What is a Cataract?
A cataract is the clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye. It can be compared to a window that is frosted or “fogged” with steam. Common symptoms of a cataract include:
- A gradual blurring of vision; in fact you might not realize objects have lost crisp, defined edges
- Glare or light sensitivity, most noticeable while driving at night or by increased sensitivity to sunlight.
- Frequent eyeglass prescription changes
- Needing brighter light to read
- Poor night vision
- Fading or yellowing of colors
What Causes Cataracts?
The most common type of cataract is related to aging of the eye. Other causes include family history, medical problems such as diabetes, injury to the eye, medications such as steroids, long-term unprotected exposure to sunlight.
Cataracts cannot be prevented, and there is no proven treatment other than surgery. However, cataracts may be delayed or slowed by these precautions:
- Avoid too much exposure to ultraviolet light (sunlight) by wearing a hat and/or using sunglasses
- Keep your blood sugar under control if you have diabetes
- Eat a healthy diet
- Avoid smoking and excessive use of alcohol
Do I Need Cataract Surgery?
Cataract surgery should be considered when cataracts cause enough loss of vision to interfere with daily activities. Can you perform daily tasks, such as cooking, shopping, driving or taking medications without difficulty? Visit us for your cataract evaluation. Based upon your symptoms, you and your surgeon will decide together when surgery is appropriate. Dr. Rodriguez is an ophthalmologist specifically trained in advanced cataract surgery techniques.
How is Cataract Surgery Performed?
Cataract surgery is a common outpatient procedure performed under local anesthesia. The cloudy lens is removed from the eye and the focusing power of the eye is restored by inserting a permanent intraocular lens implant.
Is Recovery Difficult?
After cataract surgery, you may return almost immediately to all but the most strenuous activities. You will have to use eye drops for a few weeks to ensure smooth healing. Several postoperative visits are needed to check on the progress of the eye as it heals. Cataract surgery is a highly successful procedure, but it is important to understand that complications can occur during or after surgery, some severe enough to limit vision. As with any surgery, a good result cannot be guaranteed.