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What is a cataract and how is it diagnosed ?

Most cataracts develop as part of the aging process, or result from injury, systemic disease ( diabetes ) or corticosteroid use. Using specialized equipment, cataracts and other eye diseases are diagnosed during a complete eye examination.

What are the symptoms ?

  • Difficulty in seeing clearly to drive especially at night
  • Trouble seeing well enough to perform close work
  • Problems seeing the television or computer screen
  • Frequent changes to a stronger glasses prescription
  • Bothersome glare in bright sun and evening driving

How are cataracts treated ?

The physicians at Chenango Eye Associates perform a type of cataract surgery called ultrasonic phacoemulsification surgery. This surgery is minimally invasive and requires no stitch and only topical anesthetic ( eye drops). A small incision is made in or near the cornea and an ultrasonic probe is inserted to breakup the cloudy lens and it is then removed from the eye. After the cloudy lens is removed, a new artificial lens is implanted in the eye. This outpatient surgery is performed under the superb magnification of the state-of-the-art Lumera Microscope to provide your doctor with the highest quality view of your eye.

The Zeiss IOL Master

At Chenango Eye Associates we use the Zeiss IOL Master, a high precision instrument revolutionizing all previous techniques and setting a new standard for the measurements of the eye. This instrument gives the most accurate eye measurements possible to ensure success with cataract surgery. The Zeiss IOL Master instrument provides our physicians with key measurements that make it possible for them to choose the correct intraocular lens for each individual.

ReSTOR Multifocal Implant

The ReSTOR is a permanent artificial lens that can be implanted in the eye to restore vision when the natural lens is removed after cataract surgery. The ReSTOR lens is like two lenses in one, one refractive for distance vision and the other one a diffractive lens, for near vision. The standard artificial lens ( monofocal ) implanted after cataract surgery corrects for distance or near, but not both as the ReSTOR lens does. After ReSTOR implant surgery, it may be necessary for some people to wear glasses for distance, intermediate, or near vision to obtain optimal visual acuity. The difference is that most people with the ReSTOR lens will not be dependent on glasses to live normally.

Additional information on ReSTOR and presbyopic-correcting IOL's can be found online at:


What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes damage to the optic nerve. If left untreated this disease can destroy the optic nerve leading to permanent loss of vision and complete blindness. Glaucoma usually involves the build-up of excessive fluid pressure in the eye. The disease is usually painless and vision changes are difficult to notice in the early stages. Glaucoma can occur at any age but most commonly occurs above the age of 65. If you have a family member that has the disease your risk of developing the disease is greater.

How is glaucoma detected?

A thorough eye exam is necessary to diagnose glaucoma. Because the disease is painless close monitoring is necessary to prevent glaucoma vision damage. The eye examination for glaucoma may include specialized testing that evaluates the optic nerve and assessment of any peripheral vision loss. Instruments such as the Zeiss OCT, GDx Nerve Fiber analyzer and Zeiss Humphrey Visual Field Analyzer perform these tests without any contact or discomfort to the patient's eyes.

Zeiss Cirrus HD OCT Retinal Imaging

Zeiss Cirrus HD OCT Retinal Imaging for early detection of retinal disease. With this state-of-the-art instrument the physicians at Chenango Eye Associates are able to detect glaucoma years before the symptoms become apparent to the patient and are able to detect even the smallest changes over time.

How is glaucoma treated?

Treatment for glaucoma can generally prevent loss of vision. Eye drops are usually prescribed to control the fluid pressure in the eye. If the patient does not respond well to medications, laser treatment may be necessary. Chenango Eye Associates is able to perform these procedures at our Norwich facility in our laser suite. Patients not responding to medications or laser may have to undergo surgery in an outpatient operation.