Cataract Surgery

FLACS vs Traditional Cataract Surgery

In the year 2020, lasers are used for a variety of things. From making sure your shelves are level, to measuring the gravitational waves of black holes, laser technology is spreading. Lasers are used in business and commerce, archeology, military, manufacturing, and communication. The medical field is no exception. In the world of ophthalmology, the popularity of Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery (FLACS) has been growing over the past few years. Whenever something new comes into the marketplace, our ophthalmologists at Riverside EyeCare Professionals—Michael Sumsion, MD and Sean Sumsion, MD—examine whether the new procedure, equipment, or product would benefit those who pass through the doors at Riverside.

FLACS uses a laser to create an incision in the cornea, open the cataract membrane or capsules, and then to soften the cataract prior to removal. Traditional cataract surgery uses a blade to create an incision in the cornea and a process of using ultrasonic energy (sound waves) to soften and remove the cataract. Outside of the way the incision is made and the cataract softened, both avenues require mechanical removal of the lens. The question arises – does FLACS offer any additional benefits to patients over traditional cataract surgery?

Before discussing what the research has shown, let’s talk about that word – benefits. In the medical field, and in much of the research regarding FLACS, the benefits fall into three general categories: safety, visual results, and time.

  • Safety – potential unintended complications that may happen. There is a certain level of risk in every surgery, but cataract surgery has long been one of the most successful and common surgeries performed in the United States. As far as surgeries go, cataract surgery is low on the risk spectrum.
  • Visual results – the ability for patients to reach a target level of vision. With advancing technologies of lens options, patient satisfaction is at an all-time high.
  • Time – Researchers look into whether new technologies save time for the surgeon during surgery or reduce the recovery time for patients following surgery.

What does the research say? The answer may surprise you.

Over these three areas – safety, visual results, and time – none of the studies performed have shown statistically significant benefits from laser-assisted vs traditional cataract surgery. As the American Academy of Ophthalmology reinforces, in the midst of the FLACS vs traditional debate, “Your outcome depends in large part on the skill and experience of your surgeon.”

New technology should have a purpose – a better outcome, a safer procedure, less time in surgery or recovering afterward. With the understanding that Drs. Michael and Sean Sumsion offer laser-assisted cataract surgery, the technology, while cool and interesting, is rather unnecessary, mostly serving as a way to increase patient’s cost. While surgeons cannot charge you simply for using this technology, many attempt to cover their costs by bundling other premium services. Often buzz words are used to market FLACS as ‘more accurate’, ‘less complex’, or with the promise of ‘improved outcomes’. While it may look catchy in advertisements, the medical science simply does not back those claims.
When looking for a surgeon for your cataract surgery, there is something more important than the tools used – the hands that hold them.

For more information about cataract surgery performed by our experienced board-certified ophthalmologists, contact Riverside EyeCare Professionals today!

Glaucoma vs. Cataracts

While glaucoma and cataracts are eye conditions that can result in eventual blindness and most commonly develop after the age of 40, each is quite different from the other. Around the world, cataracts are the number one cause of blindness and glaucoma is the number two cause. Fortunately, there are effective treatments for cataracts and glaucoma that can preserve vision.

Glaucoma is caused by increased fluid pressure on the optic nerve, which interferes with vision. The condition is commonly asymptomatic for years until individuals start to notice more significant changes in vision. Loss of peripheral vision and clear night vision are among the initial visual changes, while pain, blurry vision, light sensitivity, nausea, and halos are signs that the condition has entered its more advanced stages. As with many eye conditions, early glaucoma detection and treatments are key for preserving vision. Currently there is no cure for glaucoma; however the advanced treatments we provide at Riverside EyeCare Professionals are virtually painless, quick, and can make significant strides in saving vision.

Cataracts are caused by gradual clouding of the eye’s natural lens. Typical symptoms include blurry/foggy vision, difficulty with night vision, glare, halos, double-vision, and vision loss. Cataracts are a progressive condition and without treatment they can lead to blindness. The good news is that there is a cure for cataracts: cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is a very common and routine procedure, which involves breaking up and removing the cataract from the eye and replacing the natural lens with an intraocular lens (IOL). Our ophthalmologists frequently perform cataract surgery with success, restoring patients’ clear vision with traditional and state-of-the art IOLs.

Having trouble with your vision? Or maybe it’s been a while since your last vision exam. If so, it’s time for an exam at Riverside EyeCare Professionals. Our board-certified ophthalmologists perform comprehensive testing to diagnose any problems you may be having. Contact our office to schedule your appointment today!

Do I Have Cataracts?

Cataracts are a progressive condition that typically develops along with one or more types of vision impairment. When left untreated, cataracts can worsen, significantly impede vision, and negatively affect quality-of-life. Recognizing the early symptoms of cataracts can help lead to a prompt diagnosis and effective treatment.

