CEENTA ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon Chao Li, MD, appeared on WCNC's Charlotte Today on September 6, 2022 to discuss advancements in cataract surgery technology. Learn more about cataract care at CEENTA and schedule your next appointment with Dr. Li today.
Mia Atkins: This morning, we're talking health, specifically eye health. And Dr. Chao Li, an ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon from Charlotte Eye Ear Nose and Throat Associates' SouthPark office, is joining us now. So, let's jump right into this today because there have been a lot of advancements in technology when it comes to this cataract surgery, right?
Dr. Chao Li: Yes. So, cataract surgery has really changed over the last decade. It's faster, it's safer, and the lenses that we use have greatly improved as well.
Mia: Yeah. So, for people watching at home that might be curious about how this works, walk us through the procedure and describe what the eye lens is.
Dr. Li: Okay, yeah, sure. So, the lens is a clear structure inside the eye that we're born with, and it sits right behind the pupil. And its function is to focus light so that we can see clearly. And there are small muscles that attach all around it that allows it to change shape so that we can see at different distances, such as faraway, intermediate distance, and close up. And over time, this can become hazy and cause changes in your vision, and we call that a cataract.
So, cataract surgery generally involves us taking out the hazy lens, such as this, and replacing it with a clear artificial lens, something like this. And the procedure generally takes less than 30 minutes for most cases. And the recovery time is really fast, usually around the order of one to two days.
Mia: Okay, so how would people know if they need to have this replaced? Or why would they need to have that lens replaced?
Dr. Li: Yeah, so cataracts develop generally with age, and it can start with really subtle symptoms, such as difficulty reading, glare when driving, or just difficulty seeing in dim light settings. Usually, you would see an ophthalmologist and have it evaluated.
Mia: Okay. And, I mean, you mentioned that it's a pretty easy procedure. You're replacing one lens with the other, but how exactly do you do this?
Dr. Li: So, we do it from the front of the eye. So, we make microscopic incisions go in and basically extract the cataract out with special instruments. And through this whole process, the patient is completely numb. You don't feel a thing. And once we take out the cataract, we put in an artificial lens. And these lenses have actually changed a lot in the last few years.
So, the design is really unique to where we can really tailor the vision for our patients' needs. Compared to the traditional lens, which is only focusing light at one distance, these can focus at intermediate and near without many tradeoffs. So it's really an exciting time to be in, as this is really the one field of medicine where patients can decide what type of outcome they like to receive.
Mia: And I think that's so comforting for people, especially when having to have a procedure done is always kind of a scary feeling. But to know that it's quick, it's going to be a quick recovery and there are so many advancements. Feels amazing for people. So where do people go to find more? I know that you're located at the SouthPark office, but there are other locations as well.
Dr. Li: Yeah. So we have multiple offices. The best way to just look into it is going to our website, CEENTA.com. We have multiple offices and you can look at multiple doctors and find an appointment.
Mia: Wonderful. Thank you so much for being here today.
Dr. Li: Thank you.
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