What is a Cataract?
Development of cataracts is usually part of the normal human aging process. The natural, clear lens of the eye gradually becomes cloudy, blocking light as it passes through the eye. The condition can be compared to a window that is frosted or “fogged” with steam.
Blurred vision, glare sensitivity, difficulty in reading in low light and declining night vision are typical symptoms as cataracts develop. Glasses and medication are ineffective in improving visual loss caused by cataracts.
When cataracts cause vision loss that interferes with your work, lifestyle, or activities of daily living, it may be time to have them treated surgically.
Each year millions of people undergo cataract surgery. It is one of the most common and successful procedures performed in the world.
Causes of Cataracts?
For the most part, cataracts are a part of the natural aging process of the eye. Over time, exposure to ultraviolet light and aging can cause cataracts to form. Almost everyone, if they live long enough, will develop some form of a cataracts.
Cataracts can be caused for other reasons, such as eye trauma, use of certain medications, medical diseases such as diabetes or genetics or other reasons.
Symptoms of Cataracts?
Most people start to experience issues at night, especially while driving. Car lights can have an unusual impairment on night vision and street signs can become difficult to read. Glare and Halos at night are very common in patients with cataracts. Colors also appear faded and not as vibrant. Although, cataracts form so slowly over time, patients don’t typically notice the loss of vibrance with colors. Patients also start to require more and more light in order to read well. Patients might also feel that they need a stronger prescription for their glasses, but eventually, glasses no longer help and the cataract must be removed. An eye exam from an optometrist or ophthalmologist can help quickly determine of you have a cataract.
When Should I Have My Cataract Removed?
In the past, eye surgeons would wait until your cataract was “ripe” before removing it, however, that has dramatically changed with modern techniques. Most surgeons today will remove a patients cataract when it begins to interfere with their vision. Today, cataract surgery is fast, safe and only takes minutes to perform. Modern cataract surgery also has a quick recovery time, with most patients being able to drive the next day.
Also with the advent of Premium IOLs, patients can reduce or even eliminate their need for reading glasses or bifocals.