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What Causes Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that gradually damage the optic nerve at the back of the eye. The optic nerve is responsible for carrying visual information from the eye to the brain so you can see. 

Glaucoma typically has no symptoms in its early stages. So without timely detection and prompt treatment, damage to the optic nerve can lead to permanent vision loss.

Keep reading to learn more about glaucoma, its causes, and the available treatment options!

What Causes Glaucoma?

Often, glaucoma is caused by an increase in your eye pressure, also known as intraocular pressure or IOP, which can cause damage to the optic nerve. Your eye constantly produces a clear fluid known as the aqueous humor.

The aqueous humor nourishes your eye and maintains your eye shape. It then leaves your eye through the drainage angle.

If there’s any blockage in your drainage angle, the rate at which your eye produces the aqueous humor becomes greater than the rate at which it can drain it, leading to high intraocular pressure. A buildup of pressure in your eyes damages the optic nerve causing permanent vision changes.

At the same time, some people can have high intraocular pressure without glaucoma, a condition called ocular hypertension. Others can also develop glaucoma even with normal eye pressure. 

Certain factors can increase your risk of getting glaucoma. They include:

  • Being age forty and older
  • Previous eye injury or surgery
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Prolonged use of corticosteroids
  • Extreme nearsightedness or farsightedness
  • Some health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, sickle cell anemia, and heart disease

What Are the Types of Glaucoma?

There are many types of glaucoma. Some examples are:

Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma

Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form. It happens your eye’s drainage canals become blocked or clogged, and fluid is unable to leave the eye at a consistent and healthy rate.

As a result, fluid drains very slowly through the trabecular meshwork, gradually increasing your eye pressure. The trabecular meshwork comprises small channels where the aqueous humor flows out of your eye.

There are typically not many obvious symptoms of open-angle glaucoma in the beginning stages. For this reason, it’s important to get regular eye exams so the condition can be detected early.

Angle-Closure Glaucoma

Also called closed-angle glaucoma, this form of glaucoma occurs when the angle of your eye, which is an area the fluid has to flow through before exiting the eye, is closed off. Angle-closure glaucoma is less common and can happen suddenly. 

The drainage angle is where your iris and sclera, the white of your eye, meet. Sometimes, the iris can block the drainage angle and prevent fluid from draining properly, increasing your eye pressure. 

If you have symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma, seek treatment immediately. Left untreated, angle-closure glaucoma can cause permanent vision loss.

Some common symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma are redness, severe headache or brow ache, blurred vision, eye pain, and nausea or vomiting.

Normal-Tension Glaucoma

In normal-tension glaucoma, the optic nerve becomes damaged when your eye pressure is within the normal range. Many times, this means that your eye pressure is still too high for your individual eyes. 

What Are the Treatment Options for Glaucoma?

In many cases, the treatment method will depend on the type of glaucoma and its severity. While glaucoma doesn’t have a cure, treatment can slow or stop its progression. 

The treatment options for glaucoma include:

Medicated Eye Drops

The first line of treatment for glaucoma is usually prescription eye drops. Eye drops work by either increasing the outflow of fluid from your eye or reducing the amount of fluid produced by your eye. 

Some eye drops are able to do both. Decreasing the amount of fluid in your eye slows optic nerve damage and limits vision loss.

Laser Treatment

Your eye doctor may recommend laser treatment if eye drops don’t adequately lower your eye pressure. There are various types of laser procedures.

An iridotomy uses a laser to create tiny holes in your iris. These holes let the fluid drain more easily from your eye.

Another laser procedure used to treat glaucoma is selective laser trabeculoplasty, or SLT. During SLT, your eye doctor uses a laser to open clogged drainage canals in the trabecular meshwork. 

Removing the obstructions using a laser allows the aqueous humor to drain easily once again.

Glaucoma Surgery

Glaucoma surgery is necessary in advanced cases or when other treatment methods do not work to lower your eye pressure. Your eye doctor at Sierra Nevada Eye Center can also recommend surgery if eye drops cause serious side effects.

One type of glaucoma surgery is trabeculectomy. Trabeculectomy is a procedure done to create a new pathway in the sclera. The new path lets fluid leave your eye, which lowers your intraocular pressure and prevents vision loss from worsening.

At Sierra Nevada Eye Center, we are proud to offer minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries or MIGS. MIGSs are procedures that use microscopic equipment and tiny incisions to decrease your eye pressure in order to minimize or prevent optic nerve damage.

There are different types of MIGS procedures, including Kahook Dual Blade, iStent Inject, OMNI GATT, and Hydrus microstent. If you have mild to moderate glaucoma, MIGS can be a good option. 

The goal of MIGS procedures is to lower intraocular pressure in the following ways:

  • Reducing the production of the aqueous humor
  • Improving the eye’s natural drainage system
  • Redirecting excess fluid outside of your eye.

Protect Your Sight from Glaucoma

Glaucoma can sneak in without any warning signs and rob you of your sight. Luckily it’s treatable if caught early through regular eye exams at Sierra Nevada Eye Center.

