Duke eye surgeons perform thousands of cataract surgeries each year, and can often restore your vision to 20/20. We remove your cloudy lens using tiny incisions and sophisticated techniques, including highly precise lasers and ultrasound. We employ the latest lens designs to clear your vision. Depending on the lens used, you may no longer need glasses.
Improved vision through cataract surgery
Blurry or hazy vision, and night time glare or halo, may be a sign that you have a cataract. A cataract occurs when the normally clear lens inside the eye becomes cloudy or opaque. Age is the most common culprit, but medication use, diseases (like diabetes), trauma and congenital concerns can also cause the lens to cloud. When a cataract deteriorates your vision, your best option is the surgical removal of the cataract, and placement of an intraocular lens that permanently corrects your vision.
Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure that takes less than 15 minutes to perform using only light sedation. Most people experience no pain, and enjoy a rapid recovery. Our approach improves your vision, and gets you back to enjoying your normal activities as quickly as possible.
Choose Duke for your cataract surgery because we offer:
- Leading eye care experts. U. S News & World Report consistently ranks Duke Eye Center among the nation’s best.
- Implantable lens options. Recent advances in lens technology and design mean we have multiple options to improve your vision with cataract surgery. You will have a thorough discussion with your cataract surgeon regarding your individual situation and expectations following surgery. This will help determine which lens is right for you.
- Laser-assisted cataract surgery. Some people may benefit the use of lasers, which can be used during cataract surgery to correct astigmatism, or assist in the implantation of multifocal lenses that can improve distance and up-close vision.
- Astigmatism correction. If your cornea is not completely round, you may experience astigmatism, which can blur or distort your vision. After careful evaluation, we may recommend one of two options to correct your astigmatism. We may correct your vision with a special artificial lens or, we may recommend an alternate procedure called limbal relaxing incision (LRI). A small incision is created to reshape your cornea and reduce astigmatism. LRI can often be performed at the same time as your cataract surgery.
- Simple secondary cataract treatment. In a small percentage of cases, scarring or a secondary cataract may form on the membrane that supports the implanted lens. If this occurs in the months or years following your cataract surgery, we perform a short, painless in-office laser procedure to create an opening that lets light shine through and eliminate the secondary cataract.
- Compassionate, supportive environment. We offer patient support services, including educational materials and programs, a low vision rehabilitation program, and a dedicated social worker to help you and your loved ones manage your condition and maximize your quality of life.
Cataract surgery involves a small incision, made on the side of your cornea using a blade or laser. The cataract is removed using ultrasound energy, then an artificial lens is inserted into the eye. The entire process takes a few minutes under light sedation. You will be sent home with a clear eye shield, and will be able to return to most activities within two days. Complete recovery, and stabilization of your vision can take up to one month. Your lens options include:
The standard high quality lens covered by most insurance companies offers high quality vision. Some can filter UV light that may provide protection from macular degeneration. You will need glasses for computer work and reading. Some people do not need distance glasses with these lenses. It is possible to use these lenses to obtain monovision, which refers to correcting one eye for farsightedness and the other eye for nearsightedness.
Toric lenses use a special shape and targeted power to correct astigmatism as well as distance vision. This lens is typically not covered by insurance.
Multifocal and accommodative lenses correct presbyopia, the loss of near vision due to aging of your internal eye muscles. The multifocal lenses distribute light over multiple optical zones, which allows for both distance, intermediate and near vision correction. Accommodative lenses rely on the internal eye muscles to move the lens forward and backward to focus at multiple distances. It may still be necessary to wear reading glasses occasionally, but most people who receive these lenses are free of glasses for many activities.
Magnified, 3-D examination of the structures at the front of the eye.
A computer-guided device creates a 3-D image map of the cornea to measure corneal power, curvature, and thickness.
Measures the curvature of the cornea’s front surface to assess astigmatism.
Ultrasound waves measure the thickness of the cornea.
Ultrasound waves measure intraocular lens power.