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Cataract Center

What is a cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens in the eye – over time, protein builds up on the lens causing cloudy vision.

Diagram showing eyes with and without CataractsCataracts may result from many conditions including congenital defect, chronic eye disease, system-wide diseases (diabetes), or eye trauma, though by far the most common cause is simply ageing. Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss among older Americans. By the time you are between 75 to 84 years of age, you have a 90% chance of having one!

Cataract Signs and Symptoms

Early on, you may not notice any vision changes. This is a progressive condition that can take 10-20 years to mature. Some people with a cataract find that their close-up vision suddenly improves, but this temporary effect dissipates as the cataract grows. Common symptoms are:

  • Blurred vision
  • Problems with illumination including headlights that seem too bright at night; glare from lamps or bright sunlight; or halos around light
  • Cloudy vision
  • Dimming of vision or reduced color perception
  • Frequent changes in eyeglasses or contacts
  • Need for brighter light for reading

Find Out if You’re a Candidate, Take Our Cataract Self-Test

Cataract Surgery

Vision is only restored once the cataract is surgically removed. Cataract surgery involves removing the natural clouded lens in the eye and inserting a synthetic intraocular lens (IOL) in its place. Today, this is the most common (and most successful) elective surgery in the world. It is considered outpatient surgery and minimally invasive which means patients are admitted and discharged within a few hours. The actual procedure usually takes less than 30 minutes to complete and complications, if any, are rare and treatable.

IOLs (intraocular lens)

There are many IOL choices available. You and your doctor will decide which IOL best suits your lifestyle.

Some options include:

  • Correcting distance, intermediate, and near vision with no or minimal use of glasses
  • Correcting distance vision and astigmatism, glasses for reading may still be needed
  • Correcting distance vision, glasses for reading may still be needed
  • Correcting near vision, glasses for distance may still be needed

To determine if you are a candidate for cataract surgery, a full dilated eye exam will need to be performed. Please contact our office if you are having any cataract like symptoms.