Q: My mother was recently diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes and the optometrist said they are very dense and we should have not waited so long. What is the issue?
A: Besides having poor vision for an extended period of time, dense cataracts, sometimes called “brunescent” cataracts can present surgical challenges for ophthalmologist. However, some practices offer laser-assisted cataract removal, which can significantly reduce the difficulty in removing a dense cataract. A cataract occurs when the lens of the eye turns cloudy. The lens is removed using ultrasound technology called “phacoemulsification” and a new artificial lens is inserted in place, giving the patient clear cataract free vision. If a cataract is dense, the surgeon must spend more time trying to break up the cataract using ultrasound, which requires more effort, energy and attention to successfully complete.
Think of the cataract as an ice cube. Using laser technology, the surgeon can dissect the cataract or ice cube into several little ice cubes before applying phacoemulsification, making it easier for the surgeon to extract the cataract. We have been offering this technology to our patients for years and its produced excellent outcomes. Your mother should have vast vision improvement after having her cataract removed. You will love the look on her face as she looks around with her restored vision!