Do you want to learn more about glaucoma or determine if you might be at risk of developing the condition? Schedule an appointment at Sierra Nevada Eye Center in Reno, NV, today!

Do your eyes often feel dry? Does it feel as though there’s always something in your eye? 

These could be signs of dry eyes. Dry eyes can affect your vision, make it hard to perform simple, daily activities, and get in the way of enjoying everyday life. 

Luckily there are various at-home treatments that can help with your dry eyes. Keep reading to learn more about dry eyes, home remedies for dry eyes, when to see an eye care professional, and the various treatment options available for dry eyes!

What is Dry Eye?

Dry eyes occur when your eyes produce poor-quality tears or don’t make enough tears. When you have dry eyes, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Itchiness
  • Eye fatigue
  • Light sensitivity
  • Blurry or double vision 
  • Difficulty driving at night
  • Burning or stinging sensation
  • Trouble wearing contact lenses
  • Stringy mucus around or in your eyes
  • Feeling like there’s something in your eyes

Are There Home Remedies for Dry Eyes?

Although home remedies will not always be enough to resolve your dry eye symptoms, there are some things you may be able to do to help reduce them. Here are some tips for managing dry eyes at home:

Use Artificial Tears

Artificial tears lubricate your eyes, providing temporary relief from dry eyes. You may have to apply these eye drops multiple times throughout the day since the effects only last temporarily.

When buying over-the-counter artificial tears, look for preservative-free eye drops. That’s because eye drops with preservatives are more likely to irritate your eyes and worsen your symptoms.

Take Frequent Screen Breaks

Spending too much time in front of your computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone, or TV can lead to digital eye strain. You can combat eye strain and dry eyes from excessive screen time by following the 20-20-20 rule.

According to the rule, take a break from digital screens after every 20 minutes. Look at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Also, remember to blink often during your breaks. Blinking intentionally is a great way to lubricate your eyes and ease the symptoms of dry eyes.

Add Omega-3 Fatty Acids to Your Diet

Consider incorporating omega-3 fatty acids into your diet to aid with your dry eyes. Omega-3 fatty acids keep your eyes healthy and lubricated.

Some rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids include soybeans, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and cold-water fish like salmon and tuna. Eating foods packed with omega-3 fatty acids can improve your tear quality and reduce your dry eye symptoms.

Stay Hydrated

Your tears are ninety-eight percent water. So ensure you remain hydrated throughout the day to help your eyes with tear production and alleviate your dry eye symptoms. 

Aim to drink the recommended amount of six to eight glasses of water per day at intervals.

Invest in a Humidifier

Dry air can cause dry eyes. Using a humidifier in your home or office adds much-needed moisture, which can aid with the symptoms caused by a dry environment.

Wear Wraparound Sunglasses

Wraparound sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun and wind, which can exacerbate your dry eye symptoms. Ensure you get wraparound sunglasses that fit snugly without causing any discomfort.

When to See an Eye Doctor for Your Dry Eyes

At-home treatments usually help with dry eye symptoms. But if your symptoms become worse or persist even with at-home remedies, it’s time to see an eye care professional.

An experienced eye doctor can determine what’s causing your dry eye and provide the best treatment to relieve your dry eyes.

Your dry eye treatment options may include:

Prescription Eye Drops

There are many types of eye drops used for treating dry eyes. Xiidra and Restasis are two of the most commonly prescribed eye drops. 

Both medications offer significant relief if you have moderate to severe dry eyes. It can take months before you really notice a difference when using Restasis. 

On the other hand, Xiidra starts working within two weeks, but it takes about three months to experience its full effect.

Punctal Plugs

If your tears leave your eyes too quickly, causing dry eyes, your doctor may recommend punctal plugs. Punctal plugs are small, biocompatible devices implanted in your tear ducts or puncta to block drainage during a procedure called punctal occlusion.

Consequently, tears remain on the surface of your eyes longer and provide more lubrication, which significantly improves your dry eye symptoms. Punctal plugs can be temporary or permanent. 

Temporary plugs dissolve on their own after several weeks. If temporary punctal plugs work well, your doctor may suggest permanent plugs.

Permanent plugs are made of acrylic or silicone and don’t dissolve. However, they can be removed if necessary.


Prokera is a non-invasive device that is similar to a contact lens. It has anti-scarring and anti-inflammatory properties that help your eyes heal.

Prokera is made from two transparent, flexible rings that sandwich a tiny piece of amniotic membrane tissue. During the same-day procedure, your ophthalmologist starts by applying anesthetic drops. The numbing drops reduce any potential discomfort.

Your ophthalmologist will then insert Prokera over your cornea, similar to how a contact lens is placed. The amniotic membrane comes from a natural placenta and can help heal your cornea from dry eyes.

Find Lasting Relief from Dry Eyes

If at-home remedies don’t alleviate your dry eye symptoms, the experienced eye doctors at Sierra Nevada Eye Center can help. The doctors offer comprehensive dry eye treatment, including prescription drops, punctal occlusion, and Prokera for long-term relief from dry eyes.

