What is a cataract?
A cataract is the clouding of the crystalline lens inside of the eye, which is normally clear; light can no longer pass through the lens easily and vision becomes hazy or blurred. Current treatment is the surgical removal of the lens and replacement with an acrylic lens, which is safe and successful.
What causes cataracts?
Factors that may aid in the development of cataracts include injury, age, heredity, disease and sun exposure.
Who is at risk for developing cataracts?
Cataracts are quite common. About half of the population has a cataract by age 65, and nearly everyone over 75 has at least one. Older people are generally more at risk of developing cataracts than younger people. For people over age 55, cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss.
If I have a cataract, should I wait to have surgery?
Cataracts usually start as very small and practically unnoticeable but grow gradually larger and cloudier. Make sure you schedule annual visits to your eye doctor to monitor the progress of the cataract. Your doctor will determine when it is beneficial for you to have them removed. Some cataracts never really reach the stage where they should be removed.
Is cataract surgery safe?
Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed type of surgery in the United States and is considered to be a safe procedure. Choosing one of our surgeons with years of experience will reduce the risk a patient faces.
How are cataracts removed?
After making a small incision into the eye, the surgeon will use ultrasound to break the lens up, and then remove it. A replacement lens (called an intraocular lens, or IOL) is inserted.
What are possible side effects?
Although cataract surgery is considered a safe procedure, all surgery carries some risk. Pain, infection, swelling, and bleeding are possible. Make sure you contact your doctor if you experience any adverse side effects.
How is a cataract diagnosed?
Cataracts can be diagnosed during your annual thorough eye examination with an Ophthalmologist or Optometrist.
How effective is cataract surgery?
According to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS), 98% of all cataract surgeries nationwide are successful.
What happens after surgery?
After surgery, there will be a period of recovery time, while the eyes adjust to seeing without the cataract. Following cataract surgery, patients may experience minor temporary side effects such as irritation, light sensitivity and fluid discharge, which can be minimized with sunglasses, pain reliever and eye drops. Recovery time after cataract surgery is usually about six weeks, but most discomfort should subside after a day or two. You will be scheduled for a follow-up exam to check your progress.
If you or someone you know has signs of cataracts in Sacramento or Roseville, California, schedule a vision screening with Griffin & Reed Eye Care at (916) 485-2020.