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The Use of Ultrasound for Cataracts

Age-related cataracts are a leading cause of vision loss and the inability to read.  A cataract is where the lens in your eye becomes cloudy over time, which leaves you with blurry vision.  Doctors treat it by taking out the cloudy lens and putting in an artificial one that s clear. Now there is a new technique for removing that lens.

To remove cataracts, Dr. Raymond Nisi uses a new instrument called AquaLase. It breaks up and removes the cataract using pulses of water.

The traditional technique is similar, but uses ultrasound waves instead of water. This can be damaging to the eye.

Ultrasound energy can cause friction heat. This can cause a corneal burn which is rare but it can happen. AquaLase is a little more friendly to the eye, gentle to the eye, explains Dr. Nisi.  This can mean a faster recovery. The end result is the same, the difference is with the AquaLase you can expect to see clearly sooner.

The possible complications are the same as any cataract procedure and Dr. Nisi recommends the AquaLase only for mild to moderate cataracts. The traditional method is still best if your cataract severely is thickened. Many patients are able to read after this procedure.  Reading glasses may still be needed.

The surgery itself takes only about 15 minutes and most people are back to work the next day.