Cataract Center


Surgery Center

Community Eye Center's eye-only surgery center is an AAAHC accredited facility.

Individualized Care

Providing a personalized approach to patient care. Dedicated to continuous improvement.

Multiple Locations

Choose from one of Community Eye Center's multiple locations for your cataract consultation.

Premium Surgery Options

Community Eye Center offers premium cataract surgery options for patients.


About Cataracts


Did you know that age-related cataracts are extremely common? A normal part of life, almost every person will develop cataracts at some stage. In fact, the majority of people will develop cataracts as they age. It is said that by the year 2020 more than 30 million American people will have cataracts and experience the blurring and distorted vision that comes along with it.

Many people are aware of the term, but do they know what exactly a cataract is or the symptoms that go along with it? With cataracts, vision can slowly become distorted over time. This gradual vision impairment can often go unnoticed for long periods. Cataracts can continue to progress at this pace until a person is blind. Thankfully, cataracts are very treatable and impaired vision can be restored due to modern medical advances.

The term cataract derives from Greek and Latin roots. The term comes from the Greek and Latin word for “waterfall.” It is believed that this term came about because the clouding of a person’s eye with cataracts resembled water flowing in one’s eyes. Those with untreated cataracts will experience blurred or distorted vision as well as faded colors.

As the cataract progresses, these symptoms worsen and can lead to blindness. Although cataracts are associated with the typical signs of aging, they can also result from trauma, sun exposure or disease. The best way to understand the cause of cataracts is to examine the way that the eyes work. To do this, we must examine the parts of the eye, especially the lens and eyeball. The lens is comprised primarily of water and protein. The protein is distributed such a way that light can pass through it without being distorted.

When we age, the eye changes and the protein starts to separate and clump together. This creates a buildup that is difficult to see through; this will begin to affect a person’s vision as the buildup hardens. The lens will begin to thicken and it begins to become less transparent and pliable. This may only affect a small area of the eye at first, but within a matter of time that spot will increase and eventually cover the entire lens of the eye. The vision impairment experienced by a person with cataracts is because the light is scattered through the lens so that it cannot translate sharp images to the retina.

Not all cataracts are the same. There are classifications of cataracts that are determined based on location on a person’s lens. There are three primary types of cataracts nuclear, cortical and subcapsular. Other types which are not a result of aging include congenital and traumatic cataracts.

Cataracts FAQ


What is a cataract and how does it affect the lens of the eye?

The lens of the eye can be compared to a camera lens. The eye lens is found behind the iris and the pupil. The lens focuses the light back toward the retina and the image is recorded there. Like a camera lens, the eye lens can also adjust focus.

Unlike a camera, the eye lens is not made of glass; it is mainly made of water and protein.  In an eye with normal vision, this protein is arranged in a way that the lens is clear and light is able to pass through it. But, sometimes the protein clumps together and starts to cloud the lens. This is a cataract. Over time, the cataract can grow and cloud a larger area of the lens, making it progressively more difficult to see.

Gradually, as cataracts progress, patients may experience symptoms such as:

  • Painless cloudy, blurry or dim vision
  • More difficulty seeing at night or in low light
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Faded or yellowed colors
  • The need for brighter light for reading and other activities
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescriptions
  • Double vision within one eye

If the clouding is mild or only involves a small part of the lens, vision may only be slightly affected. If there is more clouding and it affects the entire lens, vision will become severely limited and cataract surgery becomes necessary.

What is the most common cause of cataracts?

Age is the most common cause of cataract. However, cataracts do not only affect senior citizens. In fact, people can have age-related cataracts in their 40s and 50s. Most with cataracts in middle age will not experience a major impact on vision; it may take several years for the cataract to advance to cause a more severe problem. There are less common types of cataracts, not related to normal aging; these include: Non-age related Cataracts from other disease or medication These cataracts are caused by other eye diseases or previous eye surgery. Chronic disease can make you more likely to develop cataracts; for example, diabetes has been proven to increase the risk of cataracts. Excessive use of steroid medications can spur the development of this type of cataract as well. Congenital or developmental Cataracts This type of cataract can occur in infants or children. These cases may be hereditary or they can be associated with some birth defects; some occur without any obvious cause. Traumatic Cataracts These cataracts are related directly to an eye injury. Traumatic cataracts may appear immediately following an injury, or they can develop several months or even years later.

How are cataracts diagnosed?

