Cataract Surgery in Chicago, IL

At the Kraff Eye Institute, we provide our patients with advanced cataract treatment at our state-of-the-art facility in Chicago. Dr. Colman Kraff is an expert in advanced eye surgery and has helped countless patients restore their quality vision, even those suffering from late-stage cataract disease. As a result, our patients can resume their activities and quality of life.

What Is Cataract?

Cataract Surgery

A cataract is a clouding of the clear lens inside your eye. In a healthy eye, light passes through your transparent lens to your retina, where the light is transformed into nerve signals and sent to the brain.

As a cataract develops, the image the retina sends to your brain becomes cloudy, impairing vision. Cataracts generally progress gradually and do not bring pain or distort vision. Nonetheless, as the cataract advances, it will eventually degrade the clarity and quality of one's sight.

Patients who cannot enjoy their quality of life, struggle to perform hobbies, or have difficulty driving, need to visit their eye care specialist at the Kraff Eye Institute to discuss their options.

What Are the Types of Cataracts?

There are several different types of cataracts:

  • Nuclear Cataracts create a yellow fog over the eye;
  • Cortical Cataracts create a white fog at the edge of the eye that slowly moves toward the  middle of the eye;
  • Posterior Subcapsular Cataract forms toward the back of the eye, and affects near vision;
  • Congenital Cataracts occur when an individual is born with a cataract.

What Causes Cataracts?

Anyone can develop a cataract as they age, although the rate at which this occurs varies from person to person. Some individuals notice significant visual changes in their 40s, while others may live well into their 80s before they are aware of any visual disturbances.

The reason for these differences is not clearly understood. Genetics may play a part, as can environmental factors such as exposure to UV light or certain diets. Nevertheless, current data regarding these factors are not conclusive.

While most cataracts develop with age, some do not. For example, some people are born with cataracts; others may develop cataracts due to illness, injury, or the use of certain medications.

Individuals who use chronic corticosteroids can develop cataracts. By discussing your full medical history with your doctor, they will be able to determine whether your cataracts are related to any of these factors.

What Is the First Sign of Cataracts?

foggy eyes

The most obvious symptom of a cataract is distorted vision caused by the clouding of the natural lens.
Not only does the individual suffering from it experience visual impairment, some people may even notice a cloudy appearance of the eye.

Those who suffer from cataracts often feel like they are looking through a foggy lens. Other symptoms include difficulty seeing at night or noticing halos around light sources. The halos are typically more apparent at night or in low-light settings. Double vision can also be a symptom.

People with cataracts typically need more light to read and see normally.

What Are the Most Common Problems After Cataract Surgery?

The most common issues after cataract surgery are irritation, bruises, and swelling of the eyelids, as well as an increase in intraocular pressure.

The only way to treat a cataract is to undergo surgery. This involves the removal of the eye's clouded natural lens and the replacement of it with an intraocular lens (IOL) implant.

The type of IOL chosen for your treatment depends on a patient's lifestyle and circumstances. The IOL implants available are monofocal, multifocal, accommodating, and toric lenses.

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Intraocular Lens Implant (IOL)

Patients undergoing modern-day cataract surgery can opt to receive an intraocular lens implant (IOL), a plastic implant that lasts for the remainder of the patient's life. Without the lens implant, the patient would need to rely on thick, heavy glasses or contacts to see.

Lasik Surgery for Congenital Cataracts

lasik surgery

In most cases, those with cataracts cannot have LASIK eye surgery. However, exceptions to this rule exist for those with congenital cataracts. These cataracts are present at birth, which can cause vision problems. Cataract surgery can address this issue, but LASIK may be an option, depending on the cataract size, the level of vision it impairs, and whether corrective lenses can offer quality vision.

To determine if you are eligible for LASIK, you need an eye exam. Your doctor will then be able to evaluate your vision along with the cataract and decide whether you are a suitable candidate for the procedure.

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Monofocal Lens Implant

Single-focus implants are designed to correct the vision to one focal point, often the patient will still need to wear glasses for certain tasks like seeing far away or up close.

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Astigmatism Correction Implant

Toric intraocular lens (IOL) implants can be used to address astigmatism, a condition experienced by roughly 30% of the population. These implants work by adjusting the eyes' focus to compensate for their irregular shape, which is the root cause of astigmatism.

eye lasik surgery

Light Adjustable Lenses

Light adjustable lenses offer a customizable prescription for each eye of every patient, adjusted for distance, intermediate, and near focal points. Astigmatism can be corrected at the same time. Typically, one eye will be optimized for distance vision while the other for near vision.

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Non-Surgical Cataracts Treatment

Early signs of cataracts may include blurry or cloudy vision, trouble seeing at a distance and/or up close, decreased night vision, increased light sensitivity, glare, and halos. Wearing new glasses, anti-reflective coatings, and/or sunglasses may help a person function better.

Schedule Consultation

You can simply CALL US or make an appointment using the online forms at the links below

312-757-7335Schedule Consultation
 Clearer Vision

Cataracts Surgery Treatment Step-by-Step

Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure, patients rarely feel any discomfort due to advanced technology and surgical techniques. Physical and visual recovery often takes place very quickly. Many patients find they can drive and resume their regular activities within days of the procedure.

