Cataracts are a vision problem characterized by a clouding of the eye’s lens; typically not painful, cataracts can lead to diminished visual capabilities and even blindness. With more than 30 years of experience as an eye surgeon, Dr. Steven Koenig has treated thousands of patients who suffer from cataracts in southeastern Wisconsin. By offering the most technologically advanced treatment techniques (including intraocular lenses), Dr. Koenig enables patients to see clearly over the course of their lifetime.
To learn more about cataracts and how they are treated at the Medical College of Wisconsin, contact Dr. Koenig today at (414) 955-7902.
What are Cataracts?
A cataract is a condition in which the eye’s natural lens becomes clouded, inhibiting the eye’s ability to pass light to the retina and therefore negatively affecting vision. When left untreated, cataracts can lead to serious vision hindrance, including blindness. Receiving proper treatment for cataracts is therefore an important part of maintaining optimal vision over the course of your lifetime. The most common cause of cataracts is aging; however, they can be brought on by genetic conditions, trauma to the eye, medical conditions such as diabetes or certain lifestyle factors such as excessive sun exposure, steroid use or smoking.
There are three different types of cataracts, each of which produce distinct symptoms.
Nuclear cataracts develop in the center of the eye and often lead to the development of nearsightedness, or myopia, which can make it difficult to see objects that are at a distance. These are the most common type of cataracts.
Cortical cataracts begin on the outer edge of the lens, also known as the cortex. These cataracts slowly move toward the center of the eye, adversely affecting both near and distant vision and often causing a glare or “halo” effect around lights.
Subcapsular cataracts are located on the back of the lens and are typically seen in patients that have diabetes or take certain medications. These types of cataracts can cause blurriness and glares, and make it extremely difficult to see objects at a distance.
Treating Cataracts with Artificial Lenses
Dr. Koenig treats patients who suffer from cataracts with advanced intraocular lenses, or IOLs. IOLs replace the natural lens and make it possible for the eye to properly focus light on the retina once again. Advances in intraocular lenses, including the introduction of multifocal IOLs and other premium IOLS, have made it possible for cataract patients to see clearly without dependence on spectacles. Unlike their earlier counterparts, multifocal IOLs allow patients to see objects that are both close-up and far away. Depending on the patient’s individual condition, Dr. Koenig will recommend one of the intraocular lenses described below.
AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR®
ReSTOR® IOLs are most effective for patients who suffer from cataracts and presbyopia (farsightedness). This lens is made of a soft acrylic material, as opposed to a hard plastic, making implantation easier for Dr. Koenig and more comfortable for the patient.
AcrySof® IQ Toric IOL
The AcrySof® IQ Toric IOL is designed specifically for patients who suffer from astigmatism - a condition in which the cornea is irregularly shaped, causing blurred vision at all distances. This monofocal intraocular lens properly focuses light on the retina, providing quality distance vision without the need for glasses.
Cataract surgery is a relatively simple procedure that can be performed at the Medical College of Wisconsin Eye Institute with a local anesthetic. During this procedure, Dr. Koenig will administer eye drops to numb the area so that patients will not experience any pain or discomfort. After making a small incision on the cornea, he will remove the cataract-affected lens and replace it with a premium intraocular lens. He will then bandage the eye and provide aftercare instructions. While patients will experience slightly altered vision immediately following the procedure, full recovery can be expected within a few short days. In the meantime, it is important for patients to follow Dr. Koenig’s post-operative instructions and avoid any eye irritants.
Dr. Koenig is extremely pleasant, good natured, and has a wonderful beside manner. He was available and willing to answer any questions I had and even rang me back.Jacqueline M.