You may have cataracts if you are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Progressive loss of vision
  • Increasingly poor night vision
  • Blurry or cloudy vision
  • Glares or haloes
  • Double vision
  • Faded or yellow-tinted colors
  • Visible white or cloudy areas over the pupil

If you suspect that you may have cataracts, please contact Riverside EyeCare Professionals and promptly schedule an appointment with one of our experienced ophthalmologists. Cataracts are an extremely common eye condition that affects over half of all Americans by the age of 80. Thankfully, with state-of-the-art cataract surgery and placement of a intraocular lens implant (IOL), you can achieve clearer vision and prevent the advanced stages of cataracts that may lead to serious eye damage or blindness. Our eye surgeons are experienced in the latest cataract surgery techniques and innovative IOLs and look forward to having the opportunity to restore your eyesight and active lifestyle.

If you have more questions, we encourage you to read through our answers to common Cataract FAQs or schedule an exam.

June is Cataract Awareness Month—Become Informed!

Cataracts are the most common cause of blindness worldwide, and they can affect individuals at any age. Fortunately, cataracts can often be treated with a reliable surgical method that routinely provides excellent results. The success rate for cataract surgery is approximately 95%, and the cost of the procedure is typically covered either partially or in full by medical insurance (though specific plans may vary).

Prevent Blindness®, a non-profit dedicated to educating Americans about vision problems and the importance of eye care, has named the month of June “Cataract Awareness Month.” The goal of Cataract Awareness Month is to spread information about the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of cataracts, as well as encourage men and women to connect with experienced Ophthalmologists—like Michael Sumsion, MD and Sean Sumsion, MD—for quality eye care.

To learn more about cataracts and cataract surgery, we invite you to explore our informative website. If you are experiencing any of the following cataract symptoms, it may be beneficial to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors:

  • Difficult night vision
  • Gradual vision loss
  • Blurry or clouded vision
  • Double vision
  • White patches covering your pupil
  • Faded or yellowing color vision
  • Glare or halos

A routine eye exam and/or specialized testing can help determine the cause of your vision issues. If you are diagnosed with cataracts, our eye surgeons can educate you about treatment options and explain the cataract surgery process. To schedule an appointment, please contact Riverside EyeCare today.

How Long is the Recovery After Cataract Surgery?


Generally speaking, cataract surgery is a quick procedure that can result in minimal recovery time. Most patients are able to return to their usual activities one or two days after their procedure. Vision typically becomes clearer either within a few hours of the surgery or a couple of days, depending on how long it takes the eye to adjust to the new intraocular lens (IOL). Since cataract surgery is performed one eye at a time (if you require treatment of both eyes), the procedures will be spaced apart approximately two weeks to ensure adequate healing.

To aid in the healing process, it is important to follow all of Dr. Michael Sumsion’s post-operative care instructions. The guidelines he provides can help minimize the potential for complications and promote a swift recovery:

  • Refrain from intensive activity and lifting heavy objects for a few weeks.
  • Do not rub your eye.
  • Do not drive on the first day after your procedure.
  • Move carefully so that you do not run into things while you are recovering.
  • Keep your eye protected from particles and foreign objects.
  • Do not submerge your eye in water during the first week.
  • Adhere strictly to the post-op drop schedule.

Dr. Sumsion will want to see you soon after your procedure and at various points in the recovery process to check on your healing and vision improvement. The exact post-operative appointment schedule will be provided for you on the day of your surgery.

For more information about cataracts and cataract surgery, contact our practice to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sumsion.

What Causes Cataracts? How Can They Be Prevented?


Cataracts typically form as a natural part of the aging process, though it is possible for young people to develop them as well. A cataract is a calcified buildup that can form along the eye’s natural lens, progressively clouding vision. Cataracts are very common and affect nearly half of the adult population by the age of 80. Although the precise causes of cataracts are not known, doctors have identified a number of factors that can influence the development of cataracts, including:

  • Genetics
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Injury / Eye Trauma
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Medications (i.e. hormone replacement therapy, statins, and corticosteroids)
  • Alcohol Consumption
  • Hypertension
  • To help prevent or slow the formation of cataracts, it is important to eat a healthy diet rich in antioxidants and vitamins, most specifically vitamin E, vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, and zeaxanthin. It is also vital to protect your eyes from sunlight with sunglasses that block UV light. Furthermore, quitting smoking and limiting alcohol consumption can have a positive impact on your vision and whole body health. If you or your doctor detects the early stages of cataracts, it is important to contact an experienced eye surgeon like Dr. Michael Sumsion to prevent serious visual impairment and/or loss of vision with cataract surgery.

    For more information about cataract surgery, please contact our practice to schedule your consultation with Dr. Sumsion.

    Redding Eye Surgeon Treats Cataracts And Refractive Errors With IOLs

    cataract surgey in redding,lasik,cataract surgeon,iol,intraocular lens implant

    Dr. Michael Sumsion uses advanced IOLs that not only replace lenses affected by cataracts but can also improve vision impairments including nearsightedness and farsightedness.

