Cataract Technology

In the early stages, cataracts might simply require a stronger eyeglass or lens prescription, force you to turn on brighter lights, or use a magnifying glass. You might also reduce glare by repositioning lights indoors or by wearing polarized sunglasses outside. For patients with posterior subcapsular cataracts, the use of dilating eye drops can help keep their pupils large, thus allowing more light into the eyes.

Depending on the severity of your vision loss, you may be able to delay surgery for a while, but eventually, surgery may be inevitable, as lenses and glasses will never reverse the process. Talk to your doctor about when surgery may no longer be avoidable for your own safety and quality of life.

For more information, read about what happens during Cataract Surgery.

Cataract Surgery Procedure

The cataract surgery procedure is very common throughout most of the world. The surgeon makes a tiny incision on the side of the cornea, removes the eye's clouded natural lens (using a procedure known as phacoemulsification   Phacoemulsification (phaco): The medical term for "small incision cataract surgery." Phaco represents the majority of cataract surgeries performed today. After making a small incision on the side of the cornea, the surgeon inserts a tiny probe into the eye. The probe emits ultrasound waves that soften and break up the clouded lens, which is then removed by suction. An artificial lens (intraocular lens or IOL) is then permanently placed in the eye.   ),   Lens: The transparent disc behind the pupil that brings light into focus on the retina.   and then replaces it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL).   IOL: An artificial lens made of plastic, silicone, or acrylic, which is designed to be implanted in the eye to improve its focus and correct vision problems related to cataracts.   Phacoemulsification is the most common technique used today. Because the incision is less than an eighth of an inch, stitches are not typically required and the eye heals quickly. In 97 percent of cases, no complications occur.1 Innovative new tools, like the LenSx® Laser may help increase surgeons’ precision for even better outcomes.

Fortunately, modern procedures are outpatient, lasting only 15 to 30 minutes, and cause little to no pain. They even allow you to return to work the same day, if you choose.

If you have cataracts in both eyes, your doctor may recommend surgery on the weaker eye first, and then complete the second round after the first eye has healed.

Visit our page on intraocular lenses.

Or read about advancements happening in IOL technology today.

Next: Intraocular Lenses (IOLs)


  1. Med Market Diligence, November 2006. Accessed October 20, 2010.