310 S. Greenleaf Ave
Gurnee, IIllinois 60031 847.244.1657
6 E Philip Road
Vernon Hills, Illinois 60061 847.816.9996
Cataracts & Cataract Surgery at Eye Care Center of Lake County serving greater Chicago, Northern Illinois & Southern Wisconsin
As we grow older learning about Cataracts and Cataract Surgery is an important task for maintaining and preserving your eye health and vision. In order for you to have clear vision light must be able to pass through the optical structures of your eyes and focus properly on the Retina.
The two primary structures that are responsible for refracting, or bending light so that it can focus properly on the back of the eye, or the Retina, are the Cornea, which is the outermost clear curved “lens” that is visible when looking at your eye from a side view and the Crystalline Lens, which is located behind the colored part of the eye, or the Iris, and is not directly visible.
The Crystalline Lens will be examined during your eye examination by using specialized instruments to look through the Pupil, or the dark center of the Iris. Both the Cornea and the Crystalline Lens need to be perfectly clear in order for you to have good vision. If you are in good health and have not had chronic eye infections, inflammation or had any trauma to your eyes, the Cornea is likely to maintain its clarity throughout your life. The Crystalline Lens however undergoes a number of changes that progress as we age. These aging changes can affect your vision.
Even if you have had “good eyes” and “normal vision” all your life, your vision is likely to begin to change in a number of ways as we progress from our 40’s, to our 50’s and then our 60’s and beyond. The most obvious changes to our vision occur as a result of these changes in the Crystalline Lens.
The two most common changes that occur in the Crystalline Lens are:
A loss of flexibility, called Presbyopia, which makes it harder to read and
A loss of optical clarity, which can cause a Cataract.
When we are younger, the Crystalline Lens is usually soft, flexible and “crystal” clear so that it has excellent transparency and optical clarity. As we progress through our 50’s and 60’s, the normally “crystal” clear lens may gradually become yellow and cloudy. When this occurs, you may initially experience a mild blurring of your vision and feel that you might need a change of eyeglasses. As the Crystalline Lens loses its transparency and its optical clarity, you may notice that it is not as easy to see well and comfortably in dim illumination, such as for night driving. You may notice that colors look faded. The cloudiness may also create glare, haloes, light sensitivity and a continuing decrease in your vision. If the Crystalline Lens becomes too cloudy it may cause a significant decrease in both your day and night vision. These are the visual symptoms that are common for those patients whose Crystalline Lens has clouded and formed a Cataract.
As we get older, Cataracts often become a common eye problem experienced by a great number of people just like you. Cataracts can affect us even if we have had normal vision all of our lives. It is important to note that Cataracts are even more common if we have had certain health problems such as diabetes or taken certain medications such as cortisone for asthma or other types of inflammatory conditions. If you are experiencing vision changes like these, it is important to schedule a comprehensive eye examination and Cataract Evaluation.
Cataract Surgery is not only one of the most frequently performed surgical procedures performed in the United States, but it is also one of the safest and most successful surgical procedures that you can have. Modern Cataract Surgery today is safe, effective, predictable and quite common. In the United States alone, more than 2.5 million people have Cataract Surgery each year. At Eye Care Center of Lake County Dr. Reinglass uses a small incision technique that is performed on an outpatient basis. Our Cataract surgery procedures are performed at Vista Surgery Center, Advocate Condell Medical Center or Vista Medical Center East. The entire process usually requires only two hours of your time from beginning to end. The actual surgical procedure is painless and takes less than 15 minutes. The nurses and staff are present to help us with your actual surgery as well as to assist you and make your experience pleasant.
