Contrary to popular belief, a cataract is not a type of “film” that forms over the surface of the eye. In reality, a cataract is the result of a natural change occurring inside your eye, a gradual clouding that ca make your vision lees sharp over time.
What causes cataracts?
Although the majority of cataracts develop on their own as a part of the natural aging process, there are certain risk factors that can contribute to cataracts developing earlier, or at an accelerated rate. Trauma to the eye, toxins, exposure to radiation, or certain diseases can accelerate a cataract formation. Heredity can also play a factor in determining when cataracts will begin to form in your lenses.
What are the symptoms of cataracts?
Cataracts generally develop slowly and painlessly. In fact, you may not even realize that your vision is changing. Still, cataracts are one of the most common causes of visual loss in the Unites States. Symptoms include blurred vision, faded or dull colors, poor night vision, and sensitivity to light. Left untreated, cataracts have the potential to cause a complete loss of vision. Thankfully, treating cataracts now involves a safe, relatively simple surgery that can literally change the way you see the world.
Which laser is best for treating my refractive error?
FDA does not provide comparisons between refractive lasers. FDA approves the safety and effectiveness of a device independent of any other product. However, you are encouraged to review the approval documents to assess the capabilities of specific laser systems and make your own comparisons. The approval number for each laser on the FDA-Approved Lasers page is linked to these documents, which provide additional, detailed information about the clinical trial results and indications for use. Discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor.
What is “All-Laser LASIK” and how does it compare to traditional LASIK surgery?
A: The difference between traditional LASIK and “All-Laser LASIK” (also known as “Bladeless LASIK”) is the method by which the LASIK flap is created. In “All-Laser LASIK”, a laser device called a laser keratome, is used to cut a corneal flap for LASIK surgery. This is a newer method to create a corneal flap than the traditional method of using a microkeratome, a mechanical device with a blade. There is no absolute agreement among eye surgeons on the better choice for flap creation. Some of the factors a surgeon considers when choosing a preferred method of flap creation during LASIK are as follows:
- Quality of vision - Rate of complications - Pain during and after surgery - Precision of flap size and thickness - Time to recovery of vision - Expense
Discuss with your doctor any questions and concerns you have about how they chose their preferred method of flap creation.
What percentage of patients attain 20/20 vision or better without glasses or contacts?
Data in the Approval Orders and related documents summarizes the outcomes from the clinical trials submitted to the FDA for each approved device. Links to these documents are included on the FDA-Approved Lasers page.