Cataract Surgery and Glaucoma
By Jeffrey Martin, MD
Published on April 02, 2010
Cataract surgery has improved dramatically over the past ten years. In many cases, modern cataract surgery is performed through a small incision that will close on its own. Dr. Jeffrey Martin says the patients at his Long Island practice receive IV sedation and eye drops that numb the surface of the eye. Dr. Martin then removes the cataract or cloudy lens using gentle computer controlled ultrasound called phacoemulsification. An intraocular lens implant or IOL is then used to replace the defective lens. This restores vision to the best level possible. There are many choices in IOLs today and about 30 percent of Dr. Martin's patients choose premium implant lenses. These lenses are designed to reduce the need for glasses or contact lenses. Some of the premium IOL patients can choose from include TECNIS multifocal, ReSTOR, and Crystalens.
Glaucoma is an eye condition in which the pressure in the eye is too high. This high pressure eventually damages the optic nerve causing slow peripheral vision loss. Glaucoma is particularly dangerous because it is painless in some cases and at times is discovered only after visual field loss has occurred. With regular eye examinations, glaucoma can be diagnosed early and with treatment, patients can live a lifetime without negative effects on their vision. Some types of glaucoma affect the lens of the eye. Cataract surgery does not cure glaucoma, but in these lenticular forms of glaucoma, cataract surgery can be helpful. Even in routine open angle glaucoma, cataract surgery can lower the intraocular pressure by a few points in many cases. It is important that your cataract specialist is aware of any glaucoma issues that may be present.