Do I have Cataracts?
Our eye functions much like a camera. The natural lens focuses images onto the back of the eye so we can see clearly, much like the lens of a camera focusing images onto film for a clear picture. At birth, our natural lens is clear, but as we age it yellows and hardens. In addition, the lens may become cloudy. This condition is called a cataract, and is usually a result of the natural aging process.
Cataracts typically occur more frequently in the aging population, however there are many other factors such as family history, diabetes, long term UV exposure, or certain medications like steroids that can cause cataracts. Also, previous eye injuries can be an attributing factor. Everyone over the age of 60 will at some point develop cataracts. As the lens becomes cloudier, vision becomes more blurred. Symptoms that could indicate the presence of a cataract include a gradual dulling of colors, halos around lights or glare when driving, difficulty reading in low light, blurred or double vision, and a frequent need to change your glasses prescription.
A cataract can progress until eventually there is a complete loss of vision in your eye. Surgery is the only way a cataract can be removed. You should consider surgery when cataracts cause enough loss of vision to interfere with your daily activities such as reading and driving.
Cataract symptoms may include:
Lights seem too bright or have a “halo” effect.
Double vision in one eye.
Decreased night vision – sensitivity to glare from headlights.
Dull or fading colors.
During the surgery, the doctor removes the cloudy natural lens from the eye while the patient is under a small amount of anesthesia along with topical anesthesia. Next, the doctor inserts an intraocular lens (IOL), which remains permanently in place of the removed natural lens. The IOL compensates for the magnification the old lens provided. Modern IOLs are designed for various functions and made out of different materials; your doctor will know which is most appropriate for your individual case. After the operation the doctor will apply a shield for the eye and provide you with eye drops to use as directed.
Recovery from Cataract Surgery
The patient may return home the day of the procedure. With proper rest and avoidance of any strenuous activities such as heavy lifting, recovery is usually a matter of days, with only minor discomfort. Several follow up appointments will be required to ensure the eye is healing properly and initial results are sustained.
Advances in Cataract Surgery
Many of the steps of cataract surgery that are traditionally performed using handheld instruments can now be completed using the precision of a laser. CLICK HERE for more information
If you are experiencing any symptoms of cataract problems, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule a consultation.