Cataracts can be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam. Our doctors at Community Eye Center perform thousands of these exams each year. During the exam:   

  • Patients will have a visual test that uses an eye chart test to measures sight at various distances   
  • Patients will have a dilated eye exam, during which drops are placed in the eyes to widen, or dilate, the pupils; a magnifying lens is used to examine the retina and optic nerve for damage and/or other possible eye issues; after the exam, the patient’s vision might be blurry for a few hours   
  • Patients will undergo a tonometry test. During this test an instrument is used to measure the pressure inside the eye  
  •  Some patients may also require other tests may be required to determine the health and examine the structure of the eye.
How do you determine if cataracts require surgery?

Cataract surgery is rarely an urgent situation. It should be done when the patient is medically stable and when the patient’s cataracts begin to interfere with the patient’s ability to function in everyday activities such as driving and reading. A cataract may need to be removed even if it is not causing vision problems. For example, it may be necessary to remove a cataract if it prevents examination or treatment of another eye issue, such as age-related macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy.

Which lens implant is right for me?

Choosing the right lens depends on a variety of factors, including lifestyle, medical history and the patient’s visual needs and expectations. Our doctors take time with the patient to help determine the implant that will be best suited for their unique needs. If it is determined that surgery is appropriate, this questionnaire will help your surgeon provide the best treatment for your visual needs.

What happens during cataract surgery?

Community Eye Center and St. Lucy’s Outpatient Surgery Center perform only eye surgery; because of this, all of our procedures are efficient and streamlined. Upon arrival, patients walk into a very warm, friendly environment, where they are asked the appropriate questions by our staff and allowed to express their own questions and concerns prior to surgery. Patients are relieved to find the surgery is painless. The eye surgeon uses anesthetic eye drops to numb the eyes, as well as I.V. medication to relax the patient. Using a process called phacoemulsification; the surgeon breaks up the cataract and “vacuums” it from the eye pouch – a very safe and proven technique.  The lens implant is then inserted. In most cases, a suture is not needed. The entire process takes 15 minutes.

When will I see clearly after cataract surgery?

More than 60 percent of patients see better than 20/30 the first day after cataract surgery. Those with pre-existing medical conditions, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and corneal problems, usually find it takes a little longer to see clearly.

What kind of follow-up is involved after cataract surgery?

Post-surgery our doctors prefer to see patients the day after the procedure, then five days later and then again after two weeks. Most patients’ eyes stabilize during that time. Antibiotic drops are given to prevent infection and ease inflammation.

Will I have to travel a long way for cataract surgery?

It is not necessary to travel for superior eye care.  Community Eye Center’s St. Lucy’s Outpatient Surgery Center is the only outpatient eye surgery center in Charlotte County with national accreditation from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care. To earn this, the facility has to adhere to a rigorous standard. The doctors at Community Eye Center deliver exceptional care; this is fostered by the fact that CEC specializes exclusively in eye care.

When it is time for cataract surgery, choosing the right eye surgeon and eye surgery center is a big decision. It can make the difference in outcomes. Community Eye Center’s cataract surgeons are dedicated and knowledgeable. CEC’s St. Lucy’s Outpatient Surgery Center is the only outpatient eye surgery center in Charlotte County with national accreditation from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.

Cataract Surgeons

Community Eye Center offers treatment and diagnosis for cataracts as well as multiple surgery options, including premium lens implants. Community Eye Center's cataract surgeons are board-certified and dedicated to providing patients with excellence in eye care.

Dr. Joseph Spadafora

Ophthalmologist & Medical Director

Dr. Eric Schaible

Ophthalmologist and Eye Research

Dr. Eric Liss

Ophthalmologist

Financial Assistance For Cataract Surgery At Community Eye Center

Cataract surgery is generally covered under insurance and Medicare plans. But, in the case that a procedure is not covered, or if you choose to upgrade your surgery to one of our elective procedures, such as a premium lens choice, Community Eye Center (CEC) partners with organizations that offer financial assistance for cataract surgery.

Whether you need assistance with the cost of a comprehensive eye exam or purchasing eyeglasses or contacts, Community Eye Center (CEC) partners with organizations that offer financial assistance for optical services, eye exams, frames, lenses, contacts, and sunglasses.

CEC is committed to providing patients with appropriate alternatives to preserve a lifetime of good vision. For procedures not covered by insurance including elective procedures and premium IOLs, Community Eye Center offers options such as:

  • 0% interest financing options for up to 24 months through CareCredit® and Wells Fargo
  • Low-interest financing options for up to 60 months
  • Financing options with low monthly payments

****** Subject to credit approval. Minimum monthly payments required. Financing available with a minimum purchase of $200. 0% interest rates are contingent on promotional offers.

Community Eye Center partners with CareCredit to offer patients financing for cataract surgery. For your convenience, you may apply in advance online.

Community Eye Center partners with Wells Fargo to offer patients financing for cataract surgery. For your convenience, you may apply in advance online.

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