What is a cataract


A cataract is a slow, progressive clouding of the eye's natural lens. It interferes with light passing through the eye to the retina. Cataracts are caused by a change in the proteins of the eye which causes clouding or discoloration of the lens. Over time cataracts typically result in blurred or fuzzy vision and sensitivity to light.

Most people have some clouding of their eye’s natural crystalline lens after the age of 60. About 50% of Americans in the age group 65-74 have at least one cataract, and about 70% of those age 75 and over have cataracts. Simply stated, when the eye’s lens becomes cloudy, light cannot be properly focused on the retina; thus, visual acuity decreases. The only “cure” for poor vision due to a cataract is removal of the eye’s lens and implantation of a new, man-made focusing device called an intraocular lens (IOL).

Many people with cataracts may experience symptoms such as :

  • Cloudy, fuzzy, foggy vision
  • Difficulty in seeing to drive, especially at night
  • Trouble seeing to do close work
  • Problems seeing television
  • Colors that seem dull, faded, not as bright
  • Frequent changes and a stronger glasses prescription
  • Haloes around lights
  • Bothersome glare
  • A milky white spot or cloudy spot visually apparent in the center of the eye

Diagnosing a cataract

Most cataracts develop as part of the aging process, but may be present at birth ( congenital) or result from an injury, systemic disease ( diabetes ) , or steroid use. Using specialized equipment, cataracts as well as other eye diseases are diagnosed during a complete eye examination by your optometrist or ophthalmologist at Anderson & Shapiro Eye Care. The mere presence of a cataract does not indicate the need for surgery. Some cataracts may be slow growing, and vision may be corrected by stronger glasses for a period of time. Some cataracts develop more rapidly than others, and your eye doctor can monitor changes in vision and your cataracts with periodic eye examinations.

People with progressed cataracts often describe the sensation as looking through a piece of wax paper. A cataract may make light from the sun or a lamp seem too bright, causing glare. Colors may not appear as bright as they once did. Or at night oncoming headlights may cause more glare than before.

If you would like speak directly with one of our staff about cataract surgery in Wisconsin and the lens options available to you please call us directly at 888.708.3937. If you would like to learn about the cataract surgery process please see our page on cataract surgery under procedures. Unlike many practices Anderson & Shapiro Eye Care has multiple cataract lens options available to meet your specific visual needs.

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