Cataracts affect your vision, plain and simple. Left untreated, cataracts lead to blindness. In fact, cataracts account for the most common cause of blindness worldwide. Fortunately, cataracts are very treatable when detected early. The surgery is conventional and one of the safest procedures around. And, if you live in southwest Florida, you are fortunate to have the best cataract specialists in Cape Coral at Elmquist Eye Group.
What Causes Cataracts?
Cataracts are a natural part of biological aging. By age 60, cataracts may have started forming and by age 75, the cataract may significantly cloud your vision. Proteins break down to cloud the eye’s natural lens, so light does not properly focus on the retina. The protein deposits are what cause the blurred vision and difficulty seeing. Patients often describe their vision as if permanently looking through a dirty window.
Because cataracts are a natural part of aging, they cannot be prevented. Care can be taken to wear eyewear that blocks the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. By decreasing exposure to sunlight, patients can definitely slow the onset and progression of cataracts.
Symptoms and Treatment
Many people with cataracts have subtle changes not readily noticeable at first. Over time, though, colors may seem duller and you may have more difficulty seeing contrast between colors or objects. People with cataracts often eventually have trouble reading, driving or recognizing faces. Many patients report increased sensitivity to glare and bright lights, particularly at night, and may even begin to see halos around oncoming headlights or street lamps.
Cataracts can only be treated with surgery, a safe and effective procedure that we do on an outpatient basis in our state-of-the-art facilities right here in Cape Coral. (We also have a Fort Myers location if that better suits you.)
By age 80, more than half of all Americans will have a cataract, and most elect to have cataract surgery. In the procedure, our doctors replace the clouded lens in the affected eye with a lens implant called an intraocular lens (IOL). These days, lenses are so specialized that we can choose a lens to also correct your vision for nearsightedness, farsightedness or even astigmatism.
Note that you may not need surgery right away. Early in the cataract development, we will try to more frequently adjust your eyeglasses or contact lens prescription as the cataract grows. This is a stopgap measure that works for a while, but when the cataract is significant enough to affect vision on a daily basis, our surgeons will usually recommend that you proceed with the surgical procedure.
Our Elmquist surgeons use the Alcon bladeless laser-assisted equipment. It is the first FDA-approved laser system of its kind, and Alcon is a trusted industry leader that we trust as well.
A highly successful procedure
At Elmquist, we have one goal – a pleasant and successful surgical experience for each and every patient. We are the best cataract specialists in Cape Coral and we have been providing southwest Florida with expert eye care for nearly three decades. You’re in good hands with Elmquist Eye Group.