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Cataract Surgery & Lens Implants at Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center-Valparaiso & Knox, IN

By Scott Buck, M.D.

About Cataracts
Cataract Surgery and Lens Implants (IOL) are an area of special interest for Scott Buck, M.D. at Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center. All of our eye doctors provide complete eye examinations for Cataracts and will fully discuss your individual diagnosis with you should you have a Cataract.

Aging Eyes and Cataracts Don’t Have to Slow You Down
Indiana seniors concerned about the effects of aging eyes and vision can avoid having to slow down or restrict their lifestyle and activities by learning about Cataracts and how to deal with having a Cataract. By understanding the symptoms of cataracts, the benefits that cataract surgery and lens implants can have on vision, daily living, maintaining mental alertness and the safety and comfort of just moving around, seniors and those with aging eyes can overcome the potential limitations cataracts can present.

About the Development & Symptoms of Cataracts
In order for you to have clear vision light must be able to pass through the optical structures of your eyes and focus properly on the Retina. The two primary structures that are responsible for refracting, or bending light so that it can focus properly on the back of the eye, or the Retina, are the Cornea, which is the outermost clear curved “lens” that is visible when looking at your eye from a side view and the Crystalline Lens, which is located behind the colored part of the eye, or the Iris, and is not directly visible. The Crystalline Lens will be examined during your eye examination by using specialized instruments to look through the Pupil, or the dark center of the Iris.

Both the Cornea and the Crystalline Lens need to be perfectly clear in order for you to have good vision. If you are in good health and have not had chronic eye infections, inflammation or had any trauma to your eyes, the Cornea is likely to maintain its clarity throughout your life. The Crystalline Lens however undergoes a number of changes that progress as we age. These aging changes can affect your vision.

Even if you have had “good eyes” and “normal vision” all your life, your vision is likely to begin to change in a number of ways as we progress from our 40’s, to our 50’s and then our 60’s and beyond. The most obvious changes to our vision occur as a result of these changes in the Crystalline Lens.

The two most common changes that occur in the Crystalline Lens are:
• A loss of flexibility, called Presbyopia, which makes it harder to read and
• A loss of optical clarity, which can cause a Cataract.

Symptoms of Cataracts
When we are younger, the Crystalline Lens is usually soft, flexible and “crystal” clear so that it has excellent transparency and optical clarity. As we progress through our 50’s and 60’s, the normally “crystal” clear lens may gradually become yellow and cloudy. When this occurs, you may initially experience a mild blurring of your vision and feel that you might need a change of eyeglasses. As the Crystalline Lens loses its transparency and its optical clarity, you may notice that it is not as easy to see well and comfortably in dim illumination, such as for night driving. You may notice that colors look faded. The cloudiness may also create glare, haloes, light sensitivity and a continuing decrease in your vision. If the Crystalline Lens becomes too cloudy it may cause a significant decrease in both your day and night vision.

Cataract Vision Loss in Seniors
The loss of visual function over time in seniors is often associated with premature or accelerated mental decline. Decreased vision-especially in varying lighting conditions and situations where there are shadows, creates mobility and safety difficulty and can also put patients at increased risk for orthopedic injury-especially hip fracture. Restoring vision with cataract surgery and lens implants plays a real role senior health, well being, mobility, safety and mental state.

As we get older, Cataracts often become a common eye problem experienced by a great number of people just like you. Cataracts can affect us even if we have had normal vision all of our lives. It is important to note that Cataracts are even more common if we have had certain health problems such as diabetes or taken certain medications such as cortisone for asthma or other types of inflammatory conditions. If you are experiencing vision changes like these, it is important to schedule a comprehensive eye examination and Cataract Evaluation.

About Cataract Surgery
Cataract Surgery is not only one of the most frequently performed surgical procedures performed in the United States, but it is also one of the safest and most successful surgical procedures that you can have. Modern Cataract Surgery today is safe, effective, predictable and quite common. In the United States alone, more than 2.5 million people have Cataract Surgery each year. At Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center, Ophthalmologist Scott Buck, M.D. uses the most modern technique of Cataract Surgery-a small incision, “no stitch no needle” technique that is performed on an outpatient basis. Almost all of our Cataract Surgery procedures are performed at the Chandana Surgery Center at Porter which is a fully accredited, comfortable, convenient and close to home ambulatory surgery center for patients with Cataracts from throughout northern Indiana. The entire process usually requires only two hours of your time from beginning to end. The actual surgical procedure is painless and takes less than 15 minutes. The nurses and staff are present to help us with your actual surgery as well as to assist you and make your experience pleasant.

