A cataract is a clouding or darkening that develops in the normally clear lens of the eye. This prevents the lens from properly focusing vision. It is not a film that grows over the surface of the eye. Cataracts are characterized by the area of the lens that is affected. No one is certain what causes a cataract, but it is known that chemical changes within the lens cause it to become cloudy. This is often thought of as a part of the natural aging process, but it may also result from heredity, an injury or disease.
Cataracts are often found in persons over the age of 55, but are also occasionally found in younger persons, even newborn. Cataracts usually develop in both eyes, often at different rates. Some cataracts develop slowly over a period of years and others form rapidly within a few months.
In a comprehensive eye examination, our doctors will determine if you have cataracts. Cataract development and symptoms vary from person to person. Here are some common symptopms:
- Increase in glare, especially at night
- Increasing haziness causing blurry vision
- Increasing need of light to see clearly
- A tendency to become more nearsighted because of increasing density of the lens
- Double Vision
- Gradual loss of color vision
- A stage where it is easier to see without your glasses
Currently, there is no proven method to prevent cataracts from forming or to make the cloudy lens clear after a cataract has begun to develop. Drs Meyer and Setzer can prescribe changes in your glasses or contact lenses to help you see more clearly as your cataract become ready for surgery.
Ultimately, if your cataract impairs your daily activities, we can refer you to an eye surgeon for the removal of the cataract. You will return to our office for all of your post-operative care. The surgery is relatively uncomplicated and has a 95% success rate.
Intraocular lens implants are inserted at the time of surgery and serve as “new” lenses. These implants will improve your vision greatly, but you may still need correction in the form of glasses or contact lenses after your surgery.
Routine eye care will make sure you maintain good vision and eye health after your surgery.