What are Cataracts?
Cataracts is the most common eye condition that occurs in people over the age of fifty and currently affects over 22 million Americans. This condition occurs when the internal lens of a person’s eye becomes clouded. This clouding is caused by the proteins that make up the lens clumping together and preventing clear vision. When a patient’s lens becomes clouded, it causes vision to appear blurry. Cataract surgery is one of the most common procedures done in the United States and is an effective way to eliminate cataracts. Cataracts are not a permanent condition, as this vision impairment can be corrected through surgery.
Symptoms of Cataracts
Cataracts can affect your day to day enjoyment of life activities. Symptoms like clouded or blurred vision, difficulty seeing at night, or seeing halos around lights may be experienced by those diagnosed with cataracts. Colors may also look dim or become hard to distinguish among one another, especially darker shades. You might experience double vision as light transmitted to the eyes is disrupted or cast out of focus by cataracts. If you find yourself having frequent prescription changes, this may also be an indicator of cataracts. Experiencing any of these symptoms should warrant an eye examination, as there is a possibility you may have cataracts. If you are diagnosed with cataracts, we will recommend that you have your cataract-removal surgery scheduled with Gulf Coast Eye Institute.
How are Cataracts Treated?
Cataracts are treated through a surgical process that replaces the natural lens in your eye. The cataracts residing in the natural lens causes blurry vision, resulting in the need for an intraocular lens (IOL). With the choices of having traditional or laser-assisted cataract surgery, patients at Gulf Coast Eye Institute are in good hands with either choice. When cataract surgery is performed, your eye surgeon will create an incision in the cornea, remove the cataract, then replace the natural lens with an intraocular lens (IOL).
A typical question we get from patients is, “How long does cataract surgery take?” The surgery itself is a relatively short process and will not last more than an hour. At Gulf Coast Eye Institute, your cataract surgery will be completed in a timely manner and we will ensure a comfortable experience during the entire procedure.
A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens (not a growth) that blocks the lens from being able to focus light on the retina. It is the most common cause of vision loss in people over age 50. Presently, cataracts affect more than 22 million Americans age 50 and older. And, as the U.S. population ages, more than 30 million Americans are expected to develop cataracts by the year 2020, according to Prevent Blindness America.
What are the Symptoms of Cataracts?
Because cataracts typically develop slowly over the course of time, most people don’t realize the lens in the eye is even affected until their vision starts to become dull or blurry.
The most common cataract symptoms include:
- Cloudy or blurry vision
- Colors seem faded
- Glare or halos appear around headlights, lamps and in bright sun
- Double vision
- Frequent vision prescription changes
When a cataract begins to affect your ability to perform day-to-day tasks, that’s when treatment is required.
If you are interested in learning more about cataract treatment options at Gulf Coast Eye Institute, schedule an appointment today.