How to Choose a Cataract Surgeon in Buffalo, NY

If you live long enough, the chances are high that you will end up with at least one cataract in your eyes. The American Academy of Ophthalmology says by age 75, 50% of Americans will have cataracts. Today, more than 24.4 million Americans over age 40 have cataracts.  

Cataracts are a filmy blur that covers the lens of your eye as you age. A cataract is caused by the natural breakdown of proteins in the eye that gradually build up to produce a film. If you have cataracts, you will gradually lose your vision. 

Surgery for cataracts is both highly effective and safe. Fortunately, treatments are available to remove the cataract and restore your vision. If you’ve been diagnosed with cataracts, your next step is to look for an eye specialist for cataract surgery. This article will help you find the best cataract surgeons in Buffalo to help you get your eyesight—and your life—back. 

Who Performs Cataract Surgery in Buffalo?

The doctor who performs surgery for cataracts is called an ophthalmologist. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who receive additional surgical training and are qualified as eye specialists for cataract surgery. An ophthalmologist is different from an optometrist, who is the doctor you might visit when you need an eye exam. Optometrists often refer cataract patients to ophthalmologists to receive vision-saving cataract treatment. 

What Should You Look for in a Buffalo Cataract Surgeon?

We know a diagnosis of cataracts can be disconcerting or even frightening. But the disorder can easily be corrected with a common outpatient surgery known as cataract removal. During cataract removal, your surgeon will remove the lens of your eye and replace it with an artificial (intraocular) lens to clear up your vision. The type of intraocular lens (OL) the doctor uses depends upon your overall vision. Some OLs can improve your long distance vision or help correct astigmatism.  

There are many cataract surgeons in Buffalo that can perform this procedure. What should you look for if you’re seeking the best possible treatment? 

Education/Board Certification

Start with the educational background of the cataract surgery provider. Credentialing serves as the baseline for a cataract surgeon. The doctor you choose should be board certified in ophthalmology. An ophthalmologist goes through four years of undergraduate study, four years of medical school, and an additional four or five years of specialty training. Then the new doctor must pass their medical exam and board certification. Board certification means the ophthalmologist has received a certificate from the American Board of Ophthalmology (ABO), the oldest medical specialty board in the U.S. today. Certification requires both an oral and written exam. Certification is re-upped every ten years or so to ensure the ophthalmologist stays on top of the latest advances in the field. 

Next, look at to ensure the surgeon has no history of complaints, disciplinary actions, or malpractice. Healthgrades is an excellent resource for patient ratings as well as details on a doctor’s practice history. 

Experience Performing Cataract Surgery

Experience matters when performing any task, but certainly when you’re choosing an eye specialist for cataract surgery. Beyond credentials, you’ll want to look at the surgeon’s experience performing cataract surgery. The more experienced the surgeon, the better they’ll be at meeting the standard success rate for cataract removal—which is high. The overall complication for cataract surgeries is less than 5%. 

Even new ophthalmologists have performed 200 to 300 surgeries before they enter practices. Cataract surgery is a fairly routine procedure. With that said, there is a difference in the skill levels of surgeons who have done 300 surgeries versus 600 or even 3,000. When you ask cataract surgeons in Buffalo how many cataract surgeries they’ve performed successfully, you’re looking for that higher number.   

Cataract Surgery Success Rate

The next criterion for choosing your eye specialist for cataract surgery is to look at patient outcomes. Only one out of every 2,000 patients experience any sort of complication during these surgeries, making them one of the safest procedures in all of medicine. You can use a site like Healthgrades to check for surgery complications, but you should also as the doctor about the last complication they experienced and what was the outcome? 

3 Tips for Choosing a Cataract Surgeon in Buffalo

Basic research can move you closer to selecting the top doctor for cataract surgery in Buffalo. Some of the best questions to ask your cataract surgeon include the following: 

  • What are the benefits and risks of cataract surgery? 
  • What will my recovery process be like? 
  • Is this surgery covered by my insurance? If not, what will I owe? 
  • How will my vision be after the surgery? 
  • What will my aftercare be like? 
  • Will I need any follow-up surgeries? 

Surgery for cataracts is routine, but you should feel comfortable asking questions anytime a doctor operates on your body. Pay attention to how the doctor or their clinical and administrative staff treat you as you’re asking questions. They should be patient and have clear communication to answer any queries you have. If you don’t feel comfortable with how they handle your questions, it’s a red flag. 

