North County Laser Eye Associates

Cataract Surgery Techniques

A cataract is an eye disease that causes the normally clear lens of the eye to become cloudy and opaque, which results in a decrease in vision. Cataracts are very common and usually age related, with most developing after the age of 40. Many times, patients of our San Diego laser eye surgery center realize a cataract is present only when they start to experience disruptions in their vision. It is possible, and common, to live for years with a cataract before experiencing symptoms. Because of this, cataracts are often found during routine eye examinations with our patients completely unaware of the developing cataract.

While cataract surgery should be delayed as long as possible, once cataract symptoms affect your life negatively, surgery is recommended. Cataract surgery is very common with over a million cataract surgeries performed in the United States each year. Symptoms of cataracts include cloudy vision, blurry vision, dim vision, an increased difficulty seeing at night, sensitivity to light, double vision, glare, frequent changes in your eye prescriptions, halos, and colors that seem faded.


For patients who are not experiencing any symptoms of cataracts, treatment is not usually required. In their earliest stages, some symptoms of cataracts can be treated with eyeglasses. While patients can live with cataracts for years, once symptoms develop, the only effective treatment is cataract surgery. When everyday activities are affected, such as driving at night, reading, and seeing faces clearly, surgery is strongly recommended.

Cataract Surgery Techniques

For San Diego cataracts surgery patients, there are two treatment options to consider: phacoemulsification, or phaco, and extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE). During both cataract surgical techniques, a topical anesthetic (eye drops) is most commonly used. If necessary, a sedative may be administered to San Diego cataract surgery patients who are experiencing anxiety. A medication injection may be used to prevent blinking and eye movement during the procedure. Phaco and ECCE are performed on an outpatient basis.

Contact North County Laser Eye Associates

To learn more about cataract surgery techniques, please contact North County Laser Eye Associates today.