What is a cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision. The formation of a cataract is a natural process that usually takes place over time. By age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery.
What is the lens of the eye?
When you are born, the lens of the eye is clear and jelly-like. The lens sits behind the iris (the colored part of the eye). Along with the cornea (the clear “front window” of the eye), the lens helps to focus light rays onto the retina (the back of the eye). As time passes, the lens begins to stiffen and becomes cloudy.
What are the symptoms of cataracts?
- Clouding or blurring of vision.
- Glare from headlights, lamps, or sunlight.
- Halos around lights.
- Poor night vision
- Colors seem faded.
- Double vision.
- Frequent changes to your eyeglass or contact lens prescription.
Who gets cataracts?
Almost everyone will develop cataracts. Usually, patients will notice changes in their vision due to cataracts after the age of 65. Other contributing factors are medical problems such as diabetes, injury to the eye, medications especially steroids, radiation, long-term unprotected exposure to sunlight and patients that smoke or drink excessively.
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How is a cataract treated?
The symptoms of early cataracts may be treated with a new eyeglass prescription, brighter lighting, anti-glare sunglasses or a magnifying lens. If these measures do not help than surgery would be the only effective treatment.
Why is a lens implant necessary when the cataract is removed?
The natural lens of the eye has a certain power or strength. Cataract surgery removes the natural lens and the implant replaces the natural lens. Without a lens implant, thick glasses (cataract glasses) or a contact lens would be necessary for vision correction.
What types of IOL (intraocular lens implants) are available?
There are two different types of IOL (intraocular lens implants), standard and premium. Please see our section under Cataract Surgery Lens Implant Options for further information or give us a call at 215.824.1717. At the time of your visit Dr. Richmond will discuss which option would be best for you.
Will glasses be needed after cataract surgery?
The need for glasses after cataract surgery is dependent on the type of intraocular lens implant that the patient receives and if the patient has any other medical conditions.
The patient’s expectation in regards to the need for eyeglasses after surgery is an important consideration. Dr. Richmond will discuss this issue with the patient at the time of the visit.
If you have any further questions regarding cataracts, please feel free to call our office at 215-824-1717 or schedule an appointment for a cataract evaluation with Dr. Richmond.