Cataracts are one of the most common eye conditions in the world. Everyone will eventually experience some cataract formation with age. However, cataracts do not need to keep you from living your life.
Medical Optometry America doctors work with you to accommodate your changing visual needs. We will keep your visual performance at the highest level possible whether with changes in prescription or a discussion to progress to cataract surgery when lens correction is no longer adequate to meet your visual needs. With the development of new Intraocular lens technologies for the surgical correction of cataracts, it is critical to be well informed as to the potential best choices for your visual rehabilitation. Your Medical Optometry America clinician will work together with you in understanding your options and selecting the best surgeon to address your visual needs.
Your eye’s natural crystalline lens is composed of proteins, which are evenly spaced, allowing light to pass through them easily. As you age, these proteins restructure and start to cluster closer together at the front of the lens. This makes it more difficult for light to pass through, creating a sort of cloudy haze over your vision.
When the proteins restructure like this, it is called a cataract. Any discoloration, haziness, or opacification of your human lens is considered a cataract.
Everyone develops cataracts eventually. In fact, most people over the age of 40 have at least some cataract development. However, certain genetic, health, and lifestyle factors can put you at risk for developing cataracts earlier in life.
During the earlier stages of cataract development, your optometrist will most likely increase your eyewear prescription to help keep your cataracts from impacting your lifestyle. However, once your cataract progresses to a level that impacts your lifestyle (night driving concerns, decreased reading ability, etc.) it is typically the case that the cataracts should be removed to improve visual performance. This is typically performed in an outpatient setting and the patient returns home after the procedure.
The operation begins by making a small incision in the side of the cornea. Then, using either a Laser or an ultrasonic device, the ophthalmologist will gently remove the “cloudy “cataract and will replace it with an artificial intraocular lens, or IOL. The IOL functions the same way your natural lens does and in almost all instances will provide the patient with excellent postoperative visual performance.
The significant advances in IOL technology that have been developed over the last decade give you the ability to select an individualized IOL that can meet your vocational and avocational visual needs. Medical Optometry America optometrists work together with clinical leaders in ophthalmology that will help carefully guide you through this process to maximize your visual outcomes.
Patients typically report nearly full visual clarity once they have recovered from the procedure. You may or may not need glasses after cataract surgery depending on the type of IOL you select.
Symptoms of cataracts can include: