Cataract

By Island Hospital   |   17.10.2018

The eye’s natural crystalline lens helps us focus on people and things at varying distances.

Unfortunately, as we grow older this lens often stiffens and hardens, and without its youthful suppleness, it loses its ability to focus, creating vision problems. This condition — for most, a natural consequence of aging — is called presbyopia.

1. OVERVIEW

As we age, these changes occurring to the natural crystalline lens can lead to the development of cataracts or a loss in clarity of the lens. Since the lens is no longer as flexible or as clear as it used to be, the eye can’t focus on light properly.

2. SYMPTOMS

At first, symptoms may be undetectable or very slight. However, any noticeable change in vision may be a cause for concern and should be brought to the attention of an eye care professional. Common symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Cloudy or blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Frequent prescription changes for glasses or contact lenses
  • Poor night vision
  • Color vision changes and dimming
  • Double vision in a single eye

3. TREATMENT

While there is no way to prevent cataracts, there are things you can do to slow their formation. Modifiable factors that increase the risk of cataract include smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, and excessive alcohol intake. You may also slow the formation of cataracts by protecting your eyes from direct sunlight.

In the beginning stages of cataracts, vision may be slightly improved using forms of visual correction. However, in the later stages, surgery may be required. Fortunately, surgery has proven to be extremely successful in the removal of cataracts. During cataract surgery, your physician will replace your natural lens with an intraocular lens implant.

There is no proven way to prevent cataracts. But certain lifestyle habits may help slow cataract development. These include:

  • Not smoking.
  • Wearing a hat or sunglasses when you are in the sun.
  • Avoiding sunlamps and tanning booths.
  • Eating healthy food.
  • Avoiding the use of steroid medicines when possible (some people need them).
  • Keeping diabetes under control.

If left untreated, cataracts cause continual loss of vision, eventually leading to legal blindness or even total blindness. In the case of blindness caused by cataracts, vision usually can be successfully restored with cataract surgery and implantation of an intraocular lens (IOL).

 

At Island Hospital, our eye specialists are dedicated to to providing friendly, professional care for your eyes, from comprehensive eye exams to delicate surgery in a friendly, empathic, and professional atmosphere. We use state-of-the-art equipment and techniques to give you the best results. In addition to routine eye examinations, we provide top-quality service to treat a range of eye problems including cataracts, glaucoma, dry eye, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, corneal disease and crossed eyes. We also offer LASIK eye surgery. We take pride in helping our patients to restore their sight, guard their vision, and minimize any loss of vision.

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