A cataract is a cloudy or opaque area in the normally clear lens of the eye. The clouding of this lens can interefere with normal vision.
Most cataracts develop in people over age 55, however, cataracts may occur in inflants 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. In some cases, changing your eyeglass or contact lens prescription may continue to provide you with good vision, however, when adequate vision can no longer be obtained, it may be time to discuss cataract surgery.
Wearing sunglasses may help to slow the progression of cataracts, however, there’s no way to prevent cataract development. Currently, the only way to treat cataracts is to surgically remove the natural lens in 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 procedures in the world. At Summit Eye Care, the procedure is performed as an outpatient procedure. Most patients are awake during the procedure and need only local anesthesia. The post-op period will require eye drops, as well as follow-ups to ensure proper healing and recovery.