Ask the Experts at Collins Vision-Michael J. Collins, MD, FACS
As a board-certified ophthalmologist and fellowship-trained cataract and refractive specialist, I love talking to my patients about cataract surgery and all the ways today’s advanced cataract surgery options can help them live out the rest of their lives with the vision they deserve.
At Collins Vision, we focus a great deal of our practice on the diagnosis and treatment of cataracts. Since June has been designated Cataract Awareness Month, we feel like it’s the perfect time to take a closer look at this common vision condition that most people will deal with at some point in their lives.
How Do I Know If I Have a Cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens that occurs as people get older. This cloudiness blocks and distorts the light passing through the eye, impeding clear vision. Over time, cataracts will continue to grow, clouding more of the lens.
Not every person experiences the same symptoms, but commonly experienced symptoms include:
• Blurry or cloudy vision
• Bright colors appear dull
• Glare from headlights, lamps or even sunlight
• Halos around lights
• Poor night vision
• Frequent glasses prescription changes
• Difficulty reading in low light
How Common are Cataracts?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that around 30 million Americans have cataracts. That’s more than twice the total number of people with glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration combined!
While it’s true that cataracts most commonly affect older people, people of all ages can develop cataracts. Your chances of developing cataracts doubles in your 50s and doubles again in your 60s. By the age of 80, more than 50% of Americans have cataracts.
One reason people sometimes don’t realize they have cataracts until they begin to affect their vision is that cataracts develop slowly over a long period and do not generally cause any pain.
Cataract Surgery in Naples and Fort Myers
If cataracts are affecting your life or the life of someone you love, you need to know this: You can’t treat cataracts with medication, eye drops or lifestyle changes. Cataracts must be surgically removed for vision to be restored.
Modern cataract surgery is a safe and comfortable outpatient procedure. Gone are the days of hospital stays, stitches and eye patches. More than 3 million people undergo cataract surgery every year, making the procedure one of the most common and successful surgeries available in the U.S. today. While all surgeries come with risks, the success rate for cataract surgery is impressively high! Most of our patients describe the procedure as comfortable, with minimal to no discomfort.
While cataract surgery is one of the safest and most effective surgical procedures performed today, it’s still important to choose a surgeon with focused training, plenty of experience, a commitment to the most advanced technology and a number of great outcomes. At Collins Vision, we’ve helped countless people regain their vision and their lives using modern cataract surgery techniques.
I always encourage my patients to do their research before making a decision about when and where to have cataract surgery. Experience matters!
How Does Cataract Surgery Work?
During your cataract surgery, I will make a tiny incision to gently remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a clear artificial lens. This new lens can’t be seen or felt and is designed to last a lifetime!
The incision is self-healing. Thanks to advances in technology, recovery time is impressively fast. Most of our patients return to normal activities within 24 to 48 hours of their procedure.
At Collins Vision, we offer the safest and most advanced technology available today. We were among the first practices in the country to invest in the Bausch & Lomb VICTUS Femtosecond Laser Platform to assist in Custom Laser Cataract Surgery. Why? Custom Laser Cataract Surgery represents one of the most significant surgical advancements of our time, and I believe the VICTUS is a true benchmark for safety and precision.
What is Refractive Cataract Surgery?
At Collins Vision, we specialize in something we call Refractive Cataract Surgery (also known as the “Enhance” and/or “Elevate” Paths at our practice), where the goal is to remove your cataract and reduce your dependency on glasses at the same time by correcting your vision issues with a premium intraocular lens. This is an advanced procedure that goes beyond standard cataract surgery to deliver amazing results designed to fit your unique eyes and lifestyle.
There are so many amazing lens options out there that can offer you increased visual freedom at the time of your cataract surgery, and at Collins Vision, we offer many options. Visual freedom is something that’s very important to many of our busy Southwest Florida residents who live active lives—working out, golfing, traveling or pursuing hobbies—and don’t want to be held back by the hassles of glasses.
Which Cataract Surgery Lens Should I Choose?
I love meeting with patients personally and customizing a plan that takes into account their unique eyes, needs, vision goals and lifestyle. At your one-on-one cataract surgery consultation, we will make sure you have all the information you need and want to feel comfortable and confident about your next steps. I will meet with you personally and customize a plan that takes into account your vision and everything that is important to you. The Collins Vision custom paths are explained in detail here.
You Have Higher Standards, So Do We
At Collins Vision, we are driven to be the very best. Being “good” is not good enough for us! As protectors of our patients’ most important sense—their sight—we are privileged to elevate lives by elevating vision.
We’d be honored to meet you and partner with you on your journey to having your vision restored. Our goal is to create a positive, memorable experience for you every time we have the opportunity to serve you. We are proud to be Southwest Florida’s leading full-service eye care practice since 2004, with locations in Fort Myers and Naples.