June 2018 The Facts on Cataracts

June 2018 The Facts on Cataracts

Cataract Awareness

Did you know nearly 20.5 million Americans age 40 and older have cataracts? Did you also know that cataracts are one of the most curable causes of vision loss?

A cataract is the clouding of the eye’s normally clear lens, blocking the passage of light needed for vision. They form slowly and cause no pain. Some people notice a gradual painless blurring of vision, double vision in one eye or fading or yellowing of colors. Symptoms of cataracts in older adults may be sensitivity to glare and/or bright light, or they may have trouble driving at night. If someone needs frequent changes to his or her glasses or contact lens prescriptions, they should be evaluated for cataracts as well.

New techniques developed over the past decade have made cataract surgery one of the safest and most successful procedures available, in terms of restoring quality of life to patients. Cataract surgery is most often done as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia. The cloudy natural lens can be replaced with an artificial lens to give the eye proper focusing power. In most cases, the improvement in the patient’s vision is profound.

Each year, more than 1.6 million of these delicate eye surgeries are performed in the United States. There are no drugs or exercises that will make a cataract disappear, and contrary to popular belief, cataracts are not removed using lasers.

Cataract surgery, although quite safe, is still surgery. If cataracts don’t affect quality of life, someone may feel that surgery is not needed. The only person who can really decide when it’s time to have them removed is the patient. If you feel you may be experiencing symptoms of cataracts, call our office today to schedule an appointment. 423-239-5491