Cataracts

A cataract is a clouding of the lens inside the eye that leads to a decrease in vision. Left untreated, it is the most common cause of blindness and is conventionally treated with surgery. Vision loss occurs because opacification of the lens obstructs light from passing through and being focused on to the retina at the back of the eye.

What Causes Cataracts?

The most common cause of cataracts is biological aging and overexposure to ultraviolet light.  The lens lies behind the iris and pupil and works to focus light onto the retina at the back of the eye. The rest of our eye structures work together to adjust and transmit images to the brain, which allows us to see objects and colors.

The lens is made of mostly water and proteins. The protein stays aligned in a way that the lens remains clear. As we age, this protein can clump together and become opaque. Much like trying to look through a foggy window, the clouding is what causes blurriness and difficulty seeing and is called a cataract.  

While there is no guaranteed way to avoid cataracts, wearing eyewear and sunwear that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays can slow the onset as well as decrease the exposure to direct sunlight. People with cataracts commonly experience difficulty in appreciating colors and changes in contrast, driving, reading, recognizing faces, and coping with glare from bright lights.

Treatment Options

Treatment for cataracts is safe and effective. The most common form of treatment is surgery. In fact, by age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract, or have cataract surgery. Cataract surgery replaces the lens inside an affected eye and restores your clear vision. Other treatment may be possible, but cataract surgery is common and very helpful for many people.

If you have questions about cataracts or other eye health conditions, please call our office or speak with one of our doctors at your next appointment. Learn more about other threats to your vision and how annual eye exams check for symptoms by watching our video.

COVID-19 June UPDATE

We are happy to announce the CDC has lifted its recommendation to postpone routine eye care. We are scheduling routine eye examinations on a limited schedule at both of our locations. Our optical departments are open, but in order to maintain social distancing, for the foreseeable future we ask that you schedule an appointment for eyeglass orders, adjustments, repairs, and deliveries. When you arrive for your appointment, please call to let us know that you have arrived. We continue to practice all CDC guidelines and precautionary measures to protect our patients and staff. Thank you for helping us keep you and our staff safe.