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What are Cataracts?

It’s no secret that our eyesight gradually decreases as we age. However, certain conditions may cause the loss of vision to happen more rapidly. Cataracts are a common cause of vision loss, affecting millions of people over the age of 65.

But what exactly are cataracts?

Cataracts are a clouding of the lens within the eye, which can slowly diminish one’s vision. This clouding is caused by a buildup or protein within the lens, and it can become increasingly worse over time. In a healthy eye, the lens is clear and allows light to pass through easily to reach the retina — the light-sensitive tissue located at the back of the eye. Eyes with cataracts, on the other hand, have a cloudy lens which results in blurred vision.

There is no one factor that causes the development of cataracts. However, many eye doctors believe that certain habits, such as smoking, may put a person at risk for developing this condition. Additionally, health conditions like diabetes and overexposure to ultraviolet light have also been linked to the development of cataracts.

Some patients who develop cataracts may experience no symptoms of the condition at all, while many experience blurred or double vision. Other possible signs include frequent prescription changes in contact lenses or eyeglasses, as well as a diminished ability to see clearly at night.

For most patients, treating cataracts will require surgery. Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed procedures in the country today, and offers patients extremely effective results. It is a minimally-invasive procedure, with the main goal of removing the damaged lens from the eye. The damaged lens will then be replaced with an IOL (artificial intraocular lens).

Following this procedure, patients may experience some mild discomfort and itchiness. For several days after, eyes may also be extremely sensitive to light. Fortunately, any discomfort is usually mild and typically lasts only a few days. Patients who undergo this surgery will need to protect their eyes afterwards, and will have to avoid rubbing their eye as they recover.

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

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