FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Cataract Facts

What is a cataract?

Like the lens of a camera, the eye’s lens focuses to keep images of both close and distant objects clear. Over time, the lens becomes less transparent. Studies suggest that accumulated exposure to ultraviolet light causes this natural lens to cloud. Most often, this clouding takes place slowly, as proteins within the lens degenerate.

Do I have a cataract?

Cataracts generally do NOT cause pain, discomfort, redness, discharge, or sudden, alarming vision changes that would lead you to seek immediate help.

The changes caused by cataracts generally develop so slowly that you don’t notice them until they are serious enough to affect your normal lifestyle.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I having difficulty driving at night?
  • Is it more difficult to see distant objects?
  • Does my vision seem blurred or dim?
  • Have my eyes become sensitive to light and glare?
  • Do I see a halo around lights?
  • Do colors seem “dull”?
  • Have I had to change eyeglass prescriptions more frequently than usual?
  • Do I need brighter light for reading?
  • Does my vision sometimes seem distorted? Do I see “ghosted” images?
  • Have I experienced double vision in one eye only?

All of these are common difficulties related to cataracts. Only a professional can determine if cataracts are the cause of your symptoms. If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it is time to call Del Negro & Senft Eye Associates to make an appointment for a Cataract Evaluation.

What causes a cataract?

Cataracts are a normal part of the aging process. While we don’t yet understand why cataracts form as we age, several risk factors have been identified:

  • Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Steroid use

Who can develop a cataract?

While cataracts can affect people of any age, they are most common in older adults. In fact, two-thirds of all adults over age 60 have some sign of cataract formation.

When should a cataract be removed?

When a cataract interferes with your vision and daily activities, it is time to remove the cloudy lens and exchange it for a new, crystal clear lens.

Can eye drops dissolve cataracts?

The Internet has provided a largely unregulated marketplace for those who sell unproven and ineffective treatments for everything from baldness to cataracts. The sellers’ claims may seem impressive: eye drops that supposedly “dissolve” cataracts when used for several months. Other sellers tout drops that will treat the symptoms of cataracts in an effort to delay or avoid surgery. “No prescription necessary…just CLICK HERE and enter your credit card number”.

This sales pitch sometimes works because those who promote these useless but often quite expensive treatments exploit a natural fear of surgical intervention and a common misconception about what a cataract actually is.

Don’t be fooled. No matter how sophisticated the website’s claims may seem, a cataract (the clouding of the eye’s natural lens) cannot be treated with eye drops of any type, because it is located within the eye, behind the iris and the pupil…not on or near the surface of the eye.

There may be no “miracle” cure, but at Del Negro & Senft, modern surgery to correct cataracts is so CONVENIENT, COMFORTABLE, EFFECTIVE, and AFFORDABLE that many patients consider the change in their vision “miraculous.”

Can simply being examined for cataracts help to protect the health of my vision?

Your Cataract Evaluation with Dr. Del Negro, Dr. Senft or Dr. Glatman includes a dilated examination. While checking for cataracts, the doctor will have a good view of the retina and optic nerve – which is important in detecting vision-threatening conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. If you are a diabetic, it is particularly important to check the retina for signs of diabetic retinopathy. Left untreated, these “silent” conditions may not cause noticeable symptoms until irreversible vision loss has occurred.

Can a Cataract Come Back? (Yag Capsulotomy)

No, a cataract cannot come back, but you can develop a clouding of the capsule behind the lens implant. This is called posterior capsule opacification (PCO). A yag capsulotomy is a surgical laser procedure that may be necessary to restore vision at some point months to years after cataract surgery, when a posterior capsule opacification develops.

The capsule is like a clear bag that is the natural outer portion of the lens of the eye. During cataract surgery (in which the discolored natural lens of the eye is removed), part of the front (anterior) capsule is removed while the remainder of the capsular bag remains intact. The lens implant is inserted inside this capsular bag. As long as that capsule stays clear, one has good vision. But in 10 – 30 % of people, the back (posterior) of the capsule loses its clarity over time. When this happens, an opening can be made in the posterior capsule with a laser (yag capsulotomy) to restore normal vision.

