Surgical Solutions for Vision Enhancement

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Surgery on the eyes often feels like a scary topic of conversation for most patients. Because of this, when patients are told they have cataracts and need to have them removed, it can leave them with a feeling of anxiety. However, due to incredible advances in technology, coupled with the expertise and personalized care of Dr. Alison R. Tendler, ophthalmologist and owner of ART Vision in Sioux Falls, SD, patients can rest assured that their eyesight is in exceptional hands. 

The lens is one of several important parts of the eye; its job is to focus light to the retina which allows us to see clearly. When we are young, the lens is very flexible and clear, and can easily adapt its focusing power. As we age, the lens starts to become dysfunctional. This means it does not work as well as it once did: it becomes stiffer and more dense, and has more difficulty accommodating to provide focus on near objects, like reading. Chemical changes also occur, and naturally occurring proteins in the lens begin to cause cloudiness. The clouding of this lens is known as a cataract. There are several different types of cataracts, but they all share the same defining feature: the normally clear lens gets cloudy, and in turn can cause blurry vision. Age and other medical conditions can increase the risk of cataracts. Other risk factors of cataracts include diabetes, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, previous eye injuries or surgeries, prolonged use of certain medications, and exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Often, patients with cataracts describe their vision as looking through a cloudy or foggy window. This cloudy vision can make it difficult to perform daily tasks, such as watching television, working on the computer, reading street signs, or driving at night. Initially, changes in eyeglasses or contact prescriptions may help, but as the cataract progresses, these activities get more difficult, and prescription lens changes no longer help. If these changes in vision begin to interfere with your daily activities, you may need cataract surgery.

Refractive cataract surgery is an increasingly popular technology that not only focuses on cataract removal, but aims to correct refractive errors, greatly minimizing a patient’s need for glasses, reading glasses, or contact lenses. Refractive errors that can be corrected with refractive cataract surgery include nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia (difficulty reading due to age). During a refractive cataract surgery, the clouded lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens that is specified to your individual prescription needs to give you the clearest possible vision for multiple distances: far, intermediate, and near.  Basic cataract surgery is similar but does not address an individual's need for glasses for all activities.

At ART Vision, Dr. Tendler performs each cataract surgery in a state-of-the-art, in-office surgery suite. The boutique-style clinic offers a safe, personal environment with experienced, friendly staff who care for you throughout the entire process: from your preoperative evaluation, through surgery, into recovery, and beyond. The continuity of care can alleviate much of the anxiety associated with undergoing surgery. While some hestitance is understandable, most patients report that cataract surgery is the one of the best things they have ever done. If you believe you have symptoms of cataracts, or would like to find out how you can be more independent from your glasses or contacts, contact the team at ART Vision, so you can See the World Better and See Yourself Better.

Patient Quote: “8 months later I am thrilled by my refractive cataract surgery. I had both eyes done and within days of my surgeries being completed, I was amazed by how clearly I could see. By adding the refractive lenses, I am now able to read without the aid of glasses. As an avid golfer, I initially went in since I could not see the golf ball at a distance as it traveled and landed. I not only have my distance vision back, but my near vision as well. It has been an amazing opportunity to be able to see this well again.” -Jay H.

This article was originally published in the March issue of Empire Magazine.

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* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.