Kallie Kappes OD
Will I need glasses after cataract surgery?
Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries performed yearly, with approximately 26 million cataract surgeries performed in 2017 alone. Advances in technology have allowed for our patients to become less reliant on spectacle or contact lens correction after the procedure. The opportunity to transition from relying on glasses or contact lenses full time to part time or even less is a very exciting opportunity but involves a lot of considerations.
How will I know if I’ll need glasses again after surgery?
At your evaluation several measurements are taken to provide your surgeon with information regarding the type of lens implants that can replace your cataracts. Farsightedness, nearsightedness as well as the presence of any astigmatism will be included in the conversation with your doctor. For patients who have only cataracts and are fortunate to be free of other eyes disease, there are great options to significantly decrease your dependency on any glasses after surgery. Your candidacy for these premium options will be determined during your evaluation.
“I would like to have good far away vision to drive and watch tv, but will I need reading glasses?”
Many patients like to be as independent as possible from glasses for distance activities such as watching TV and driving. In this case, your surgeon can select a single focus lens implant to focus your eyes for the distance. This will result in needing reading glasses for any activities that require fine detail within arm’s reach. Over-the-counter reading glasses are a suitable solution for many patients. Bifocals or progressives can also be fit to assist for near tasks after your eyes have healed from surgery.
“I have astigmatism correction in my glasses, how does that work with surgery?”
If astigmatism is present in the measurements at the time of your evaluation, the standard, single focus lens implant will not correct for astigmatism. Depending on the amount of astigmatism present, there could be a need for glasses or contacts. These would provide the best clarity when looking at distance targets i.e. driving, sporting events, tv/movie viewing, and would also be incorporated into any reading glasses prescription. In the vast majority of cases, prescribed glasses prior to cataract surgery will no longer be accurate afterwards. A new glasses prescription can be determined by your primary care eye doctor after surgery.
“I have astigmatism and I want to be independent of glasses in the distance. I don’t mind having reading glasses”
For patients who have astigmatism, a premium lens implant option is available to correct your vision for the distance thereby reducing your dependency on glasses after surgery. Patients will still require reading glasses though. These premium lens implants that correct for astigmatism are called toric lens implants. Our surgeons at Eye Care Associates of Nevada take pride in their ability to correct for astigmatism using these lenses. Our surgeons use state-of-the-art technology during surgery to ensure that the perfect toric lens implant is provided to you!
*astigmatism: when the front surface of your eye isn’t perfectly round like a sphere, but instead has more curvature in certain areas than others, which can cause distortion and blurry vision
**progressive: a type of spectacle lenses that can incorporate a distance prescription at the top part of the lens and then gradually increases in power as the eyes looks through to the bottom portion of the lens to help focus near vision