Cataract Surgery Co-Management
Cataracts: Restoring Clarity to Your Vision
Cataracts are a leading cause of vision loss among individuals aged 65 and older. As the eyes naturally age, cataracts develop, meaning that by the time we reach 80, more than half of us will either have cataracts or have undergone cataract surgery.
Cataract surgery plays a vital role in allowing millions of people worldwide to regain clear vision.
A cataract refers to the clouding of the normally transparent lens in your eye. The lens, positioned behind the iris and pupil, focuses light onto the retina at the back of your eye. The retina then converts this light into nerve signals, allowing you to see.
When the lens becomes cloudy, the images projected onto the retina become blurry and unfocused, resulting in unclear signals to the brain.
What Causes Cataracts?
Cataracts are a natural part of the aging process. While most cases occur in old age, there are instances of congenital cataracts present at birth. Additionally, secondary or traumatic cataracts can develop at any age due to eye injury, surgery, or disease.
Certain medical, genetic, and behavioral factors can accelerate cataract development, including diabetes, a family history of cataracts, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption.
Recognizing Cataract Symptoms:
Cataract symptoms may develop gradually or go unnoticed initially. The most common symptoms include:
- Blurred or double vision
- Difficulty seeing at night
- Sensitivity to glare
- Colored halos around lights
- Faded colors
- Needing brighter light for reading
When to Consider Cataract Surgery?
Cataracts do not develop suddenly; they start small and progressively impact vision. It is advisable to consider cataract surgery when the condition significantly impairs your vision and disrupts your daily life, affecting activities such as reading, driving, playing sports, watching TV, and recognizing faces.
Surgery should also be considered if it hinders the treatment of another eye problem, such as glaucoma. The good news is that cataract surgery has a high success rate in restoring vision.
The Cataract Surgery Process:
Cataract surgery is a relatively quick and painless procedure, commonly performed in North America.
The surgery involves removing the cloudy natural lens and replacing it with a clear, plastic intraocular lens (IOL) that becomes a permanent part of the eye. Most IOLs are made of plastic and are monofocal lenses, correcting distance vision. Advancing technology has led to the development of specialized IOLs, including multifocal lenses and those that block UV and blue light radiation, offering patients a wider range of options.
If you or a loved one has cataracts and would like more information about cataract surgery, please reach out to our doctors today. We are here to provide the guidance and support you need.