An Important Note about Cataract Surgery
A significant number of men in their 50’s and 60’s and beyond experience an enlarged prostate as part of the aging process. Today, many men are taking the prescription medication Flomax® or other similar medications that are members of the class of drugs called “alpha-antagonists” or “alpha blockers”. These may include Hytrin® (terazosin), Cardura (doxazosin), Flomax® (tamsulosin), Uroxatral® (alfuzosin) and Rapaflo® (silodosin).

Certain medications commonly used to treat an enlarged prostate can cause abnormal movement of muscles controlling the opening and closing of the Iris. During Cataract Surgery, the pupil must stay enlarged or dilated to allow the Cataract Surgeon to easily view the Crystalline Lens. Flomax® and certain other alpha-blockers including Hytrin®, Cardura and Uroxatral® in particular can interfere with pupil dilation, creating a condition known as Intraoperative Floppy Iris Syndrome (IFIS). If you are taking one of these medications and alert any member of our staff, Dr. Buck will be able to take extra care to make sure the pupil stays dilated to prevent unexpected complications during your Cataract Surgery.

When you arrive at the surgery center, the staff will check you in and review any paperwork that might require clarification or additional information. You will be escorted to a private changing area and asked to cover your street clothes with a gown and your shoes with “booties”. Once you are ready you will be escorted to a comfortable waiting area.

Your actual Cataract Surgery procedure will begin with a staff member placing some drops in your eye to dilate your pupil. Your eye will then be treated with an anesthetic so that you will feel little if anything during your surgery and minimal if any discomfort. For most Cataract Surgery patients this involves having a few sets of eye drops placed in your eyes. Typically, it is not necessary for Dr. Buck to use any injections or needles to anesthetize your eye. In order to help you relax, a small dose of anti-anxiety and/or sedative medication will be given as directed by Dr. Buck.

At the beginning of the surgery, Dr. Buck will place a very tiny incision at the outermost edge of your Cornea. This incision will be just large enough to allow microscopic instruments, about the size of a pen tip to pass through it.

These microscopic instruments include a sophisticated and precise instrument that allows the removal of your Cataract using ultrasound.

This is a cataract removal technique called “phacoemulsification” and is the preferred technique of Cataract Surgery for most patients.

Next, Dr. Buck will gently pass a microscopic instrument through the tiny incision and create an opening in the capsule of the Crystalline Lens to allow access to the cloudy lens material. Using sound waves or “Ultrasound” produced at the tip of another instrument, Dr. Buck will gently break the Cataract into pieces small enough to be washed away, drawn through the instrument and removed from your eye.

After the Cataract has been removed, Dr. Buck will insert a new, crystal clear permanent Intraocular Lens Implant (IOL) into your eye. The replacement lens will actually be inserted and placed in the correct position through the same tiny incision at the outer edge of the Cornea through which Dr. Buck removed the Cataract.

Upon completion of your Cataract and Lens Implant Surgery, one of the surgery center staff members will take you to a comfortable place where you will be able to rest and relax prior to going home. After resting for a short while, a surgery staff member will discharge you and have a family member or friend drive you home.

Dr. Buck will arrange for you to be seen at Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center within 24 to 48 hours of your Cataract and Lens Implant Surgery so we can examine your eye and confirm that you are healing and seeing as planned. He will also prescribe some eye drops for you. Although each patient will heal a little bit differently, the majority of patients having Cataract Surgery with Dr. Buck are able to see well enough to return to their routine daily activities within a day or so after their Cataract Surgery.

About Lens Implants

Today, at Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center, there are many types of Intraocular Lens Implants (IOL) that Dr. Buck can use in order to provide you with the best results to match your lifestyle and activities after Cataract Surgery. These different types of Lens Implants include Monofocal Lens Implants which are the most basic type of lens implant and only correct distance vision and not arm's length or close reading vision, Aspheric Lens Implants which offer a higher quality of distance vision but still do not correct arm’s length or close reading vision, Toric Lens Implants for those patients with astigmatism and Near Vision Presbyopia Correcting Multifocal Lens Implants such as the AcrySof® ReSTOR® Multifocal Lens Implant (IOL) which corrects distance vision, as well as arm’s length vision and close reading vision for most patients.

Monofocal Lens Implants
A Monofocal Lens Implant is the basic type of Lens Implant used to correct vision after Cataract Surgery. For approximately the first thirty years of Lens Implant Surgery all Lens Implants were of a type called a Monofocal Lens Implant. A Monofocal Lens Implant can provide very good vision after Cataract Surgery-but only at one set distance-usually for seeing things at a distance such as for driving or going to the movies. A Monofocal Lens Implant does not correct intermediate or arm’s length vision for doing things like playing cards and seeing the golf ball on the tee or even seeing computer screens clearly. Nor do Monofocal Lens Implants correct near vision for doing things up close such as seeing medicine bottles, reading or keeping your golf score as these tasks require the correction of Presbyopia. Thus patients electing to have Monofocal Lens Implants will be dependent on glasses either some or most of the time in about 70% of cases.