Before the laser procedure, one of our doctors will perform a thorough ophthalmic examination to make sure there is no other reason for vision loss.

A yag capsulotomy is painless and takes less than 5 minutes. Vision may be blurry for a short while afterwards, but usually improves during the first 24 hours.

Potential but rare complications following the procedure include infection and retinal detachment.

 

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What should I expect from my postoperative care?

A STREAMLINED APPROACH TO CATARACT POSTOPERATIVE CARE

Drs. Del Negro, Senft, and Glatman strive to streamline the postoperative cataract process for their patients. After surgery, an antibiotic solutions is inserted into the eye to protect from infection. Post-operatively the patient is instructed to use steroid drops to treat inflammation, redness, and swelling.

Anything else I should know about cataracts?

The more you know, the better you will feel!

Does even thinking about having cataract surgery make you nervous?

It is perfectly natural to be apprehensive about undergoing any surgery, particularly when it involves your eyes. Many patients have told us that their Cataract Evaluation at Del Negro & Senft was helpful in lessening this anxiety.

You can trust in the knowledge, experience and stellar reputations Drs. Del Negro, Senft, and Glatman have earned in performing cataract surgery in New Jersey. Contact us for questions and to schedule your evaluation.

PRK Facts

Is Laser Vision Correction Painful?

Although you may experience pressure at some points during the procedure, you should not experience pain. Anesthetic drops are applied to numb your eye and you will receive oral medication as well. A painless lid separator device is utilized so you don’t have to concern yourself with blinking. You will be awake, alert, and comfortable throughout the procedure and Dr. Senft will walk you through the entire process describing every step. Regarding PRK, you may experience some discomfort for a few days postoperatively, but drops will assist in soothing your eyes as they continue to heal.

Are Both Eyes Treated At The Same Time?

Most of the time both eyes are corrected during the same procedure. But, in some circumstances, only one eye requires Laser correction. Or, for scheduling purposes, a patient may opt to have one eye done at a time.

How Long Is The Procedure?

You will be under the microscope for 20 minutes from the time you lay down on the table until you are told to sit up. The excimer laser takes 10 seconds to a minute depending on the amount of correction that is needed.

How Long Will I Be At The Laser Center?

Be prepared to be at the surgery center for one to one and a half hours. During this time you will sign paperwork, get situated in the laser suite, relax following your treatment, and receive your first post-operative slit lamp exam from Dr. Senft.

How Many Days Am I Required To Miss Work?

The demands of your occupation will determine the length of time Dr. Senft requires you to request off. Often times his recommendation is done on a case by case basis. For example, if you work in an office setting you can return to work in approximately two days. On the other hand, if you have a physically demanding job you will need to take off 2 weeks or more in order to protect your eyes from the environmental elements you come in contact with on a daily basis.

Will I Need To Wear Reading Glasses After Laser Vision Correction?

Laser Vision Correction does not address presbyopia, a condition that everyone over the age of 40 experiences where focusing ability decreases and reading glasses are required for near vision. If patients are not experiencing these symptoms at the time of their laser correction they will eventually need to wear reading glasses. Ask if you are a candidate for MONOVISION. This may be an option if you were ever able to tolerate the optical difference when one eye is set for near and the other for distance.

When Can I Safely Start Exercising After The Procedure?

It is OK to begin aerobic or isometric exercise the day after your Laser Vision procedure after you have your 1 Day post-operative exam with Dr. Senft, but avoid heavy lifting or straining. Always wear protective eyewear. Avoid any sports or activities which could include physical contact with your eyes.

When Can I Drive After The Procedure?

You cannot drive the day of or the day after the procedure and need to make arrangements for someone to drive you to the laser center as well as your 1 Day post-operative appointment. You will see Dr. Senft one day after your procedure to test your vision. Once your uncorrected vision meets the legal requirement of the Division of Motor Vehicle you can resume driving.

Request an Appointment

Our goal is to contact you by phone within 24 hours of submission. If you find yourself in an EMERGENCY situation, please CALL 732-774-5566 instead.