About Cataracts & Cataract Surgery

A cataract, by definition, is a cloudy lens in the eye that may or may not affect vision significantly. Your eye works like a camera, with a clear lens that focuses images on the retina at the back of your eye. When the lens becomes cloudy and discolored, causing increasingly blurred vision, it is called a cataract. Most people are born with a clear lens that helps to focus an image on the retina. When the lens loses its transparency, the image that we see becomes blurry.

Cataract formation is a normal part of aging. While cataracts may develop in both eyes at the same time, they do not spread from one to the other. They are not caused and do not grow worse through overuse of the eyes, but, as a rule, develop gradually over many years.

Most cataracts are related to aging. According to National Eye Institute, by age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract interfering with their vision or have had cataract removal surgery. (main page)

Symptoms that may suggest you are developing visually significant cataract include difficulty to see street signs, to watch TV, or to read, despite wearing glasses or contact lenses. Others may also include difficulty to drive due to glares.

Over time, your vision may get duller or blurrier. You may not even be able to identify blues and purples. You may sometimes see double vision or multiple images in that one eye that has the cataract.

The term “age-related” is perhaps a little misleading. You do not have to be a senior citizen to develop cataract. In fact, you could have developed aged-related cataracts as early as your 40s or 50s.

If you have cataracts interfering with your vision, surgery is the only effective way to improve your vision when your glasses no longer help. Cataract removal surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the United States. It is also one of the safest and most effective types of surgery. In general, about 95% or above of the people who have had cataract removed experience improved vision afterward.

If you have cataracts in both eyes that require surgery, the surgery usually will be performed on each eye at separate times (about 1 to 2 months apart). Talk with us and learn about the risks, benefits, alternatives, and expected results of cataract surgery.