We have three additional tips for selecting from all of the cataract surgeons in Buffalo. Follow these steps to help ensure you find the perfect surgeon for your cataract removal procedure. 

#1 Read Online Reviews

Online reviews are the top tip for choosing a cataract surgeon in Buffalo because healthcare patients today increasingly use this forum to select doctors in every specialty. Inc. says 84% of people trust online reviews more than they trust a referral from a friend. In healthcare, patients trust online reviews as much as a doctor’s referral. With 91% of the population reading online reviews before they select any service provider, you better believe these consumer portals are important to your doctor.  

Where can you look for online referrals for cataract surgeons in Buffalo? 

  • Google 
  • Healthgrades 
  • RateMDs 
  • Vitals 
  • Yelp 

What should you look for when choosing an eye specialist for cataract surgery? 

  • Lots of stars and happy patients. Would you trust your eyes to a provider with only three stars? 
  • A lot of reviews. The more reviews the better, in fact. Most healthcare patients (74.7%) want at least seven positive ratings before they say they’ll consider the doctor. 
  • How does the practice handle the reviews? Pay particular attention to whether the practice responds to any negative patient reviews.  

#2 Referrals

Since surgery for cataracts is so common, you may have friends, neighbors, or family members who have undergone the procedure. Ask around. Also, your optometrist refers patients to ophthalmologists regularly, so ask their office what specialist for cataract surgery they recommend. You can also seek out referrals from: 

  • The American Academy of Ophthalmology. 
  • The department of ophthalmology at your closest hospital. 
  • Your insurance company. 

#3 Schedule a Consultation

It’s a great idea to visit the practice and meet the staff and doctor before you select the doctor that will do your cataract surgery. Cataract surgeons in Buffalo frequently offer a no cost consultation with the surgeon before scheduling the appointment. After the visit, ask yourself these questions to see if you feel comfortable with the practice: 

  • What does the office feel like?  
  • Is the office conveniently located? 
  • Do the practice office hours fit within your schedule? 
  • Were you welcomed warmly?  
  • Was the staff inattentive? 
  • How was the doctor’s bedside manner?  
  • Did the doctor explain the procedure clearly? 
  • Was the doctor patient when answering your questions? 
  • Did the office seem modern? 
  • What kind of technology will the practice use to perform your cataract surgery? 
  • How rigorous were the hygiene standards at the practice—were the restrooms clean? 
  • What did your instincts tell you about the practice? 

Another consideration is whether your insurance will cover the cost of the cataract surgery with the physician you choose. What is the cost of the treatment? Talk to the practice manager or other administrative staff member about what out-of-pocket costs you’ll incur. 

You have a lot riding on the success of your cataract surgery. Since cataracts come on gradually, you can be as thorough as you need to be when selecting your eye specialist for cataract surgery. Your thorough efforts to find the right fit will help you achieve a more successful and comfortable surgery. 

Choose WNY’s Top Ophthalmologists for Cataract Surgery

Eye Care & Vision Associates is leading the Buffalo region in innovative, high-quality eye care for you and your family. In addition to surgery for cataracts, our practices offer lasik eye surgery, medical retinal exams, management of glaucoma condition, diabetic eye care, and of course, comprehensive vison exams.  

We care for patients at all stages of their lives. With four offices in the Buffalo area, there’s sure to be a practice that’s conveniently located near your home. Contact us if your eyes are troubling you—we can help.

Schedule a consultation with one of the top cataract surgeons in Buffalo, NY today!

ECVA Giving Back to the Community

Every year, ECVA gives back to the community by adopting a local veteran family for the holidays. This ECVA tradition started in 2015, and it’s become a moment our team and patients look forward to every year. 

ECVA aims to make supporting its community and giving back a joyous occasion for all involved, including our employees and patients. Here’s a look at how ECVA gives back and how you can take part in this holiday tradition. 

Supporting Veterans and Their Families Through Basket Raffles 

At ECVA, we hold a basket raffle every year that benefits a veteran and their family during the holiday season. The baskets are created with donated items from staff members. Once they’re put together, raffle tickets are purchased by employees and patients, and the money raised through ticket sales is matched by our doctors. 

