What is a Cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens inside the eye. If you develop a cataract, you may have symptoms such as blurry vision like you’re looking through a fog, sensitivity to light, difficulty reading fine print, reduced night vision, fading of colors, double vision, and the possibility of changing your eyeglass prescription with greater frequency. The cloudiness can vary from one eye to the other and may be only minimally noticeable because it occurs so gradually in most patients.
What causes a cataract?
The simple process of aging is the most common cause of cataract. However, family history can also play a part. If you have had an eye injury or medical problems, like diabetes, these can also contribute to the formation of a cataract. You’re also more susceptible to cataracts if you have had previous eye surgery, if your eyes have been exposed to sunlight over a long period of time, or by the use of steroids and other medications.
How do I know if I have a cataract?
See your ophthalmologist. Your doctor will conduct a thorough examination of your eyes and can determine if you have a cataract or if there are other factors causing your symptoms. Cataracts tend to develop gradually when they are associated with the aging process, but when they are found in younger people or people with diabetes, they can progress at a much quicker pace.
How are Cataracts Treated?
Cataract surgery is the only treatment that will fix the decrease in vision caused by the cloudy cataract.
However, if your symptoms are mild, you may need nothing more than a new eyeglass prescription to lessen the symptoms. Unfortunately, you won’t find a miracle cure in dietary supplements, medication, or even eye exercises.
When do I need surgery?
Because everyone has different visual needs, this is a decision you need make with your doctor’s help. If your vision is blurred to the point that it interferes with your daily activities or prohibits part of your job performance, it’s probably time to talk to your doctor about surgery.
What happens during surgery?
Cataract surgery is typically performed as an outpatient surgical procedure under a local anesthetic. With Texas Regional Eye Center, you have the convenience of having your surgery in our on-site surgery center. This allows you to avoid the hassle of large hospitals and their associated fees. Your doctor surgeon will remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a permanent intraocular lens implant, restoring clear vision that had been blurred by the cataract. The surgery usually takes about 10 minutes and you can expect to be feeling back to normal by the next day. Once removed, your cataracts can NOT come back. They’re gone for good!