What Are Cataracts?
A cataract refers to the opacity of the lens inside the eye. Looking through a cataract is similar to looking through a cloudy piece of glass. Cataracts are extremely common. In fact, the majority of those over 65 have some cataract development. If you've been told you have cataracts, there is no need to be alarmed.
The lens of the eye is transparent and located behind the iris (the colored part of the eye). The lens can change shape, so it accommodates to keep things focused on the retina at the back of the eye.
Types of Cataracts
There are many different types of cataracts, and not all cataracts cause symptoms. If a cataract causes no symptoms, it can usually be left alone. If symptoms such as blurred vision occur, then cataracts can be treated very successfully with surgery.
Causes of Cataracts
Cataracts are most common in older people. However, they can occur at any age. Some children are born with cataracts (congenital cataracts). Causes include UV ray exposure, injury, diabetes, certain drugs, and some ocular diseases.
Common Symptoms of Cataracts
For most people, the main complaint is deterioration in the quality of vision. Sometimes, people complain of a 'shadow' behind objects they are looking at. Certain types of cataracts can cause glare in bright light conditions. Because cataracts typically develop very slowly, most people don't notice the gradual deterioration in their vision until it starts to interfere with their daily activity or detected by their optometrist.
How are Cataracts treated?
The most effective treatment for cataracts is cataract surgery to remove the cataract, and replace the cloudy lens with a clear artificial lens implant. The lens of each eye should be clear in order for your eyes to work properly. The clear lens allows light to reach the retina at the back of the eye, which enables you to see things. With a cataract, less light can reach the retina, so vision is affected. When glasses can no longer improve your vision, the only way to restore your vision is having the cataract removed surgically.
Schedule an appointment with one of our Doctors to learn more and discuss any questions or concerns you have.