A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye. When a cataract forms, light cannot pass easily through the lens, so vision becomes blurred. Cataracts usually develop with aging, but they can also be caused by:
- Eye injuries and certain diseases
- Overexposure to ultraviolet light
- Certain medications
- Previous Eye Surgery
Most cataracts are associated with aging develop over a period of years. Other cataracts, especially in younger people and in people with diabetes, may progress rapidly over a few months and cause vision to worsen quickly.
If your vision is only slightly blurry, a change in your eyeglass prescription may improve your vision for a while.
What are the symptoms of cataracts?
- A painless blurring of vision
- Glare or light sensitivity
- Frequent eyeglass prescription changes
- Double vision in one eye
- Need for brighter light to read
- Poor night vision
- Fading or yellowing of colors
A through examination by your ophthalmologist can detect the presence and degree of cataract, as well as any other conditions that may be causing blurred vision or discomfort.
How are cataracts treated?
Surgery is the only way to remove the cataract. Sometimes, however, if symptoms are mild, a change of eyeglasses may be all that is needed for you to function more comfortably. There are no medications, dietary supplements, exercises or optical devices that have been shown to prevent or cure cataracts.
Wearing sunglasses that screen out ultraviolet (UV) light rays or wearing regular eyeglasses with a clear, anti-UV coating that offers protection from excessive sunlight may help prevent or slow the progression of cataracts.
Surgery is performed when cataracts cause enough loss of vision to interfere with daily activities.
Advances in cataract surgery start at Krieger
In cataract surgery, the cloudy lens of the eye is surgically removed, and a new, clear plastic lens is inserted in the eye. Until recently, local anesthesia was injected into the tissue around the eye, and the incision was made in the white part of the eye. Patients wore an eye patch for a day, and then vision would slowly clear.
At the LifeBridge Health Krieger Eye Institute our physicians use an advanced surgical technique that reduces the operating time, healing time, and offers immediate improvement in vision. It's called Topical Clear Corneal Cataract Surgery.
Less risk, faster healing
With Topical Clear Corneal Cataract Surgery, a small incision is made in the cornea (clear part) of the eye. Only drops are required to anesthetize the eye. The cataract is removed, and a plastic lens is inserted that unfolds inside the eye. Because the incision is so small, no stitches are usually required. You can see right away and can go home with a clear shield to protect your eye.
After cataract surgery, you may return almost immediately to all but the most strenuous activities. You will use eye drops as your ophthalmologist directs. Several postoperative visits are needed to check on the progress of your eye as it heals.
Cataract surgery is a highly successful procedure. The risk of any serious complications from the surgery is extremely low.
Is cataract surgery right for you?
Every case is different, but most cataract patients can benefit from this type of treatment. While this technique requires more surgical skill, it's far better for the patient.
Krieger Eye Institute brings a special perspective to your vision
Our physicians at the LifeBridge Health Krieger Eye Institute are not only specialists in ophthalmology, each of them also has additional specialized training. Our specialists work together to cover all aspects of eye treatment. So you have the convenience of one community location with access to a nationally-recognized team of board-certified physicians. Using the most advanced technology, combined with compassionate care, the entire staff of Krieger Eye Institute is here to help you realize the best vision possible.
For appointments and more information, call 410-601-2020.