Are you struggling with the frustrating symptoms of dry eyes? Schedule an appointment at Sierra Nevada Eye Center in Carson City, NV, today to find a lasting solution!

Are cataracts making it hard to complete simple, routine tasks? Has poor vision from cataracts made your favorite pastimes less enjoyable? 

If so, your eye doctor will likely recommend cataract surgery. There are two options for removing your cataracts: traditional or laser cataract surgery. 

Traditional cataract surgery uses handheld blades and is a highly effective procedure. On the other hand, cataract surgery with laser technology is bladeless, offers unmatched precision, and delivers predictable outcomes.

Keep reading to learn more about laser cataract surgery, including eight things you may not know!

How Does Laser Cataract Surgery Work?

Cataracts occur when proteins in your eyes break down and clump together on your lens, making your vision cloudy, blurred, and discolored. Often, cataracts progress gradually and eventually cause blindness without treatment. 

Cataract surgery is the only way to restore vision affected by cataracts and get rid of them permanently. During cataract surgery, your cataract surgeon will remove your cloudy natural lens. 

Then, they will implant an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) in its place to restore clear vision. Cataract surgery using laser technology can ensure your procedure is more successful. 

LenSx femtosecond laser and ORA wavefront technology are among the latest techniques used in cataract surgery. Wavefront eye mapping allows your surgeon to take real-time, precise measurements and make necessary adjustments at any point in surgery.

In turn, this increases your chances of achieving the best possible vision post-surgery without contacts or glasses. If you’re struggling with poor vision from cataracts, you can regain your sight and live life to the fullest with cataract surgery. 

Here are eight reasons why you should consider getting laser cataract surgery:

1. Greater Precision

Laser technology creates a detailed, 3-D map of your eye surface. From the information gathered, like the size, location, and depth of the cataract, your surgeon will know exactly where to make the incision.

Surgical incisions with a computer-aided laser are up to 10 times more precise than incisions done by hand.

2. Safer Capsulotomy

Capsulotomy is a vital step in cataract surgery. It involves opening the front part of the delicate, thin membrane or capsule that holds your natural, cloudy lens. 

It’s crucial that the portion left inside your eye remains intact. That way, it can hold the new artificial lens in the correct position for clear vision.

Unlike traditional cataract surgery, where the capsule is opened manually, laser cataract surgery utilizes a computer-guided laser to open the capsule. The laser is able to create a more centered and circular opening in your capsule. 

Even the most experienced surgeons can’t match the precision of a computer-controlled laser.

3. Uses Less Energy to Break Up Cataracts

During laser cataract surgery, the surgeon uses a laser to soften the cloudy cataract lens. With the cataract softened, less ultrasound energy is required to break and remove it. 

Less energy reduces the risk of complications like corneal swelling and clouding or retinal detachment post-surgery.

4. Less Damage to Surrounding Tissue

Breaking up your cataract with a laser uses much less ultrasound energy. As a result, the surrounding tissues don’t suffer as much collateral damage as they would with traditional cataract surgery. 

This helps ensure your cornea remains clear and the lens capsule isn’t weakened.

5. Better Vision 

Even a slight misalignment of your new intraocular lens can decrease visual quality. The perfect opening made in your capsule by a laser optimizes your surgeon’s ability to accurately place your IOL and attain the best visual outcome. 

Thus, you’re more likely not to need contact lenses or glasses after your laser cataract procedure.

6. Can Correct Astigmatism

Astigmatism is a common refractive error. It occurs when your cornea has an egg shape like a football rather than being round like a baseball. 

The irregular curvature of the cornea causes blurry or distorted vision at all distances. Your surgeon can treat your astigmatism by reshaping the irregular cornea with a laser. 

Laser technology enables your surgeon to perform astigmatism correction more accurately and reliably, leading to better vision outcomes. By removing cataracts and fixing astigmatism simultaneously, many patients are able to see better than they have in years.

7. Minimally Invasive

Bladeless laser cataract surgery doesn’t use stitches. After removing your cataract and implanting an intraocular lens, the surgeon leaves the tiny incisions to heal on their own. 

A no-blade, no-stitch procedure is less-invasive and more comfortable for patients.

8. Easier Recovery

Since laser cataract surgery doesn’t use blades, your eye experiences less trauma. Laser cataract surgery also requires less energy to break up your cataract, reducing post-surgery corneal swelling.

Additionally, the clean, accurate incisions made using a laser reduce the risk of infection. All these things combined allow for a smoother recovery and faster vision restoration.

Cataract Surgery with the ORA System

Sierra Nevada Eye Center is proud to offer the ORA system and LenSx femtosecond laser, the latest in cataract surgery. The ORA system and femtosecond laser allow the experienced cataract surgeons at Sierra Nevada Eye Center provide truly customized procedures with excellent outcomes.

Are you interested in laser cataract surgery? Schedule your cataract screening at Sierra Nevada Eye Center in Carson City, NV, today to find out if it’s time for cataract surgery and whether laser cataract surgery is right for you.

