Cataracts

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If you're uneasy because you have been told you have a cataract, don't be.  Sight is our most precious gift and cataracts are a leading cause of vision loss in the United States today.  Fortunately, cataract treatment has improved greatly in recent years.  Recent advancements have been small incision surgical and implant techniques.  Through a procedure known as phacoemulsification, these advancements can be utilized.  Using the latest technology, outpatient cataract surgery allows rapid recovery with little interruption of your usual activity.  

 

What are Cataracts?

A cataract is not a "film" or a "growth" that has grown over your eye.  Rather, it is a clouding of a part of your eye called the lens.  This clouding, a natural aging of the lens, prevents light from passing through the lens to the back of the eye, the retina.

In the same way the lens of a camera focuses light on the film, the lens of your eye focuses light on your retina.  If a camera's lens becomes dirty or foggy, the picture taken may be hazy or blurred.  In a similar manner, a cataract causes the light focusing on the retina of your eye to be blurred.

 

Cataract Symptoms

You may notice problems with your vision at any time during the development of a cataract.  Generally, as a cataract develops, there is a dimming or blurring of vision.  Color brightness is lost.  You may clean your glasses, but things still look dim.  A glare or halo may appear to surround familiar objects in bright light.  As the cloudiness increases, your vision cannot be corrected by new glasses.

The developing cataract may impair daily activities such as:

  • Driving, especially at night
  • Reading
  • Sewing or other detail work
  • Watching television

Decreasing vision that interferes with activities you enjoy may be reason to consider cataract removal with intraocular lens implantation.