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Over time, the natural lens on the inside of the eye that functions to focus light on the retina (called the crystalline lens) changes from a crystal-clear structure to become yellow, hazy, and eventually opaque due to cataract formation. Cataracts occur as a result of the normal metabolic changes to the body that are a part of the normal aging process, cumulative damage from ultraviolet light exposure, and sometimes damage from chronic diseases, like diabetes.

Cataracts cause the vision to change gradually over time, initially causing changes in one’s glasses or contact lens prescription and eventually leading to hazy/blurry vision that is not correctable to 20/20 even with the use of glasses or contact lenses. Cataracts will cause progressive vision loss and can cause blindness if they are left untreated.

Cataracts are treatable through surgery that removes the natural crystalline lens and replaces it with a crystal-clear synthetic implant to focus light on the retina. Through recent advances in medical technology, cataract surgeons are now able to create an implant that is specific to the patient’s ocular measurements, thereby simultaneously correcting near-sightedness or far-sightedness and often significantly decreasing the patient’s dependency on glasses.

Advanced implants are also available now to correct for astigmatism and provide multifocal correction for distance and near vision, eliminating the need for glasses altogether in some patients.

Thanks to the advances in intraocular lens implant technology, patients who are not good candidates for LASIK vision correction (whether due to a high glasses prescription, thin or irregular corneas, or age) can now consider a procedure called Clear Lens Extraction or Refractive Lens Exchange. This procedure is basically cataract surgery (performed before there is a visually-significant cataract) for the purpose of correcting the vision to eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses.

Both Dr. Stehlik and Dr. Wild provide peri-operative care for patients who undergo cataract surgery or Clear Lens Extraction.