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage your optic nerve. The optic nerve transmits images from the retina to your brain, allowing you to see. 

Damage to the optic nerve is irreversible and causes vision loss. If you’ve been diagnosed with glaucoma, prompt treatment is critical to protect your remaining vision and prevent permanent blindness.

Keep reading to learn more about glaucoma and how treatment helps with the condition!

How Common Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately three million Americans have glaucoma.

There are different types of glaucoma. The most common form typically progresses very slowly and usually has no early symptoms. 

That’s why many people with glaucoma don’t know they have the condition. It’s crucial to have regular eye exams to ensure glaucoma is caught and treated early before significant vision loss occurs.

What Are Some Types of Glaucoma?

Two types of glaucoma are angle-closure and open-angle glaucoma.

Open Angle Glaucoma

Open-angle is the most common type of glaucoma. It affects over ninety percent of glaucoma patients, advances very slowly, and often has no early physical symptoms.

Open-angle glaucoma occurs when a blockage in your eye’s drainage system causes fluid buildup. An accumulation of fluid increases your eye pressure and damages the optic nerve.

Angle-Closure Glaucoma

Acute angle-closure glaucoma leads to an abrupt increase in your eye pressure or intraocular pressure, also known as IOP. It develops quite quickly and is a medical emergency. 

Acute angle-closure glaucoma can cause rapid vision loss and blindness without treatment. Symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma include:

  • Severe eye pain
  • Halos around lights
  • Severe headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye redness
  • Nausea and vomiting  

Are There Risk Factors for Glaucoma?

Anyone can get glaucoma. However, some people are more at risk than others. The risk factors for glaucoma are:

  • Age over fifty-five
  • Thinner corneas 
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Previous eye surgery
  • Serious eye injury in the past
  • Hispanic, African American, or Asian heritage
  • Long-term use of corticosteroid medications
  • High intraocular pressure
  • Extreme farsightedness or nearsightedness
  • Certain medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, sickle cell anemia, or migraines
  • Lifestyle choices like smoking, excessive alcohol use, or too much exposure to the sun

Eye doctors recommend getting a comprehensive eye exam every year if you have any of the above risk factors. Regular eye examinations are key to preventing unnecessary vision loss.

What Types of Glaucoma Treatments Are Available?

Glaucoma still doesn’t have a cure. But with careful monitoring and treatment, it can be effectively controlled and vision loss prevented. 

The goal of glaucoma treatment is to lower your eye pressure. Reducing your intraocular pressure slows the progression of glaucoma and helps preserve your eyesight. 

Glaucoma treatment is usually required for life.

Eye Drops

Eye drops are usually the first line of glaucoma treatment. They reduce your eye pressure by either improving the flow of fluid through the drainage angle or decreasing the amount of aqueous fluid produced by the eye.

Eye drops are applied several times daily, sometimes in combination with oral drugs. If your glaucoma worsens or your medication doesn’t lower your eye pressure to safe levels, your doctor may need to change your treatment over time.

Laser Surgery

In addition to eye drops, your glaucoma specialist may suggest laser surgery to treat your condition. One laser procedure that is common in those with narrow-angle or angle-closure glaucoma is an LPI or laser peripheral iridotomy.

During the LPI procedure, our eye doctor applies a local anesthetic to numb your eye. Then, they will use a laser to create a tiny hole in the iris, which is the colored part of your eye.

The new opening allows the aqueous fluid to drain out your eye more easily and increases the angle size. Increased outflow brings your eye pressure down and slows or prevents optic nerve damage.

For open-angle glaucoma, selective laser trabeculoplasty, or SLT, is used to decrease the production of fluid in your eye. It can also be used to increase the outflow of fluid from your eye.

Following your laser procedure, you may experience mild blurry vision and irritation. But you should be able to resume your normal routine the same day.

The type of laser procedure your doctor recommends will depend on the kind of glaucoma you have and its severity.

Glaucoma Surgery

You may need glaucoma surgery if:

  • You can’t tolerate eye drops
  • Other treatment options don’t work
  • You have acute angle-closure glaucoma or advanced glaucoma, where a blockage causes a rapid increase in your eye pressure

Surgery is urgently required to intervene and protect your remaining vision. There are different types of glaucoma surgeries, they include:

  • Trabeculectomy
  • ExPress mini-tube shunt
  • Ahmed and Baerveldt tube shunts 
  • Canaloplasty
  • Minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries (MIGS) – iStent Inject, OMNI, Kahook Dual-Blade, Hydrus Microstent, and GATT.

Prevent Vision Loss from Glaucoma

The top-rated glaucoma specialists at Sierra Nevada Eye Center recommend frequent eye exams. That’s the only way to detect glaucoma early and ensure you maintain a lifetime of the best vision possible.

Are you experiencing symptoms of glaucoma or want to have your eyes screened for the condition? Schedule an appointment at Sierra Nevada Eye Center in Reno, NV, today!

