What is a cataract?

A cataract is the clouding of the eyes natural lens. While cataracts can develop at any age, for most of us cataracts are a normal part of growing older. In addition to age – smoking, diabetes, past eye infections, injuries or surgery, some medications (such as eye2 steroids) and exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet light have been shown to increase the risk of developing cataracts. Symptoms are usually subtle at first. But as a cataract becomes “ripened” it yellows in color making it harder to see through and colors, once vivid, become dull. You may also experience blurred vision, difficulty reading, glare or halos around lights (especially at night), and frequent changes in your eye glass prescription. Night driving can become increasingly difficult and dangerous. Many people describe the cataract sensation as looking through wax paper.

Have you been told you have a cataract?

Are you seeking a cataract surgeon in Tampa, Clearwater or St. Petersburg? If so, our cataract specialists’ primary focus is to optimize vision results for a lifetime of enjoyment. The doctors at The Eye Institute of West Florida provide some of the nation’s top experienced surgeons.  Please feel free to read below to learn about the training, experience and national level projects that our cataract surgeons have worked on. If you are interested in learning more about what happens in the cataract and laser cataract procedures, the paragraphs below will discuss the latest options you will want to know to help you see better and reduce your dependency on glasses after surgery.

How is it treated?

Surgery is the only way to remove a cataract and restore clear vision. The process involves replacing your cloudy, natural lens with a clear, permanent implant called eye an intraocular lens (IOL). Diet cannot be used as a treatment nor are there any drops or other medications that treat cataracts.

After a comprehensive eye examination, diagnostic tests are performed to help determine which lens implant is right for you. Prior to surgery, a review of your medical history and physical will be completed.

Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure. Eye drops will be placed in your eye to dilate your pupil and to numb the area. You may be given a sedative to place you in a twilight sleep during the procedure to help you relax. Usually the procedure takes less than 7 minutes to perform.

During the procedure an entry through the cornea provides access to the cataract lens. Ultrasound technology breaks the cataract into smaller pieces that are evacuated safely. A clear new intraocular lens selected specifically for your eye is implanted to replace the cataract lens. Typically no sutures or patch are needed and the procedure is over. In the recovery area our staff will review post-surgical instructions and answer any questions.

The day following your surgery you will be given a post-operative appointment to evaluate your results. Surgery for your other eye will typically be scheduled one week later.

After Cataract Surgery

The next day your surgeon will check your operative eye. Then it’s back to living life and doing all the things you enjoy – from playing golf, tennis or swimming – without restriction and with reduced dependence on glasses. It’s normal to feel itching and mild discomfort for a couple of days after surgery; but you will need to avoid rubbing or pressing on your eye. You may use soft tissue or cotton balls to gently clean your eyelids. Your doctor will prescribe medications to prevent infection and control eye pressure. After a couple of days, all discomfort should disappear. Often, complete healing occurs within eight weeks.

Expect your vision to improve after cataract surgery. Your physician will let you know when your eye is completely healed. Be patient as vision sometimes will fluctuate a few days or weeks after surgery. Cataract surgery typically improve distance, intermediate and/or near vision. Glasses are needed sometimes after surgery. Expect colors to appear brighter and vision to be clearer.

A worsening of vision can occur a couple of months or longer after cataract surgery. Although you will not lose your vision, typical symptoms include blurry vision, contrast sensitivity or glare. If this happens to you, contact your surgeon for a follow-up examination. These symptoms are generally caused by a clouding of the posterior portion of the lens capsule and is cleared up with a laser capsulotomy or YAG procedure. The procedure takes seconds to perform and an immediate improvement in vision will result.

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following signs or symptoms after cataract surgery:

  • Vision loss
  • Pain that persists despite the use of over-the-counter pain medications
  • Increased eye redness
  • Light flashes or multiple spots (floaters) in front of your eye
  • Nausea, vomiting or excessive coughing

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1225 West Bay Drive Largo, Florida 33770

Phone : (727) 581-8706

St. Petersburg

6133 Central Avenue St. Petersburg, Florida 33710

Phone : (727) 344-3008

North Pinellas

3165 McMullen Booth Rd Building A, Suite 1 Clearwater, FL 33761

Phone : (727) 723-8706

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Our Specialists

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Stephen M. Weinstock, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Founder of The Eye Institute of West Florida in 1974, pioneering sub-specialty eye care in Pinellas County.
Cataract and LASIK specialist
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Robert J. Weinstock, M.D.

Board-certified ophthalmologist and is fellowship-trained in cataract and refractive surgery.
Refractive Cataract & LASIK Surgery
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Neel R. Desai, M.D.

A fellowship-trained ophthalmologist strictly specializing in LASIK, cataract and corneal diseases of the eye.
Refractive Cataract, Cornea & LASIK Surgery