1. Pre-Operative Measurements to Determine The Correct Cataract Treatment


Before the surgery, you will have several measurements performed at Kraff Eye Institute. This helps Dr. Kraff choose the correct type, and strength of the lens implant.

The implant can be chosen to focus your eye at the distance you desire. Most people choose to have the focus sharpest in the distance.

Dr. Kraff will recommend an intraocular implant based on your overall eye health, lifestyle and the measurements gathered at the pre-operative exam. There are two categories of IOL:

  • Monofocal lens implant: These lenses help focus the image at a single, usually far, distance. Reading glasses would be necessary for tasks such as reading or using a computer where objects need to be viewed up close. Objects viewed up close will appear blurred from arm's length without wearing reading glasses;
  • Multifocal lens implants: These lenses make images viewed at a distance and near clearer. Individuals can function without glasses for distance and most near tasks.  Many patients opt for multifocal implants.

2. Cataract Surgery Procedure to Remove & Replace Clouded Lens

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Cataract surgery is performed using Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC), which makes patients feel sleepy and relaxed throughout the procedure. When adequate sedation has been reached, the area around the eye is cleansed and prepared for surgery.

A device is used to gently keep the eye open while Dr. Kraff makes two small incisions in the cornea.  A circular opening on the front membrane of the lens called the capsule, is created through one of the incisions. Fluid is injected into the capsule to separate the lens attachment from the membrane.

Phacoemulsification is then used to remove the cataract. This instrument produces ultrasonic waves that lead to rapid vibrations, breaking apart the cataract. Once the cataract has been removed, an artificial permanent implant is inserted into the capsule.

This implant helps focus the incoming light onto the retina, improving eyesight. After the implant is in place, the incision is closed, usually without the help of stitches, and the surgery is complete.

3. Cataract Post-Surgery Treatment & Recovery

cataract symptoms

While this surgery has been refined over many years and is extremely safe, there are cataract surgery risks you should know about. However, our doctors minimize them by performing a thorough examination and medical history check to ensure you have no health conditions that could cause complications.

One complication that a small number of cataract surgery patients report is ocular hypertension and inflammation. Some patients experience swelling at the back of the eye, this is rare though, and is treatable.

Thankfully, most people don't experience these problems, and complete cataract surgery recovery will take between four and six weeks. Vision is usually very functional the day after the procedure.

Who Is Eligible for Cataract Surgery Treatment?

Cataracts are generally related to aging and can occur in one or both eyes. Although cataracts start small, they will eventually grow and cause vision loss. Cataract removal surgery is currently the only viable option to restore clear vision.

Cataracts often show no signs or symptoms when they are small, but as they grow, you may notice more prominent cataract symptoms such as:

  • Light sensitivity
  • Glare and halos
  • Double vision
  • Faded colors
  • Cloudy or dim vision

Reviews For Cataract Treatment Services At Kraff Eye, Chicago


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LASIK Cost in Chicago

How Much Does Cataract Surgery Cost?

Most major medical insurance companies will cover a portion of cataract surgery. If the patient has secondary insurance, those will often pick up the remaining balance. Otherwise, the patient is responsible for any costs following their surgery. The cost of a specialty lens will not be covered by insurance and will be an out-of-pocket expense. The cost of a specialty lens varies based on the type of lens Dr. Kraff recommends. The exact cost will be discussed at the time of your cataract consultation.

The Kraff Eye Institute is a proud partner of CareCredit, America's top patient payment program. CareCredit allows you to start your vision care procedure right away, then pay for it at your convenience with low monthly payments.

About Our Cataracts Treatment Specialists

Specializing In Refractive Eye Surgeries For Over 25 Years

Dr. Colman Kraff is one of the most experienced and skilled cataract surgeons in the world. Dr. Kraff has dedicated his career to providing safe and effective procedures for every patient he treats. His commitment to advanced technology has allowed him to deliver his patients outstanding results, while providing the highest levels of safety.

Schedule Your Cataracts Surgery Consultation

Schedule your no-cost cataract consultation today, and begin your journey to improved vision.

312-757-7335Schedule Consultation
Schedule Consultation

Cataracts Surgery FAQ

Will cataracts return or will I need additional surgeries?

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Once a cataract is removed, it will not return. Additional surgeries will not be needed. 

How to Prevent Cataracts?

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The best way to prevent cataracts is to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Don't smoke, eat healthy, take vitamins, and exercise regularly. Wearing sunglasses outdoors may help reduce the damaging effects of UV light on the eyes.

How long does cataract surgery take?

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Cataract surgery is a straightforward procedure that usually takes 30-45 minutes.

Is cataract surgery painful?

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Cataract surgery is virtually pain-free because of the sedation used during the procedure.

What are the most common problems after cataract surgery?

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This includes irritation, bruises, and swelling of eyelids, as well as an increase in intraocular pressure. During the recovery period, any complications will be closely monitored.