What is a cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s naturally clear lens.The lens focuses light rays on the retina (the layer of light-sensing cells lining the back of the eye) to produce a sharp image of what we see. When the lens becomes cloudy, light rays cannot pass through it easily and vision is blurred.

 

 

What causes cataracts?

Cataract development is a normal process of aging, but cataracts also develop from eye injuries, radiation, certain diseases, medications or long-term exposure to sunlight. Your genes may also play a role in cataract development. 

 

 

How can a cataract be treated?

A cataract may not need to be treated if your vision is only slightly blurry. Simply changing your eyeglass prescription may help to improve your vision for a while. There are no medications, eyedrops, exercises or glasses that will cause cataracts to disappear or to prevent them from forming, surgery is the only way to remove a cataract. When you are no longer able to see well enough to do the things you like to do, cataract surgery should be considered. In cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is removed from the eye through a surgical incision. In most cases, the natural lens is replaced with a permanent intraocular lens (IOL) implant.

 

What can I expect if I decide to have cataract surgery?

Before surgery to determine if your cataract should be removed, your ophthalmologist will perform a thorough eye examination. Before surgery, your eye will be measured to determine the proper power of the intraocular lens that will be placed in your eye via ultrasound. 

 

The day of surgery Surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis, either in a hospital or an ambulatory surgery center.  

 

Following surgery you will need to:

  • Use the eyedrops as prescribed

  • Be careful not to rub or press on your eye

  • Avoid streneous activities until cleard by your Doctor

  • Ask your Doctor when you can resume driving

  • Wear glasses or shield as advised by your Doctor

 

Will cataract surgery improve my vision?

The success rate of cataract surgery is high. Improved vision is achieved in the majority of patients if other vision problems are not present. 

 

 

 

                     

 

 

 

 

                           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                     

 

    

                                                                            

 

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                                ALL COPYRIGHT INFORMATION SUPPLIED BY THE FOLLOWING SOURCES 

 

                          American Academy of Ophthalmology P.O. Box 7424, San Francisco, CA 94120-7424 www.aao.org

 

                                                                         eyeSmart www.geteyesmart.org