A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens in the eye – over time, protein builds up on the lens causing cloudy vision.
Cataracts 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!
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:
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.
There are many IOL choices available. You and your doctor will decide which IOL best suits your lifestyle.
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.