When you undergo cataract surgery, your cataract surgeon will replace your eye’s natural cloudy cataract lens with an artificial one called an intraocular lens, or IOL. The new synthetic IOL takes over the role of your natural lens and helps restore clear vision. 

You can select either a standard IOL or a premium IOL. A premium intraocular lens will give you better vision than a standard IOL.

By choosing a premium lens implant, you will likely be able to greatly reduce your need for glasses or contact lenses or only need to wear them occasionally. Keep reading to learn more about the difference between a standard and premium IOL, the different types of premium lens implants, some of the amazing benefits of premium lenses, and if you should consider a premium lens implant!

Premium IOL Vs. Standard IOL

If you don’t mind wearing prescription glasses after cataract surgery, a standard or monofocal lens implant can be a great option. These intraocular lenses can only be set at a single distance – either near or far away.

Many cataract patients with a standard IOL choose to have their lenses to correct their long-distance vision. So while a standard lens implant will offer excellent distance vision, you’ll still need glasses for certain activities at near, like reading or using your smartphone.

On the other hand, if you wish to rely on your glasses or contacts as little as possible, premium IOLs may be the best option for you. Premium intraocular lenses are high-performance IOLs designed to help you see better than monofocal lens implants. 

They can drastically improve your vision post-cataract surgery, reducing your dependence on prescription lenses.

Types of Premium Lens Implants

There are many kinds of premium IOLs available at Sierra Nevada Eye Center in Reno, Nevada. They include:

Multifocal IOLs

Multifocal IOLs work much like bifocal glasses. They have various zones built into the lens set to different distances. This allows you to see well at all distances: near, far, and everything in the middle. 

You’ll find that you can drive, read a book, work on your computer, and even play golf with increased independence from prescription lenses.

Extended Depth of Focus (EDOF) IOLs

EDOF IOLs deliver a full range of seamless vision. They bend the light entering your eye from far away and intermediate distances and focus it on one focal point on your retina.

As a result, you’re able to see objects at multiple distances. With EDOF IOLs, you can see well at far and intermediate distances and have good functional close-up vision, giving you more freedom from glasses or contacts.

Toric IOLs

Toric IOLs are specially designed lenses for cataract patients with astigmatism. Astigmatism is a common refractive error that occurs when you have an irregularly shaped cornea.

When the cornea or front part of your eye is not curved equally in every direction, light doesn’t focus properly on your retina, which causes blurry or distorted vision at all distances. Thanks to the toric IOL, you can now address both cataracts and astigmatism in one procedure. 

There are toric versions of different types of premium IOLs that can also address presbyopia, nearsightedness, and farsightedness, giving you the broadest possible range of vision.

Vivity IOLs

The Vivity IOL is a new advancement in premium lens implants. It’s designed with a unique, non-diffractive technology known as X-Wave™.

X-Wave™ utilizes all the available light to provide a continuous, extended range of vision. With the vivity IOL, you’ll achieve high-quality, crisp, clear vision for intermediate and distance in bright and dim light.

However, you may still require glasses or contacts for reading the prescription label and performing other up-close activities. The vivity lens filters out the damaging blue light from digital devices and protects your eyes against the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Benefits of Premium Lens Implants

Some of the many benefits of a premium IOL include the following:

You Can Attain Greater Freedom from Glasses or Contacts

Life with cataracts can be pretty frustrating. It may feel as though you’re always looking through a dirty window. 

Luckily, cataract surgery will restore your sight. Even better, you can achieve sharper, crisper vision by choosing a premium lens implants.

If you’re tired of constantly relying on glasses or contact lenses to see, you can significantly reduce or even eliminate your dependence on visual aids after cataract surgery with a premium IOL.

Nothing Will Hold You Back from Living an Active Lifestyle

Depending on the premium IOL you select, you can dramatically improve your eyesight and attain the visual freedom you’ve always desired. Think of all the possibilities of doing the things you love without limitations.

If you’re an avid golfer, you’ll be able to bring your A-game to the course. Hiking will also be far more enjoyable. You’ll see everything around you in HD with brighter, more vivid colors.

Correct Cataracts and Presbyopia in One Fell Swoop

Cataracts and presbyopia decrease your ability to see well as you grow older. Presbyopia is age-related farsightedness.

Inside a youthful eye is a flexible lens that easily changes shape, allowing you to shift your focus from faraway objects to nearby objects. However, when you get to your forties, your once-springy lens hardens and becomes less flexible.

Presbyopia happens when the hardened lens loses its ability to focus on close-up objects. This makes it harder to read the newspaper, text on your phone, thread a needle, and perform other up-close tasks.

Specially designed premium IOLs have made it possible to correct both cataracts and presbyopia during cataract surgery. After your procedure, you can look forward to living life free of glasses or contacts.

See the Big Picture Without Missing the Details

Our cataract surgeons at Sierra Nevada Eye Center are proud to offer a wide range of the most advanced premium IOLs. With a premium lens implant, you’ll eliminate or considerably reduce your need for glasses or contacts and see the world as it should be.

