About Cataracts |
A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens, which blocks or changes the amount of light going into the eye. The lens of the eye is located behind the pupil and the colored iris, and is normally transparent. The lens helps to focus the light onto your retina, whether you are looking at something close or something far away. The retina relays the light input to your brain.
Age is not the only factor that causes cataracts; anyone can have a cataract. Babies are sometimes born with them.
- Decreased vision
- Dimmer colors
- Headlight glare or halo at night
- Difficulty doing fine hand work
- Corrective lenses do not resolve the problem
What is happening?
The lens is contained in a sealed bag, called a capsule. As cells keep growing, they become trapped inside the capsule. Overtime, the cells accumulate, causing the lens to cloud. As the cells increase in number, the lens becomes hard. The cloudy, hard lens blocks light and scatters what light does come in.
- Genetic factors
- The aging process
- A previous injury to the eye
- Prolonged exposure to sunlight
Will My Eyes Get Better?
There are no diets, drugs or eye drops that have been proven to make cataracts go away. The only option is surgical removal of the cells in the capsule.
Cataracts only become cloudier with time. This can happen quickly, within a few months, or so slowly that people are unaware of how much vision they have lost.
Cataracts are a common problem. Three-fourths of 65-74 year olds have cataracts in varying stages of cloudiness. Before 1970, cataracts were the leading cause of treatable blindness in the United States. Cataracts still cause blindness in nearly 20 million people worldwide.
Cataract surgery is a safe and proven procedure to safely remove the accumulated dead cells within the capsule and replace them with a clear, artificial lens.
Cataract surgery is one of the most effective procedures available. In 2002, 1.4 million cataract surgeries were performed in the U.S. In most cases, vision is dramatically improved.
Your New Lens
Your old lens is cloudy, so it will be removed. If you did not have a new lens put in, your vision would be out of focus. The technology for your new lens has been constantly improving for almost 60 years. The first one was used in 1949 in London. Your new lens is called a lens implant, an implant, an intraocular lens (IOL), or a pseudophakos. Implants come in two categories: monofocal and Multifocal.
The monofocal lens will help you see distances. For seeing up close, you will most likely need reading glasses. The multifocal lens works in your eye like an internal pair of graduated bifocal or trifocal glasses. This lens helps you see both near and far. Medical literature indicates that the monofocal lens will probably become a thing of the past, like coke bottle glasses, within the next few years.
Many studies have shown that most people can expect to live a glasses-free life after receiving multifocal implants. To maximize your experience, our doctors will give you more information about both mono- and multifocal lenses and help you decide which lens is best for you. Medicare does not cover the additional cost of the new multifocal lenses at this time.