Every ECVA office has its own raffle. Once winners are selected in early December, staff members contact the winners the following week, allowing them to pick up their baskets. 

After gathering the donated funds, the money is used to purchase gifts for the veteran and their family members. Along with traditional presents, ECVA aims to provide gifts that are enjoyable all year-round, such as annual passes to the Buffalo Zoo & Aquarium and movie theatre gift cards. In some years, furniture and appliances were also given as presents. 

Partnering with WNY Heroes to Connect with Veteran Families in Need 

ECVA is proud to partner with WNY Heroes to connect with a veteran family in need this holiday season. Since 2007, WNY Heroes has worked diligently to provide veterans and their families with critical support, ensuring they have access to essential services, financial assistance, and more. 

WNY Heroes identifies veteran households during the holidays that could use help to have a brighter holiday season. ECVA adopts a family in need every year, raffling off gift baskets to gather donations that are then used to purchase items for the veteran and their family. 

How You Can Help Give Back and Support Local Veterans 

Patients and other community members are always welcome to get involved and help support local veterans and their families. You can purchase raffle tickets at our offices, allowing you to donate funds for a good cause and have a chance at taking home an amazing gift basket. 

Raffle tickets are still available, and this year’s drawing will occur on December 2. If you want to participate, stop by one of our offices at any time before the drawing and speak to the receptionist about raffle tickets. Each office has a unique raffle, so feel free to head to other offices to have a chance at winning one of the many fantastic gift baskets our teams created this year. 

At ECVA, the safety and health of our patients’ eyes are our priority. If you haven’t seen your eye care provider in the past year, the ECVA team is here to help. Schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today. 

Family looking at eyeglasses

Night Blindness and Trouble Seeing at Night

Many people struggle with seeing clearly at night. This is particularly true under specific conditions. For instance, glare created by headlights on oncoming vehicles may result in temporary vision difficulties. 

However, trouble seeing at night might be more severe. With night blindness, there are broader issues with seeing in the dark or in dimly lit spaces. If you’re wondering if your issues seeing at night are genuinely night blindness, here’s what you need to know. 

What Is Night Blindness? 

Night blindness – which is formally known as nyctalopia – is a vision impairment that results in poor vision when in dark or dimly lit spaces. It often leads to difficulties when driving at night, but it can also make dining in dim restaurants, moving through movie theaters, and similar situations hard to navigate. 

Often, the issues are most noticeable when transitioning from a well-lit space to a darker one. For example, heading into a dimly lit restaurant on a bright, sunny day may cause struggles. Similarly, oncoming headlights or streetlamps along the road at night may result in definitive symptoms. 

What Causes Problems with Night Vision? 

Night blindness may occur for a variety of reasons. Certain medical conditions that impact how light moves through the eye are common examples. This can include anything from general nearsightedness to cataracts to retinitis pigmentosa. 

In some cases, medications may result in night blindness, as the condition is a known potential side effect. Specific birth defects or genetic disorders – such as congenital stationary night blindness or Usher syndrome – may also cause the condition. 

Temporary issues with night vision can also occur after vision correction surgery like Lasik. At times, a vitamin A deficiency may result in night blindness. However, this is generally rare and is more common in individuals with cystic fibrosis or conditions that cause pancreatic insufficiency. 

Can You Correct Night Vision Issues? 

Whether night blindness is correctable depends on the root cause. If nearsightedness is responsible, specific vision correction options – such as glasses or contacts – may solve the issue. For vision correction surgery-related night blindness, the situation may resolve after a patient fully heals from the procedure. 

With cataracts, cataract removal surgery may restore night vision. If the issue is caused by a medication, switching to a new treatment can be effective. For vitamin A deficiencies, a supplement or diet change may work well. 

However, night blindness related to other conditions may be uncorrectable. That’s the case for night blindness caused by specific birth defects or genetic disorders, such as retinitis pigmentosa. 

When to See an Eye Care Provider 

If you’re experiencing difficulty seeing at night or when transitioning from brightly lit to dim spaces, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your eye care provider. They can gather information and perform tests to determine if night blindness is occurring, its cause, and what treatment options are available based on the results. 

At ECVA, the safety and health of our patients’ eyes are our priority. If you are experiencing symptoms of night blindness or simply haven’t seen your eye care provider in the past year, the ECVA team is here to help. Schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today.