Are you interested in premium IOLs? Schedule a cataract evaluation at Sierra Nevada Eye Center in Reno, NV, today to learn more about your premium lens implant options!

Cataracts are a very common age-related eye condition. If you’re over forty, you’re at risk for cataracts. 

Cataracts occur when the natural lens in your eye becomes cloudy. This cloudiness can make it difficult to see. 

Cataracts also tend to develop over a long period of time. You may have cataracts for years without ever noticing them.

It can be challenging to spot cataract symptoms at first because they tend to appear gradually. The best way to know if you have cataracts is to see your eye doctor regularly so they can diagnose them as soon as they begin to develop. 

Keep reading to learn the most common cataract symptoms!

Double Vision in One Eye

Seeing double in just one eye, also called monocular double vision, is a very early sign that you may have cataracts. This symptom often appears before all other symptoms and can indicate that you may develop cataracts. 

If you experience monocular double vision, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor so they can examine you for cataracts. Double vision can be a symptom of other eye conditions as well, so it’s best to visit your eye doctor to determine the root cause.

Blurry Vision

Blurry vision is one of the main symptoms of cataracts. It is also often one of the first and most noticeable symptoms of cataracts.

The more cloudy your lenses become, the more blurry your vision will become. Stronger prescriptions for your glasses and contacts may help you see better at first, but eventually, glasses and contacts will not be able to correct your vision to the clarity you once had.

As cataracts advance, your vision will become more and more blurry and dim. If left untreated, cataracts can significantly reduce your vision. 

Many people with cataracts also notice that it becomes difficult to see up close. This particular issue is also often found in people who have presbyopia, which is a common age-related condition that makes it hard to focus up close. 

Since cataracts cause the lens to harden and lose flexibility, the lens is challenged to focus on up-close objects. If you notice increased blurry vision or you are beginning to struggle to see things up close, you may have cataracts. 

Poor Night Vision

Cataracts affect your low-light vision. The more developed your cataracts become, the harder it will become to see at night or without proper lighting. 

You may find you aren’t able to read or perform other fine-focus tasks without direct light. Having additional light over your reading material or menu may allow you to see better.

Light Sensitivity

If you have cataracts, you may be more sensitive to bright lights. You may find yourself squinting more, especially on sunny days. 

You should always wear sunglasses when you go outside or are driving during the day, whether or not you have cataracts. However, if you have cataracts, sunglasses might become increasingly necessary.

If your eyes become progressively more sensitive to light, it’s a good sign that you may have advanced cataracts.

Glare and Halos

In addition to light sensitivity, cataracts can make the light even brighter by creating glare and halos around light sources. This symptom is especially noticeable at night, as the contrast between the dark and bright street lights or car headlights can be blinding if you have cataracts. 

Combined with sensitivity to light, these symptoms can make it very hard to be outside at night at all.

Colors Appearing Muddy

This symptom is especially hard to notice since it tends to develop slowly, but if you have cataracts, you may find the world appears less colorful and more yellowish and muddy. You may find that you have trouble seeing the contrast between similar colors or spotting objects against similarly colored backgrounds. 

Combined with the other symptoms listed above, this is a good indication that you may be suffering from advanced cataracts.

Secondary Symptoms

Secondary symptoms are symptoms that aren’t caused directly by cataracts but rather by primary cataract symptoms. For example, because cataracts make it hard to see at night and create glare and halos, one common secondary cataract symptom is trouble driving at night. 

Between blinding glare from car headlights and poor night vision, it can be downright dangerous to drive after dark. Another common secondary cataract symptom is physical injury due to poor vision. 

When you have significantly advanced cataracts, you may fall or trip because of your various visual symptoms. Experiencing secondary symptoms is a good sign that it’s time to get treatment. 

Doctors recommend you have your cataracts treated once they begin to affect your quality of life. This may take years since, as we’ve discussed, cataracts take a while to develop. 

But once you’re experiencing secondary symptoms because of your cataracts, it’s probably time for treatment. There’s only one treatment for cataracts: cataract surgery. 

Cataract surgery is a very common, low-risk, outpatient procedure. It is a very safe procedure with an excellent success rate that can restore your vision!

Are you experiencing symptoms of cataracts? Schedule a cataract evaluation at Sierra Nevada Eye Center today for a consultation with one of our cataract specialists!

Cataracts can significantly affect your quality of life. They cause blurry vision, poor night vision, light sensitivity, glare, halos, and difficulty seeing contrast. 

With all these visual problems, most people who have cataracts eventually require cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is the only treatment for cataracts. 

Keep reading to learn four reasons that clearer vision will change your life after cataract surgery!

When Is the Right Time for Cataract Surgery?

Cataracts develop very slowly, so it can take years before they begin to cause any visual symptoms. When your cataracts advance, you will begin to notice increased blurred vision, among other symptoms like glare and haloes. 

Once your cataracts have begun to affect your quality of life, your eye doctor will recommend that you have cataract surgery. Cataract surgery will restore clarity to your vision, so you can continue doing the things you love to do without hindrance.