An Important Note About Cataract Surgery
A significant number of men in their 50’s and 60’s and beyond experience an enlarged prostate as part of the aging process. Today, many of men are taking the prescription medication Flomax or other similar medications that are members of the class of drugs called “alpha-agonists”.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU NOTIFY OUR STAFF BEFORE YOU HAVE CATARACT SURGERY IF YOU ARE TAKING ANY MEDICATION FOR AN ENLARGED PROSTATE
In August 2006, a joint advisory letter was issued by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, and the American Urological Association that identified that drugs such as Flomax, commonly used to treat an enlarged prostate, and other alpha-blockers can cause abnormal movement of muscles controlling the opening and closing of the iris. During cataract surgery, the pupil must stay enlarged or dilated to allow the Cataract Surgeon to easily view the Crystalline Lens. Flomax and certain other alpha-blockers including Hytrin, Cardura, and Uroxatral can interfere with pupil dilation, creating a condition known as Intraoperative Floppy Iris Syndrome (IFIS).
If you are taking one of these medications and notify your eye surgeon or the staff, they will be able to take extra care to make sure the pupil stays dilated to prevent unexpected complications during your Cataract Surgery.
When you arrive at the surgery center, the staff will check you in and review any paperwork that might require clarification or additional information. You will be escorted to a private changing area and asked to cover your street clothes with a gown and your shoes with “booties”. Once you are ready you will be escorted to a comfortable waiting area.
Your Cataract Surgery procedure will begin with a staff member placing some drops in your eye to dilate your pupil. Your eye will then be treated with an anesthetic so that you will feel little if anything during your surgery and minimal if any discomfort. For most Cataract Surgery patients this involves having a few sets of eye drops placed in your eyes. Typically, it is not necessary for the Dr. Reinglass to use any injections or needles to anesthetize your eye. In order to help you relax, a small dose of anti-anxiety and/or sedative medication will be given by an anesthesiologist.
At the beginning of the surgery, Dr. Reinglass will place a very small incision at the outermost edge of your cornea.
This incision will be just large enough to allow a microscopic instrument the size of a pen tip to pass through it. This microscopic instrument is a sophisticated and precise instrument that allows them to remove your Cataract using ultrasound.
This cataract removal technique is called “phacoemulsification” and is the preferred technique of Cataract Surgery for most patients.
Next, Dr. Reinglass will gently pass the microscopic instrument through the tiny incision. Sound waves or “Ultrasound” produced at the tip of the instrument will be used to gently break the Cataract into pieces small enough to be washed away, drawn through the instrument and removed from your eye.
After the Cataract has been removed, they will insert a new, crystal clear permanent Intraocular Lens Implant (IOL) into your eye.
The replacement lens will actually be inserted and placed in the correct position through the same tiny incision at the outer edge of the cornea through which Dr. Reinglass removed the Cataract.
Upon completion of your Cataract and Lens Implant Surgery, one of the surgery center staff members will take you to a comfortable place where you will be able to rest and relax prior to going home. After resting for a short while, a surgery staff member will discharge you and have a family member or friend drive you home.
Dr. Reinglass will arrange for you to be seen at the Eye Care Center of Lake County within 24 to 48 hours of your Cataract and Lens Implant Surgery so we can examine your eye and confirm that you are healing and seeing as planned. They will also prescribe some eye drops for you. Although each patient will heal a little bit differently, the majority of patients having Cataract Surgery with Dr. Reinglass are able to see well enough to return to their routine daily activities within several days after their Cataract Surgery.
Eye Care Center of Lake County provides advanced Cataract Surgery and Lens Implants in for patients from greater Chicago, Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin and is conveniently located for patients traveling from Vernon Hills, Gurnee, Lake Villa, Winthrop Harbor, Zion, Beach Park, Waukegan, North Chicago, Park City, Lindenhurst, Round Lake Beach, Gages Lake, Grayslake, Round Lake, Mundelein, Hawthorn Woods, Lake Zurich, Long Grove, Buffalo Grove, Wheeling, Lincolnshire, Wheeling, Highwood, Highland Park, Lake Forest and Lake Bluff Illinois as well as Kenosha, Pleasant Prairie, Lake Geneva and Racine Wisconsin. To schedule an appointment for a Cataract Consultation please call us in Gurnee at 847.244.1657or in Vernon Hills at 847.816.9996.