Each year, cataracts affect millions of people, including more than half of all Americans aged 60 and older. A cataract is a painless clouding of the eye’s natural lens that is caused by a buildup of protein. A cataract can form in one or both eyes. If left untreated, cataracts worsen over time and interfere with everyday activities such as reading or driving. Night vision is usually most affected. When cataracts are in their early stages, people are helped by brighter lighting. As cataracts get worse, however, most people require surgery.
Learn more about cataract surgery in this short video.
Treatment of Cataracts
Early cataracts can sometimes be treated with nonsurgical methods, including the following:
- New corrective-lens prescriptions
- Anti-glare sunglasses
- Magnifying lenses
- Brighter lighting
If cataracts begin to interfere with reading ability, work, night driving or other daily activities, cataract surgery may be recommended. If cataracts are in both eyes, surgery is performed, usually 4 to 8 weeks apart, on one eye at a time. Cataract surgery is the most common surgical procedure in the United States.
When it comes to cataract surgery, you have options for how cataracts are removed and what type of artificial lens, or IOL is put in place. Learn more about your options in the videos library below.
Cataract Surgery Lens Options
Watch these videos to learn what’s available, and we’ll discuss what’s best for your needs and lifestyle.
Fully Customizable After Surgery | Light Adjustable Lens
See Both Near & Far | Multifocal IOL
Correct Astigmatism | TORIC IOL
Experience Full Range of Vision | Depth of Focus IOL
Receive Single Fixed Focus | Monofocal IOL
The Latest Technology in Cataract Surgery
We offer laser-assisted cataract surgery. Watch these videos to learn how lasers can improve your experience and your results.
Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery
Better Uncorrected Vision is Possible with LASER+ORA Cataract Surgery
For Cataract Patients with Glaucoma
If you're having cataract surgery and also have glaucoma, you should be aware of additional minimally-invasive glaucoma treatment procedures that can take place along with your cataract surgery.
Glaucoma Microstent Overview
Risk Factors for Cataracts
In addition to aging, other factors, including the following, can increase the risk of developing cataracts:
- Excessive alcohol use
- Excessive exposure to sunlight
- Exposure to radiation
- Family history of cataracts
- High blood pressure
- Previous eye injury or surgery
- Prolonged use of corticosteroid medications
In rare instances, infants are born with cataracts, which may be the result of an infection, such as rubella, contracted by the mother during pregnancy. They may also occur in combination with some other birth defect. Occasionally, infants develop cataracts shortly after birth.
Diagnosis of Cataracts
Several tests, including the following, are performed to diagnose cataracts:
- Retinal examination under pupil dilation
- Visual acuity test
- Slit-lamp examination
- Tonometry to test intraocular pressure (IOP)
In combination, such tests help determine whether a patient has cataracts, or whether her or his vision problems have some other cause. They also assist in evaluating the degree of visual impairment, and whether surgery should be performed.
Symptoms of Cataracts
People with cataracts often do not realize they have them until vision is affected. Cataract symptoms include the following:
- Blurred, hazy or double vision in one eye
- Decreased color perception
- Sensitivity to bright light
- Poor night vision
- Perception of halos around lights
- Frequent changes in corrective-lens prescriptions
Yellow-tinged vision is also an indicator of cataracts.
Prevention of Cataracts
Although cataracts cannot be prevented, their development can sometimes be delayed by the following:
- Wearing wide-brimmed hats to block sunlight
- Wearing sunglasses that block ultraviolet rays
- Not smoking; not drinking excessively
- Eating a diet high in antioxidants
Left untreated, cataracts cause serious visual impairment. In most cases, however, they can be effectively treated with surgery once they become intrusive in everyday life.
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Schedule a Consultation Today!
If you're interested in getting Cataract Surgery, or if you wish to learn more about the procedure, book an appointment with an accomplished physician at Richens Eye Center today. You can find the contact information for each of our three offices, as well as our email contact form, by clicking here. We look forward to serving you.
Are Cataracts a Life-Threatening Illness?
No, cataracts are not life-threatening. However, if left untreated, cataracts can worsen and possibly cause blindness when left untreated.
How Can I Avoid Getting Cataracts?
While there is nothing you can really do to stop the development of cataracts, not everyone will develop them. Patients who do develop cataracts may not even know they have them until they are in their sixties or seventies. In some cases, they may not develop until they are in their eighties.
Can Cataracts Come Back After Surgery?
No, once a cataract is removed, it is replaced with a permanent IOL. While some patients may develop clouding of the membrane, it does not happen to every patient. If it does occur, it can be corrected with a capsulotomy, a non-invasive treatment used to create a hole within the IOL, so that light can refract and restore a patient’s vision.
Can Cataracts Come Back After Surgery?
No, having a cataract in one eye does not mean one will develop in the other. Cataracts affect everyone differently; some people may develop a cataract in one eye, while others develop them in both eyes.
What Are the Risks Associated With Cataract Surgery?
As with any kind of procedure, there are potential risks and possible complications you should be aware of, including infection, swelling, bleeding, and rare cases, retinal detachment may occur. All of the risks and benefits of cataract surgery will be discussed in consultation.