Many adults suffer from vision loss due to Cataracts.
Your eye is very much like a camera. Just like a camera the eye has a lens which focuses objects on the retina (film). The information recorded on the retina is sent to the brain and voila, you have a picture.
As you collect birthdays your natural crystal clear lens, located in the interior of the eye, becomes cloudy. This normal aging process can cause blurred or foggy vision. You may experience light and glare sensitivity, problems identifying colors, and problems seeing up close as well as at a distance.
Cataracts, however, are not limited to the elderly. Pennsylvania eye surgeons of Schein Ernst Mishra Eye can assist you with any eye problem you have. In rare cases children have them: cataracts can be caused by injury, medications, and certain medical conditions such as diabetes. How quickly cataracts develop depends on the individual, so it is not possible to predict when surgery should be considered. Some cataracts develop from the edge to the center of the lens. If the cloudiness is not near the center you may not notice a visual problem. Other cataracts develop from the center causing eye problems with glare, reading, and distance vision.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is time for a thorough eye examination by your ophthalmologist (medical eye doctor). He or she will be able to detect the existence and extent of a cataract as well as any other condition that may be interfering with our vision. If there is a problem with the retina, eye surgery or removal of the cataract may not result in any improvement in vision. This type of problem is something your ophthalmologist is trained to diagnose and treat.
Do I have to wait until the cataract is "ripe" before I have surgery?
Years ago surgery was recommended when the cataract was "ripe". This term was coined when cataract surgery did not offer the visual rehabilitation that is available today. Before the advent of intraocular lens implants (IOL's) or the ReSTOR® lens,patients had to wear thick, heavy glasses that were not only uncomfortable, and a cosmetic horror, but also greatly distorted vision. Presently cataract surgery should be considered when your vision is preventing you from pursuing the activities you want or need to be doing.
What can I expect during surgery?
Today cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure performed under local anesthesia. In most cases a numbing eye drop is all that is needed to perform the surgery. Your ophthalmologist performs this delicate surgery using a microscope and a state-of the-art surgical technique called Phacoemulsification . This procedure easily breaks up the cataract and vacuums it out. The cataract is replaced with a permanent intraocular lens implant. Old style cataract surgery required larger incisions which meant physical restrictions and longer healing times. Today's "No Stitch" procedure allows you to go home within four hours, resume normal activity within days and experience improved vision much sooner. You will have to take eye drops and see your ophthalmologist for approximately three weeks postoperatively.
Click for more about Cataracts on Get Eye Smart website. Although it is a common misconception, Lasers are not used to remove cataracts. Sometimes a natural capsule that supports the intraocular lens implant may become cloudy. Laser surgery is used to open this cloudy capsule painlessly, restoring clear vision.
If you believe your vision is hindered by cataracts it is time to call your ophthalmologist. Remember, this problem is treatable with simple cataract surgery and, best of all, it can give back your valuable independence.