A cataract is a cloudy or opaque area in the normally clear lens of the eye. The clouding of this lens can interfere with normal vision.
Most cataracts develop in people over age 55. However, they can also occur in infants and young children. Systemic conditions, such as diabetes, may cause cataracts to develop at an earlier age.
Early symptoms of cataracts include blurred vision, glare, and difficulty reading. Cataracts generally progress very slowly, and surgery may not be needed for many years upon diagnosis. In some cases, changing your eyeglass or contact lens prescription may continue to provide you with good vision. When this is no longer the case, it may be time to discuss cataract surgery.
Wearing sunglasses may help to slow the progression of cataracts, but there’s no way to prevent cataract development. Currently, the only way to treat cataracts is to surgically remove the natural lens of the eye.
HOW IS CATARACT SURGERY PERFORMED?
Cataract surgery is a procedure used to remove the natural lens in the eye when it becomes cloudy. The natural lens is replaced with a plastic, artificial lens. Newer artificial lenses can correct for hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), and astigmatism. Some are also multifocal, allowing for clear vision at distance and near.
Cataract surgery is one of the most frequently performed medical procedures in the world. At Summit Eye Care, the procedure is performed as an outpatient procedure in our Eye Surgery Center. Most patients are awake during the procedure and need only local anesthesia. The post-op period will require eye drops, as well as follow-up visits to ensure proper healing and recovery.