What is a cataract?
A cataract is when the body’s natural lens becomes cloudy and no longer allows light to be properly focused on the retina inside the eye. The lens of the eye sits behind the iris or colored part of the eye. Cataracts are often part of the body’s natural aging process. Normal proteins in the lens start to break down, causing the clouding of the lens. The amount and pattern of clouding vary. If the cloudiness is not near the center of the lens, you may not even be aware that there is a cataract present, but it can still cause symptoms.
Early on you may not experience any of the symptoms. Cataracts begin with minimal clouding and with time, the clouding begins to worsen.
Some signs/symptoms that you may begin to notice are:
- Blurry vision that is painless
- Seeing double
- Extra sensitive to light
- Trouble seeing at night
- Bright colors begin fading and are seen as a dull yellow
- Unable to have glasses made that properly correct vision
What causes cataracts?
The most common cause of cataracts forming is aging of the eye. Age related cataracts tend to develop gradually. There are other circumstances that may accelerate the progression of cataracts.
Some of these circumstances may be:
- Family history of cataracts
- Medical conditions such diabetes
- Eye injury, eye treatment or radiation on upper body.
- Medications, especially steroids
- Spending a lot of time in the sun without appropriate UV protection
- Previous Eye Surgery (especially retinal or other intraocular procedures)
Cataract Treatment Options
Cataract correction can be postponed with temporary treatment such as changes to glasses prescription or with lighting that is geared specifically towards those with cataracts, however, the only way to permanently correct a cataract is through a surgical procedure. There are no known eye drops that can make the cloudy lens become clear again.
The Advanced Eye Institute surgeons can remove your natural lens that has become cloudy and replace it with an artificial intraocular lens – called an “IOL” for short. You will need a new IOL lens placed in order to focus the light on the retina as the natural lens once did. Leaving the eye without an IOL after cataract surgery, or “Aphakic”, would often result in very poor vision with an unnecessarily high glasses prescription.
In the past cataract surgery used a “one-size-fits-all” basic IOL that was effective at improving vision, but still left patients needing glasses for most tasks. Today’s modern IOLs are available in a variety of powers in order to be able to better correct patient vision with less residual prescription. In addition, with the advent of Advanced Technology Intraocular Lenses or “ATIOLs” we are able to correct astigmatism, and we now even have the ability to produce bifocal and trifocal vision which can vastly reduce or even eliminate the need for glasses for both near and distance vision.
Advanced Eye Institute offers an array of different lens replacement options to suit your needs. Patients across the tri-parish area can expect a complete lifestyle enhancement and can have the option to reduce or even eliminate their need for glasses should they so choose. Most people are able to greatly improve their vision with minimal down time.
Experience You Can See
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