How Cataract Surgery Can Change Your Life

Regaining and improving your vision with cataract surgery can be truly life-changing. Here are a few ways cataract surgery can change your life:

Get Back to What You Love

When your cataracts are advanced, it can make your normal activities and hobbies more challenging. For example, activities like reading and knitting can be difficult due to the additional light needed to see.

You will also have to deal with frustrating blurry vision during these tasks. With cataracts, doing what you love can give you eye strain and headaches. 

You may have even stopped participating in your favorite activities because instead of helping you relax and unwind, they cause frustration. However, once you have cataract surgery, you’ll be able to see again!

After cataract surgery, you can get back to the hobbies you enjoy. With fewer restrictions, you’ll be able to do everything you love again and may even be motivated to pick up new hobbies! 

Stay Active

Fine focus tasks like reading can be a lot harder with cataracts, and so can simpler tasks. Even walking can become dangerous when your cataracts are advanced enough. 

Cataracts can also make you feel less energetic since you often have to strain your eyes to see. When you’re always tired, you probably don’t even have the motivation for physical activity. 

But once you have cataract surgery, you’ll be able to see again. You won’t have to strain your eyes, so you will have fewer headaches.

Without constant headaches, you’ll also have more energy to get out and about. Whether you go to the gym to stay active or just like to walk a lot, cataract surgery can help you get and stay fit and healthy!

Be Independent Again

Advanced cataracts can leave you dependent on others for basic needs. It can be hard to get around on your own and complete everyday tasks like cooking and cleaning. 

Cataracts can also make it hard to drive after dark due to poor night vision and glare from headlights and street lamps. If your cataracts are that advanced, you may be confined to your home every evening. 

Many people with advanced cataracts become reclusive because of poor vision. However, when you have cataract surgery, you can shed that shame and be able to do everything for yourself again! 

With clear vision, you won’t just be more independent. You’ll also be free to do what you want when you want. 

Being able to see again can vastly improve your mental health by enabling you to socialize and do things on your own.

Better Vision Than Ever 

Simply restoring your vision to how it was before you had cataracts can be life-changing. However, with cataract surgery, you can have clearer vision than ever.

Premium IOLs can allow you to experience clear vision, eliminate cataract symptoms and correct your natural refractive error. Cataracts form when the proteins inside your eye’s natural lens break down and clump together.

In order to remove your cataracts, your cataract surgeon will remove your entire lens. Then, they will replace your natural lens with an artificial lens.

This lens is called an intraocular lens, or IOL. When you decide to get cataract surgery, you can choose whether you want a standard IOL or a premium IOL. 

Premium IOLs are designed to enhance your vision by correcting presbyopia and reducing the need for other visual aids like reading glasses. With a premium IOL, you can see better than ever before!

At Sierra Nevada Eye Center, we offer several cataract surgery packages. You can get a Premium Technology Package for your cataract surgery.

Our Premium Technology Package includes a premium IOL and laser cataract surgery, which is more precise than traditional cataract surgery, enhancing your post-surgical vision even further. However, you don’t have to splurge on our most premium package to enhance your vision. 

We also offer less expensive packages that can correct your astigmatism, either with the surgery itself or a premium lens called a toric lens. Whatever you choose, though, you’ll be able to see again once you have cataract surgery. 

You can get your life back, so don’t wait! If cataracts have begun to affect your quality of life, make an appointment today with one of our cataract specialists for a cataract surgery consultation.

Are you experiencing cataract symptoms? Schedule a cataract evaluation at Sierra Nevada Eye Center in Carson City, NV, today!

It’s not unusual for your eyes to feel dry at times, and there are many reasons why they may feel that way. If you have allergies, they may feel irritated this time of year, especially since it’s hay fever season. 

However, you may be experiencing a chronic eye condition known as dry eye syndrome. When left untreated, dry eye syndrome can lead to serious eye health issues and even vision loss. 

If your eyes feel dry, it’s essential to see an eye care professional for proper diagnosis and treatment. Keep reading to learn more about why your eyes may be so dry right now!

What Are Some of the Most Common Dry Eye Symptoms?

Your eyes feel dry when they aren’t producing adequate tears. Your tears are composed of three layers: the inner layer is mucus, the middle layer is water, and the outer layer is oil. 

When your eyes produce tears that are lacking in one of these layers, your eyes don’t get enough moisture. This can cause a few symptoms, which include:

  • Irritation
  • Burning sensation
  • Light sensitivity
  • Excess tearing or watering
  • A gritty feeling, like there’s something in your eye

Your eyes may also feel a little itchy, but itchy eyes are primarily a symptom of allergies. You may have both allergy symptoms and dry eye symptoms, though, and the combination can make your eyes feel even more irritated.

It’s possible your eyes are temporarily dry due to environmental factors, but it’s also possible that you have dry eye syndrome.

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eyes may be caused by dehydration, dry weather, or contact lens irritation, as well as other temporary environmental factors. However, often dry eye symptoms are due to dry eye syndrome. 

