What Are Cataracts?
A cataract is the slow, progressive clouding of the eye’s natural lens. At birth, the natural lens is clear, but as we age it yellows and hardens. It is caused by a change in proteins of the lens, which make it less translucent. The cataract interferes with light passing through the eye, result in a gradually blurring or fuzzing of vision. Everyone will at some point develop cataracts based on lifestyle, genetics and age.
Having a cataract can be like looking through a foggy car windshield. Things may look blurry, hazy or less colorful, but often the change has been so gradual you may not even realize your vision has been compromised.
Symptoms that you may notice are a reduced ability to see well at night, especially while driving or viewing oncoming headlights. You may notice you’re more sensitive to sunlight or lamplight. And quite often, you realize your glasses prescription is changing frequently, after a long period of stability. While you may think it is an error with the prescription, it is more likely cataracts, and glasses won’t help the condition.
Modern Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery is an operation to remove the natural lens in your eye when it becomes cloudy. The lens functions to bend (refract) light rays that enter the eye to help you focus. If the lens is cloudy or compromised, it makes it difficult for light to penetrate and for you to see well.
A cataract will progress until eventually there is a complete loss of vision in the eye. Surgery is the only way to correct a cataract. You should consider surgery when cataracts cause enough loss of vision to interfere with driving, hobbies, reading, or general enjoyment of daily life.
Lens Implant Choices
During cataract surgery, your cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced with a clear lens implant. That lens is called an intraocular lens (IOL), and the choice of implants is critical to the way you’ll see for the rest of your life. Dr. Harvey will spend time visiting with you about your lifestyle, career, hobbies, and vision needs. He will then recommend lens implant options that deliver the range of vision you desire.