Cataract Removal in Kauai County
A cataract is a clouding of the natural crystalline lens inside the eye. This lens is usually clear at birth, and each decade of life the lens gradually becomes more and more cloudy. Just like the lens inside a camera is important for focusing light, the lens inside our eye focuses light onto the retina in order for sight to occur. If either lens were not in perfect focus or there were a fog within the lens, the image would become blurred. In an eye, this “fogged” lens is the cataract.
Cataracts can be caused by aging, UV light exposure, diabetes, trauma, smoking, and steroid use. It can also be hereditary. Because aging is an inevitable part of life, so are cataracts. Many are slow-growing, but some develop quite quickly, especially those classified as a posterior subcapsular cataracts.
- Blurry vision that is not improved with glasses or contact lenses
- Noticeable glare or sensitivity to light, especially at night with oncoming headlights
- Loss of contrast sensitivity
- Fading or yellowing of colors
- Seeing a shadow around letters or haloes around lights
- Frequent changing of eyeglass prescription.
When cataracts are small and not visually significant, surgery is not necessary and an updated glasses prescription may suffice. However, when a cataract begins to affect the activities of daily life, surgery becomes necessary. The surgery is a same-day, outpatient surgical procedure done at either Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital (KVMH) or Wilcox Memorial Hospital (WMH). The cloudy lens is carefully removed by ultrasound, and a clear intraocular lens (IOL) implant is placed.
At Kauai Eye Institute, we offer the most advanced IOL technologies available to our patients. There are three main categories of IOLs that can be chosen at the time of surgery:
- Monofocal lens: This is the standard lens option. It is able to focus light at one point, typically set at distance.
- Toric lens: This lens can correct for any astigmatism, which is when the shape of the front of the eye (cornea) is oblique like a football instead of round like a soccer ball. This astigmatism-correcting lens offers great vision at distance, reducing or eliminating altogether the dependence on glasses or contact lenses. However, glasses for reading and computer work are still necessary.
- Multifocal lens: this has distance, intermediate, and near vision focal points. This specialty lens technology reduces or eliminates the dependence on glasses or contact lenses the majority of the time, even for reading or computer work.
Cataract surgery is the most frequently performed surgery in the world, and it is generally a very successful surgery. In this 10-15 minute procedure, lives are changed, vision is gained, and oftentimes glasses and contact lenses are thrown by the wayside.
If you are concerned you may have cataracts and/or are interested in more spectacle independence, please schedule an evaluation with Dr. Yoo to discuss your current ocular condition and visual goals, as well as to answer any questions you may have. Call our office at (808) 378-9927