cataract surgeon

5 steps to help sort out your lens implant options with Cataract Surgery

Senior Woman Looking Over Turtleneck Sweater

Which lens implant will match your lifestyle?

First Step. Take a cataract assessment, (see below) You may be experiencing the effects of cataracts; everything may appear fuzzier, dimmer and driving at night may be an unwelcome challenge. Do you think you may have cataracts?  Learn  how they affect your life by taking the Cataract Surgery Self-Evalutation.

Second Step: Are you aware that when you opt for the traditional, standard lens implant, you will probably need glasses afterwards to accomplish all ranges of vision.  In other words, even though your lens will brighten and clear up your vision, you will need glasses to see various focal lengths with best vision; i.e., up close, intermediate and in the distance.  If you like wearing glasses, this may be the lens implant for you.

Third Step: Consider this, if you opt for the advanced technology, like the Tecnis Symfony, lens implant, you can reduce your dependence on glasses for distance, near and most places in between. You may find there are times that you wish to wear glasses to refine your vision, and this is still considered by you and your surgeon as a successful outcome.

Fourth Step: Review your overall health. It plays an important part in reducing your dependence on wearing glasses. Allergies, medicines, even over-the-counter medicines, health problems, all can affect your dependence on glasses. Your eye doctor will be able to address these concerns; it is important that you take note of your doctor’s recommendations.

Fifth Step, and this is most important: Your surgeon can provide a lens designed for an extended range of vision. Expect to keep an active relationship with your doctor by following your surgeon’s recommendations after surgery, maintaining your health to the best of your ability, and working with your doctor in order to sustain continued happy vision.

Whether you choose a standard lens or a premium, advanced technology lens implant, most patients report a brighter, more colorful world after surgery. Your next task is to continue to educate yourself by downloading a complimentary eBook, visiting our website,, or calling upon one of our Refractive Counselors at 360-474-2561. An informed patient is a happy patient!

Barbara Aliaga, a member of The Harman Eye Clinic since 1989, chose an advanced technology lens implant with cataract surgery in 2014. She writes for The Harman Eye Clinic blog and website since their inception and is currently doing so without wearing glasses!

A Happy Patient Is An Informed Patient

watch-informed-consent-001You might ask, “What are possible temporary side effects after cataract surgery?”   To answer this question and to help you prepare when you talk with your surgeon, here are frequent questions and concerns patients ask about after surgery.

BLURRED VISION:  what are common causes of blurred vision after cataract surgery?

  • Dropless cataract surgery is routinely performed at The Harman Eye Clinic, and causes black dots in the vision for at least day or two after surgery.  Patients are instructed to sit upright for at least a few hours when the get home to help the medicine settle to the bottom of the eye, like a snow globe.
  • Dilation lasts for at least a day or two after cataract surgery and commonly causes blurred vision.
  • PCO or posterior capsular opacification occurs 10-20% after routine cataract surgery.  It causes glare at night, but is curable by a simple YAG laser procedure that takes 2 minutes to perform, but an hour and a half for the paperwork!
  • CME or cystoid macular edema occurs about 1% of the time after routine cataract surgery.  It causes difficulty reading and even distance vision.  Risk factors include diabetes, ERM (epiretinal membrane), prior retinal surgery and possibly cigarette smoking.  It often can be cured with topical steroid and anti-inflammatory eye drops.
  • Residual refractive error may cause blur until new spectacles are prescribed.  If a monofocal lens is chosen for best distance vision, then near vision will be blurred (so called presbyopia) until readers are used.
  • Dry Eye syndrome is a life long condition, that may cause fluctuating vision, and may be worse at least temporarily after cataract surgery.  It is often exacerbated by prescription eye drops (especially generic drops such as ketorolac), but we are seeing much less dry eye problems since switching to dropless surgery.
  • ARMD (age related macular degeneration) or ERM may also limit vision due to aging changes in the retina.

DYSPHOTOPSIAS are unwanted visual phenomena occurring after routine cataract surgery.

  • Negative dysphotopsia are likened to “horse blinders” with a shadow or dark crescent on the side and usually subside within days or weeks. They are thought to be more common in square edged lens implants, but have been reported in all types of lens implants, however they are not dangerous.
  • Positive dysphotopsia are less common, and are often described as an arc of light under certain lighting conditions.

REBOUND IRITIS IS INFLAMMATION that occurs usually 2 to 3 weeks after cataract surgery.

  • It is thought to be a result of the dropless medicine wearing off, especially found in darkly pigmented patients.  It happens in less than 10% of patients who have dropless surgery and is treated with topical steroids.  This is the best reason for patients to keep their 3-week postoperative appointment after surgery.

For more information.  download a free copy of our Cataract Surgery Patient Workbook, here.

Or take time to read, A Patient’s Journal – Cataract Surgery