaluation in one of our three office locations is required before planning for and proceeding with surgery. Cataract surgery is not done in the office but is performed at a surgery center or hospital.

Hill Vision Services is proud to offer the convenience of multiple surgical locations including:

  • Chesterfield, MO
  • Creve Coeur, MO
  • Lake St Louis, MO
  • Edwardsville, IL
  • Highland, IL
  • Maryville, IL

Meet with one of our dedicated surgery consultants who can help to explain cataract surgery options further, provide pricing information, and discuss other logistical planning for surgery. Contact us today!