Temporary conditions may worsen dry eye syndrome, but the symptoms won’t entirely disappear when the environmental factors are removed. Dry eye syndrome is more common in older individuals, especially women. 

It’s also common in women experiencing hormonal changes like pregnancy or menopause. However, anyone can develop dry eye syndrome. It’s also often related to certain ocular surface conditions.

Your ocular surface is the layer of tissue that lines your eye and the inside of your lower and upper eyelids. This layer is covered by a tear film which is necessary to keep the ocular surface healthy. 

The ocular surface can become inflamed due to certain conditions, like blepharitis, which can lead to dry eye syndrome. The only way to know if you have dry eye syndrome, let alone what’s causing it, is to see an eye doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

What Treatment Methods Are Used for Dry Eye Syndrome?

One way to assess the quality of your tears is through a test called TearLab. This device takes a sample of your tears and measures their composition, allowing your eye doctor to see where your tear quality may be lacking and what may be causing it. 

Once you’ve been diagnosed, your eye doctor can recommend treatment accordingly. There are a variety of non-invasive treatments for dry eye syndrome that we can offer:

Home Remedies

Often, dry eye symptoms can be alleviated by over-the-counter medication and simple lifestyle changes. Your eye doctor may recommend you try some of these home remedies before prescribing more intensive treatment.

Nutritional deficiency may play a part in dry eye syndrome. Getting more Omega-3 in your diet can aid in tear production. 

This nutrient can be found in fish, flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts. You can also take it as a supplement with fish oil or flaxseed pills.

Putting a humidifier in your home may help with your symptoms by making sure the air isn’t too dry. Drinking plenty of water and wearing sunglasses outside can also help. 

As for over-the-counter medication, you can use artificial tears for immediate relief. You can also use eyelid wipes to keep your eyelids clean, which can help with inflammation.

These various at-home treatment options can significantly alleviate your symptoms, but they may not be enough on their own. In such cases, medication and other professional treatments may be warranted.


The most common medications for dry eye syndrome are Restasis and Xiidra. These are both prescription eye drops that aid in tear production.

Your doctor may prescribe them to you in addition to using over-the-counter artificial tears. 


Prokera is a therapeutic device that’s used to treat inflammation. Reducing inflammation can reduce dry eye symptoms, as inflammation is often the root cause. 

Prokera comes in the form of a contact lens that’s made from amniotic tissue. Your doctor places it on top of your eye and removes it three to four days later. 

This is done right at the office and requires no surgery. Patients who use Prokera usually experience immediate relief and long-term benefits from using the device. 

Punctal Occlusion 

When other treatments for DES are ineffective, this punctal occlusion may be the best solution. This procedure is simple, requires no surgery, and can be done in your doctor’s office. 

Your doctor places tiny plugs into your puncta, which are the tear ducts located right in the corner of your eyes near your nose. This is where tears naturally drain, so by blocking off these ducts, your tears are forced to stay on the surface of your eye longer, compensating for poor tear quality.  

Do you want to learn why your eyes feel dry and irritated all the time? Schedule an appointment at Sierra Nevada Eye Center in Carson City, NV, today so you can get a treatment plan to finally get relief!

Have you recently found out you have cataracts? Cataracts are highly prevalent and are considered an age-related eye condition.

They tend to affect adults over 40. How early they begin to develop varies.

But chances are, you’ll develop cataracts at some point in life. If you have cataracts, your next question may be when you should seek treatment.

Ideally, you should see your eye doctor regularly once you turn 40. Regular eye exams will ensure early diagnosis of your cataracts.

However, you may not need treatment immediately, even if you have cataracts. Cataract surgery is the only way to treat cataracts.

Laser cataract surgery is a more advanced variant of the procedure. Whether you have laser cataract surgery or the more traditional procedure, it’s only recommended once cataracts make it difficult to live your life and are significantly developed.

But how do you know your cataracts are advanced enough to undergo cataract surgery? Keep reading to learn more about how cataracts affect your vision, how you can tell when it’s time for surgery, and how laser cataract surgery can give you the best outcomes.

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Do you need to have cataract surgery? The procedure involves removing your cataract by removing your natural lens from the eye.

Cataracts form on the natural lens, necessitating its removal. Removing the cataract from the lens is impossible without extracting both.

But to see clearly, you still need a lens in your eye. A critical component of cataract surgery is replacing the natural lens with an artificial one.

The artificial lens is called an intraocular lens or IOL. The IOL takes over the job that the once clear natural lens was able to accomplish before you developed cataracts.

With an IOL, you can see clearly after having cataract surgery. There are several kinds of IOLs.

Choosing the right intraocular lens before you have cataract surgery can feel like a daunting task. Luckily, this is not a decision that you have to make alone.

Your cataract surgeon at Sierra Nevada Eye Center can recommend the best one for you based on your visual goals and needs after cataract surgery. But how do you know if you’ve chosen the right IOL before you have your cataracts removed?

Keep reading to find out how to select an IOL with the best cataract surgeon in Reno and Carson!

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