Cataract Surgery in Monterey
As a foremost Monterey cataract surgery provider, Dr. Philip Penrose offers his patients customized, highly effective treatments. For many of his cataract patients, Dr. Penrose recommends cataract surgery with premium intraocular lenses (IOLs). When their eyes’ clouded natural lenses are replaced with premium IOLs, Monterey cataract patients usually achieve clear vision at all distances. Explore the paragraphs below to learn more about cataract surgery in Carmel, CA, and Dr. Penrose’s treatment approach.
What are Cataracts?
The eye’s natural lens is transparent and focuses images in the same way as the lens of a camera. As the lens ages or becomes affected by conditions such as diabetes and smoking, the lens becomes cloudy. This cloudiness is called a cataract, and surgery may be required to correct it. A cataract may form over a period of years without causing pain or a change in your appearance to others. You may notice early on that driving at night becomes difficult due to glare; with time the developing cataract will reduce your vision, causing objects to become hazy or blurry.
Unfortunately, no medication or diet will make the lens transparent again. The only way to treat a cataract is to use surgery to remove the lens and replace it with an artificial intraocular lens. With rare exceptions, an intraocular lens will last a lifetime.
Presbyopia refers to the gradual loss of near vision that you experience as you age. Unlike myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism, which are related to the size and shape of the eye, presbyopia occurs when the natural lens inside the eye loses elasticity and thus its ability to quickly focus at different distances. Thus, corneal treatments such as PRK refractive surgery cannot remedy presbyopia.
To adjust for this loss of near vision, most people wear reading glasses or bifocals. For people who have detail-oriented or especially active jobs or hobbies, glasses may not be the best answer. The most recent development in presbyopia treatment is implantation of intraocular lenses, or IOLs.
Cataracts and Presbyopia
What is Presbyopia?
As you age, your eyes will likely develop one or both of the most common age-related vision problems: presbyopia and cataracts. Though they are unpreventable, both issues can be treated effectively and quickly. Reflecting the prevalence and effectiveness of the procedure, cataract surgery in Monterey is typically covered by medical insurance.
Premium IOLs Cataract Surgery in Monterey
Every year, more than 1.5 million Americans have cataract surgery with placement of an intraocular lens (IOL). This form of cataract surgery is relatively painless and performed on average in 15 to 20 minutes’ time. During this procedure, Doctor Penrose will remove the cloudy natural lens and replace it with an intraocular lens. The incision for an IOL is a bit smaller than the width of your pinky finger; in most cases, it does not require any stitches. Only local anesthesia is necessary; though light sedation may be a desired option for those suffering from natural anxiety.
Doctor Penrose prefers implanting the Symfony multifocal lenses due to their focusing capabilities. After receiving one of these implants, four out of five cataract surgery patients report that they do not have to use glasses for either near or distance vision. The remaining patients generally find a greatly reduced dependence on glasses and contact lenses. Anyone with cataracts, whether they also have presbyopia or not, may be a good candidate for cataract surgery. Doctor Penrose will help you decide if the procedure is right for you based on the facts of your individual case. Patients with significant astigmatism should not have these lenses (see Toric Lenses for Astigmatism).
Most eyes are shaped like basketballs so that light and images are focused to one clear point. Other eyes are shaped like footballs having one steeper axis. In these eyes, light and images are focused to various points causing blurred and distorted vision. This is called astigmatism. We correct astigmatism using eyeglasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery, including PRK and LASIK in Carmel / Monterey.
For patients who have a cloudy natural lens (cataract), another option to correct the astigmatism is with a premium toric lens. This intraocular lens may be placed permanently in the eye when the cataract is removed.
Dr. Penrose uses the AcrySof Toric lenses in those Monterey cataract patients who desire to have their astigmatism corrected and be less dependent on glasses or contact lenses. The AcrySof Toric lens is a foldable, single-piece lens made of a biocompatible material. The lens also protects the retina from ultraviolet light and is aspheric. The asphericity provides for improved contrast sensitivity (seeing in dim light).
For more information on cataract surgery with premium IOLs, schedule an appointment. A consultation with the talented Monterey cataract surgeon, Dr. Penrose, will help you decide what course of action to take.
LASER Assisted Cataract Surgery
Thanks to today’s technology in lasers, if a patient desires, Dr. Penrose may use a femtosecond laser for parts of the cataract procedure. While Dr. Penrose is an expert cataract surgeon, the laser is very precise in creating an opening to the cataract (the capsulorhexis) and placing incisions in the cornea to correct for astigmatism without the variable of surgeon experience. Dr. Penrose has used the same femtosecond laser for the past years when he performs All LASER LASIK or Intralase procedures. Many refractive surgery patients on the Monterey Peninsula have benefited from the precision it provides in creating a thin corneal flap during LASIK. Dr. Penrose can decide whether you are a good candidate for LASER Assisted Cataract Surgery when he examines your eyes at his downtown Monterey clinic or at Ryan Ranch.
Cataract Surgery Financing Options
Cataract surgery is partially covered for most of our Monterey cataract surgery patients. However, in most cases, premium IOLs are not covered. For patients who don’t have insurance or are not eligible for coverage, we offer the following payment options:
- Cash or Check
- Credit Card
- CareCredit Financing
Flexible Spending Accounts and Cataract Surgery
A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is an excellent way to cover the out-of-pocket expenses for cataract surgery or any other elective or medically necessary procedure. FSAs were developed by the government to help people offset the cost of medical bills and are obtained through your employer. An FSA allows you to set aside tax-free dollars from your paycheck, which can later be used to cover medical expenses. Using your FSA funds for cataract surgery can save you a significant amount of money. It is important to note that each year, the funds in your FSA must be used within a certain period of time, so please plan accordingly.