Posted on: Apr 30 2013
While it’s normal for our eyesight to start to decline when we get older, there are certain conditions that can make that happen much more quickly. Cataracts are an incredibly common cause of vision loss, affecting over half of all Americans over the age of 65. So what exactly are cataracts, and what are the treatment options available?
A cataract is the clouding of our eye’s natural lens, and is typically brought about due to aging – though it is not considered a normal part of the aging process. This clouding is a result of protein buildup in the lens, and can worsen over time. In a normal eye, the lens will be clear, allowing light to pass through it and reach the retina, or the light-sensitive tissue in the back of eye. In eyes that have developed cataracts, the lens is cloudy, causing vision to become blurred. While is there no definitive evidence on what causes cataracts, researchers believe there are certain risk factors, including smoking, diabetes, and prolonged ultraviolet light exposure.
As cataracts develop, patients initially may not experience any symptoms. However, this condition is progressive and with time, patients may experience hazy or blurred vision, reduced vision at night and in bright light, double vision, frequent prescription changes in eyeglasses or contact lenses, and yellowish vision. As these symptoms can worsen over time, this leaves many patients wondering what their treatment options are.
The standard treatment for cataracts is cataract surgery; the most commonly performed surgical procedure in the US. With a success rate of over 90%, this is a strong option for patients whose cataracts have begun to interfere with their daily life.
A minimally-invasive procedure, cataract surgery works to remove your eye’s damaged lens and replace it with an artificial intraocular lens, known as an IOL. Your surgeon will make a small incision in the eye, and insert a thin ultrasound probe that works to break up the cataract. Following this, the cloudy lens will suctioned out and replaced with the intraocular implant. The entire procedure is typically painless, performed in under an hour, and can help you once again achieve clear vision. It’s important to always talk to your surgeon before your procedure, as there are a number of factors that need to be discussed — including the type of IOL you want, and any surgical risks.
Cataract Surgery in Winchester
To learn more about cataracts, cataract surgery, or intraocular lenses, contact us today to schedule a consultation. Our offices are located in Winchester, serving Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland, and you can reach us directly at (540) 722-6200. We look forward to serving you.
Posted in: Cataract Treatment