Restore Clear Vision
Cataracts are the leading cause of poor vision in adults. However, the development of cataracts does not have to mean a loss of sight. Treatment of cataracts is over 95% successful in restoring good vision.
The lens which is responsible for focusing an image after it enters the eye, is normally crystal clear. When light enters the eye, it passes through the lens and is focused on the retina at the back of the eye. The retina then transmits the focused image to the brain.
A cataract is caused by a change in the chemical composition of the lens. The most common cause for this change is the natural aging process. As we mature, the normally flexible, clear material of the lens becomes hard and cloudy. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent the development of cataracts. Everyone who lives long enough will eventually develop the problem.
Although most commonly seen in adults after the age of 40, cataracts can occur at any age. The condition may be present at birth or caused by an injury to the eye. Infections and other eye diseases, such as glaucoma and eye tumors, may cause the development of a cataract. Vision loss is usually gradual as a cataract develops.
- Nuclear cataracts: Caused by the natural aging process, nuclear cataracts are the most common type. They affect the center of your lens and may initially cause you to become more nearsighted. Over the long term this will affect your ability to distinguish colors.
- Cortical cataracts: These cataracts begin on the edge of your eyes and first show up as white wedges on the periphery of your vision. Over time these will spread to the center of your lens and can cause problems with glare.
- Posterior subcapsular cataracts: Commonly caused by diabetes or the long-term ingestion of steroids, these cataracts start at the back of your lens. These can make it difficult to read or to see in low light situations.
All of these cataracts can develop into serious problems. That’s why it’s so crucial to see our Kingston eye doctors as soon as you recognize symptoms. We’ll find a surgery that is appropriate for your situation.
As cataracts become more advanced, the clouded area in your eye’s lens will grow, blocking out a larger percentage of light that enters your eye. This will cause you to notice a deterioration in your vision. Common cataract symptoms include:
- Foggy or dim vision
- Difficulty seeing at night
- Glare and halos around light sources
- Increased light sensitivity
- Double vision
- Fading or yellowing of colors
- More frequent changes in your eyeglass prescription
These symptoms may cause you experience problems with routine daily activities. Driving at night might become difficult. You might also find that participating in athletic activities is more challenging, particularly when hand-eye coordination is required. Many patients also experience difficulty seeing up-close, making activities such as reading or sewing more challenging.
If a cataract is diagnosed, several other tests are performed. Contrast sensitivity or glare testing may be used to determine the degree of interference the cataract is causing with vision. The A-scan and IOL Master are tests which are performed to determine the length of the eye and the power of the lens implant. Potential acuity measurement (PAM) could be used to determine how much vision might be improved. Other tests, like an endothelial cell count, may also be used depending on individual circumstances.
Development of the cataract itself is not an indication that immediate cataract surgery is required. A cataract should be removed when loss of vision begins to interfere with daily activities.
Before cataract surgery, you will be given medication to help you relax, and anesthetic eye drops to numb the eye and keep them comfortable during surgery. Most patients return home a few hours after the procedure with little or no need for pain medication.
Since general anesthesia is normally not required, most patients experience a rapid recovery, returning home within hours. The eye will take several weeks to heal completely. However, most patients are able to return to their normal activities the day after surgery. Returning to an active lifestyle is one of the primary benefits of cataract surgery.
Although there is no way to prevent the development of cataracts, loss of sight from the disease is largely preventable. With modern technology, cataracts can be removed and good vision restored. Cataract surgery can be performed when a loss of vision begins interfering with daily activities.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of cataracts or other vision problems, you should visit Eye Care Specialists for a complete eye examination.
In cases where our surgeons can use a technique that does not require sutures, the natural pressure inside the eye is used to keep the incision closed while the eye heals. Eye Care Specialists is proud to offer our cataract patients the AcrySof Acrylic Foldable Intraocular Lens along with a large selection of additional high quality IOLs. The AcrySof lens is the first silicone-free, foldable acrylic IOL available today and is more flexible than previous lenses.
Most patients experience a rapid return to good vision following no stitch/small incision cataract surgery. In many cases, patients are able to see relatively well without glasses for distance the day following surgery. Fast healing and a quick return to an active lifestyle is one of the popular appeals of no stitch/small incision cataract surgery.