    Redding, CA – Although cataracts are a common eye condition that can severely impact one’s vision, cataract surgery is the only quick and effective method of cataract removal. As eye care technologies have advanced, board-certified ophthalmologists have been able to prevent permanent cataract damage through innovative surgical means while simultaneously correcting refractive errors such as nearsightedness or farsightedness. Dr. Michael Sumsion, a LASIK and cataract surgeon in Redding, has made cataract surgery one of the focuses of his practice. As a result, he has helped thousands of patients remove their cataracts, become less dependent on corrective eyewear, and ultimately improve their quality of vision.

    “If left untreated, cataracts can seriously damage the quality of your vision and even lead to blindness,” says Dr. Sumsion in a recent blog post titled “Restoring Your Vision With Cataract Surgery.” Since this common condition can more effectively be treated in its earliest stages, he suggests visiting a board-certified ophthalmologist as soon as cataract symptoms develop. Prompt treatment is considered the best way to prevent cataracts from advancing and causing permanent vision loss, he notes.

    During treatment, Dr. Sumsion removes the cataract as well as the affected eye’s natural lens. By replacing this compromised lens with an intraocular lens implant (IOL), the Redding ophthalmologist says cataract symptoms such as glare, blurriness, double vision, and color distortion should be resolved within days of the procedure. Dr. Sumsion also notes: “In addition to restoring vision, these IOLs often provide our patients with better eyesight than they had before the cataract developed by improving nearsightedness or farsightedness.”

    The benefits of cataract surgery can include the prevention of serious vision impairment as well as correcting pre-existing refractive errors. The goal of cataract surgery is to restore daily functional vision. Dr. Sumsion says his cataract surgery patients typically report very minimal discomfort associated with the procedure and often return to their normal activities within one to two days. After surgery, he adds that his patients can often enjoy a reduced dependency on corrective eyewear and clearer vision.

    About Michael Sumsion, MD

    Dr. Sumsion is a board-certified Ophthalmologist and has been practicing in Redding since 1990. His experience has equipped him to treat a variety of eye conditions with state-of-the-art techniques, including cataract surgery and LASIK laser vision correction. Dr. Sumsion is a member of several national professional organizations, including the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and the American Medical Association.

    For more information about Dr. Sumsion and his practice, please visit


    Riverside EyeCare Professionals
    2801 Park Marina Drive
    Redding, CA 96001
    (530) 244-2273

    Rosemont Media
    (858) 200-0044

    Restoring Your Vision With Cataract Surgery

    Mature Active CoupleCataracts are a common condition that impacts your vision with symptoms such as blurriness, glare, and double vision. If left untreated, cataracts can eventually lead to blindness. However, since the condition develops gradually, early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent permanent vision impairment.

    Cataract surgery is one of the main focuses at Riverside EyeCare Professionals – we have restored the vision of thousands of patients with this routine procedure. During the operation, the cataract and the eye’s natural lens are carefully removed and replaced with an intraocular lens implant (IOL). In addition to restoring vision, these IOLs often provide our patients with better eyesight than they had before the cataract developed by improving nearsighted and farsighted vision.

    Cataract surgery is generally fast (about 15-20 minutes per eye), typically involves little to no discomfort, and often requires only minimal downtime. Within a day or two, most of our patients return to their normal daily activities and begin to notice significant improvements in their vision.

    Dr. Michael Sumsion

    Contact Our Office

    If you would like to learn more about your cataract treatment options, please contact us today to schedule a consultation.

    Cataract Surgery: Premium IOLs Vs. Monofocal Lenses

    Photo - EyeWhen our patients at Riverside EyeCare undergo cataract surgery, we replace the eye’s natural lens with an intraocular lens (IOL) to help restore vision. While a monofocal lens can provide a cataract surgery patient with excellent long-distance vision, glasses are often still required for reading or using your cellphone with ease. To help our patients who wish to rely on glasses as little as possible, we offer a number of premium lens implants that can radically change the way you see the world.

    Our premium IOLs are designed to improve your vision and focus on objects clearly at a spectrum of distances. We offer two main types of premium lenses:

    • TECNIS® Multifocal IOLs – This option can help improve your eyesight in low light scenarios in addition to optimizing your vision at near, intermediate, and far distances.
    • TECNIS® Toric IOLs – This option can help improve your quality of vision after cataract surgery if you have pre-existing astigmatism.

    There is also an alternative premium lens option: Crystalens®. Though these lenses may not provide the range of benefits the previously highlighted IOLs offer, they can aid your vision after cataract surgery by their ability to move naturally with your ocular muscles as focal points change.

    During the consultation process, we will discuss your unique concerns and goals to help you decide which intraocular lens might best meet your individual needs.

    Dr. Michael Sumsion

    Contact Our Office

    To learn more about intraocular lenses (IOLs), or to schedule an appointment at our office, please contact us today.

    2801 Park Marina Drive
    Redding, CA 96001
    Map & Directions

    Call: 530-244-2273