Just behind the color of the eye (the iris), there is a lens inside the eye. This lens is responsible for focusing light in the back of the eye, much the same way as a camera lens focuses light on the film. As we age this lens can become cloudy. We call this a cataract. As this happens, it can cause you to notice glare, halos around lights, difficulty reading, changes in the appearance of color, and extremely blurry vision.
Sometimes we can improve the vision problems caused by cataracts by changing the prescription in your glasses or contacts. However once the cloudiness reaches a certain point, cataract surgery may be the only option to improve vision. But do not let this frighten you, or keep you from having a clear vision.
Cataract surgery has gone through a tremendous evolution. In the early days of cataract surgery, there were large incisions and stitches needed, there were no lens implants, and you were required to stay motionless in the hospital for days with you eye patched and then wear extremely thick glasses the rest of your life. But now the surgery takes place as if it were out of a science fiction novel. Surgeons make a 2.2mm (less than 1/10th of an inch) incision, that requires no stitches. And now this incision and even parts of the cataract removal can be done with a laser. After the cloudy lens is removed, an artificial implant is implanted. The newest types of implants are custom designed for each specific patient so that many times after the surgery you only need reading glasses. There are even more advanced implants available that have a “bifocal” effect to reduce the need for glasses at all. In most cases, the surgery itself takes only about 15 minutes and is done under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis. Often patients see much more clearly the very next day and are back to normal activity within a week.
If you have any questions about cataracts or cataract surgery please contact us. We pride ourselves on staying at the leading edge of surgical technology. We can tell you if cataracts are causing your vision problems and can help you decide which type of cataract surgery is best for you.
The leading cause of vision loss in the world is cataracts. Fortunately there are enough skilled eye surgeons in the U.S. that very few people in America have permanent vision loss from cataracts. During your comprehensive eye-health examination at Cleburne of Family Eye Clinic, the doctor will evaluate your eye for the presence of a cataract (or any other problem). If a cataract is detect, the doctor will explain how it is affecting your vision, and what the treatment options are. Many times a change in your glasses prescription is sufficient. However, sometimes surgical removal of the cataract may be the only way to improve your vision. Your doctor will educate you, and then you and your doctor will decide if and when surgery is right for you.
If you think that you may have cataracts, or would just like more information, make an appointment to visit with one of our doctors.