As we age, the protein within this lens begins to clump together and starts to cloud a small area of the lens. Once this happens, light rays are blocked from reaching the back of the eye making it hard to see. So a cataract is not a "film over the eye" but your natural lens once it has become clouded.
What causes a Cataract?
Cataracts are a normal part of aging. Eye injury, certain diseases (such as diabetes) some medications (such as steroids) may also cause cataracts. However, in 95% of cases, cataracts are caused by the aging process.
Anatomy of the Eye
The eye resembles a film style camera, receiving light rays from objects and focusing them onto the back of the retina. (equivalent to the film at the back of the camera) to produce a clear image.
Within your eye there is a crystalline lens that helps to focus light rays onto the back of your eye providing a crisp, clear image.
Surgery is needed to remove the old, clouded lens, and replace it with a new acrylic lens called an intraocular lens (IOL).
Cataracts are treated with a simple outpatient surgical procedure. Typically, this procedure lasts about 15-20 minutes. Although you will be awake for the surgery, we will painlessly apply a freezing gel to your eye and give you a mild sedative to ensure you are as pain free and relaxed as possible throughout the procedure.
A small probe (about the size ofa pen tip) is inserted and used to break up and remove the cataract. The new intraocular lens (IOL) is inserted through the same small incision. The new intraocular lens (IOL) unfolds and is set to its permanent position.
The goal of cataract surgery is to correct the decreased vision created by the cataract. Most people will still need to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses after cataract surgery for either near and/or distance vision and astigmatism. This is because most standard IOLs correct for distance only, while supplemental eyeglasses are still required for astigmatism and near vision activities. Your ophthalmologist will explain the type of Standard IOL available at no charge through the OHIP.
Cataract Surgery Choices
Dr. Smallman offers two different choices for cataract surgery:
- Manual Cataract Surgery at Hotel Dieu Hospital - view PDF
- Refractive Cataract Surgery with LenSX Femtosecond laser at Kingston Medical Centre - view PDF
Patients interested in Cataract surgery with Dr. Smallman should ask their Doctor to send a referral.