Aspheric Lens Implants
An Aspheric Lens Implant is a type of Lens Implant that is specifically designed to reduce the visual disturbances caused by the optical aberrations found in ordinary Lens Implants. This reduces the tendency to see "glare" that you might experience with basic Lens Implants and thus can offer improved sharpness and contrast, helping patients in certain difficult lighting conditions. Aspheric Lens Implants only correct distance or far vision, such as that required for driving. Aspheric Lens Implants do not usually correct intermediate or arm’s length vision, such as that required for viewing computer screens, and do not correct near vision as required for reading. Patients who wish to have the best quality of distance vision may wish to consider an Aspheric Lens Implant, but need to remember that it will still be necessary to wear reading glasses or bifocals to correct their intermediate and near vision. If you are particularly demanding and want the best possible distance vision after your Cataract Surgery, you will be able to discuss this option with Dr. Buck and the staff during your Cataract Consultation.

Astigmatism Correcting Toric Lens Implants
Astigmatism Correcting Toric Lens Implants (IOL) are a type of Lens Implant that can correct astigmatism. Astigmatism is an optical aberration that is caused by the Cornea being shaped more like a football, than spherical like a basketball. For Cataract patients who have astigmatism and who do not wish to wear eyeglasses to see clearly at a distance, choosing an astigmatism correcting Toric Lens Implant may help them to be independent of glasses for tasks such as driving that require clear distance vision. Toric Lens Implants do not correct Presbyopia, and thus even with Toric Lens Implants to correct astigmatism after Cataract Surgery, most patients still require reading glasses or bifocals to be able to comfortably perform near vision tasks such as reading and intermediate vision tasks such as computer work.

Near Vision Presbyopia Correcting Lens Implants
Near Vision Presbyopia Correcting Lens Implants provide vision correction after Cataract Surgery at the full range of distances- far or distance vision, arm’s length or intermediate vision and up close near vision. Depending on your specific vision requirements Dr. Buck might suggest, including the AcrySof® ReSTOR® Multifocal Lens Implant (IOL). The specialized optical design of the this Lens Implant (IOL) works in a way to help you achieve your vision correction goals of being able to see at a variety of distances after Cataract Surgery-without being dependent on eyeglasses. Presbyopia correcting lens implants correct both your distance vision and your Presbyopia after Cataract Surgery. For the vast majority of patients, having a Multifocal Lens Implant means that you will be able to see at distance and up close without being dependent on eyeglasses.

As with any surgical procedure, there are always risks as well as benefits. During your eye examination and Cataract consultation, we will perform a thorough Cataract examination and then arrange the scheduling of your Cataract Surgery. In addition, we will spend the time necessary to review the everyday activities that are most important to you-and whether being independent of glasses for those activities is something that you would like to achieve. As you prepare for your visit to Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center for your examination it will be helpful if you begin thinking about what those activities are so that you can discuss them and explore them with our staff.

If you decide to have an astigmatism correcting Toric Lens Implant or a Near Vision Presbyopia Correcting Multifocal Lens Implant, our staff will make sure to review your questions and fully explain any additional fees related to the Lens Implant that you might be responsible for. Medicare and most insurance plans cover the surgical facility fee for Cataract Surgery and the surgical fee for Cataract Surgery-but not the cost of additional testing and the actual advanced technology Lens Implants. In most cases, Medicare or the insurance provider asks Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center to bill you for the additional cost of the necessary testing, the lens itself and its implantation. Our staff will be pleased to review any costs as well arrange easy affordable monthly payments to fit your budget, should you decide that this lens is your best choice.

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center is conveniently located for patients wishing to schedule an eye exam for Cataracts, Cataract Surgery and Lens implants (IOL) in northern Indiana from La Porte, Mishawaka, South Bend, Michigan City, Crown Point, Merrillville, Chesterton, South Haven, Westville, Hebron, Lowell, Valparaiso and Walkerton as well as Chicago, Illinois suburban areas of Frankfurt, Calumet City, Monee and Crete. To schedule an appointment for Cataract examination, please call us at 219-464-8223.

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Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center, P.C.
502 Marquette Street
Valparaiso, Indiana 46383

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center, P.C.
1001 S. Edgewood Drive, #5
Knox, Indiana 46534

©2018 Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center
Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center in Valparaiso and Knox, IN provides eye exams for adults & children,
eye surgery such as LASIK, cataract surgery & lens implants and eyelid surgery, diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma,
age related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy and dry eye, as well as eye exams for cataracts, eyeglasses and contact lenses.