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Cataracts

Getting older does not have to mean your vision will worsen. If the lenses in your eyes become cloudy from cataracts, our experts can help. We offer the complete range of treatments, including laser-assisted surgery and premium implantable lenses. We also treat other, less common causes of cataracts, including rare cases in children.

People often feel delighted by how much their vision improves after our treatments.

Cataracts Care: Why Choose Storm Eye Institute?

MUSC Health Storm Eye Institute delivers complete care for cataracts, including an accurate diagnosis and a broad range of treatment options. Our team includes eye surgeons who perform cataract surgery every week, a level of experience that helps you get the best possible care.

Highlights of our program include:

  • Latest Technology: We offer the best available technologies, including the femtosecond laser. This tool helps us perform surgery with a high level of precision. 
  • Coordinated Care for Multiple Eye Conditions: It’s common to have both a cataract and another eye condition such as glaucoma at the same time. At MUSC Health, you can potentially get relief from both through one procedure. Find out more about our care for glaucoma.
  • Pediatric Expertise: MUSC Health is home to the only pediatric ophthalmologist in South Carolina specializing in pediatric cataract surgery. This level of expertise leads doctors from across the state to refer children to our program. Find out more about our pediatric ophthalmology.

What Are Cataracts?

Similar to the lens of a camera, the lens inside your eye focuses rays of light to help you see. A cataract develops when the lens becomes cloudy. You may have a cataract in one or both eyes. The condition is a natural part of aging and is common among people in their late 60s and 70s. Cataracts can occasionally develop before then for other reasons, including in children.

Lens clouding may progress to the point that once-simple tasks such as reading and driving at night become difficult. A surgical procedure is often all it takes to restore more normal vision. We offer all the latest cataract surgery options so you receive care that’s right for you.

Cataract Surgery

If vision problems from cataracts are preventing you from going about your daily life, it’s important to get treatment. As a progressive disease, cataracts become worse over time and may lead to blindness. Our team’s deep experience with this condition helps you achieve clear vision, possibly without glasses.

Treatment for cataracts requires surgery. During the procedure, we remove your natural lens and replace it with a manufactured lens (intraocular lens or IOL). We offer the complete range of IOLs. Our experts help you determine which one is right for you.

IOLs available at Storm Eye include

  • Monofocal Lenses: This lens is good for distance vision, meaning it helps you see objects that are far away. You will still need to wear glasses to see objects up close, such as when you’re reading. Monofocal IOLs are usually covered by insurance.
  • Accommodative Lenses: This lens changes shape when necessary, allowing your eyes to maintain focus at different distances. Accommodative IOLs are not covered by insurance.
  • Multifocal Lenses: Similar to bifocal glasses, multifocal lenses have two zones set at different magnifying powers: one for distance and one for near vision. With multifocal lenses, you may only need to wear glasses if you are reading small print. Multifocal lenses are not covered by insurance.
  • Toric Lenses: If you have an uneven curve on the front surface of the eye (astigmatism), a toric lens can correct it so you won’t need to wear glasses. Toric lenses are not covered by insurance.

Laser Cataract Surgery

Laser-assisted cataract surgery helps us carry out parts of a lens replacement using femotosecond laser technology instead of a handheld surgical blade. For example, we use the laser to make an incision and gain access to the lens.

This form of cataract surgery is gentler on the cornea and lowers your risk for complications such as infections. Laser technology also makes it possible to correct vision problems, such as astigmatism, so you will be less likely to need glasses after surgery. This service is not covered by insurance.

We were the first program in South Carolina to use the CATALYS® Femtosecond Precision Laser System for cataract surgery. During this procedure, we remove a cloudy natural lens and replace it with a clear artificial one.

CATALYS uses laser technology instead of hand-held surgical instruments to access and remove the lens. The lasers offer a higher degree of precision and are gentler on the eye’s delicate tissue compared with traditional surgery. You can also expect to return to your daily activities soon after your procedure.

Additional Cataract-Related Treatments

Our comprehensive approach means we do everything possible to help you have clear vision. You may be eligible to receive additional treatments, including:

  • Glaucoma Surgery: We offer laser-assisted and minimally invasive treatments for glaucoma. This condition affects the optic nerve at the back of your eye. Find out more about glaucoma.
  • YAG Laser Treatment: After cataract surgery, the protective lining that holds the IOL in place may develop a hazy film. We use the YAG laser to remove the film so you can once again see clearly.

Cataract Care Team