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Cataract Surgery

Safe, effective procedures for your vision

Is cloudy vision interfering with your everyday activities? It may be time for cataract surgery with the surgeons at Lakewood Regional Medical Center. We offer:

  • Phacoemulsification and extracapsular cataract surgeries
  • Experienced cataract surgeons and staff
  • Friendly and flexible scheduling

Cataract surgery is one of the most common and safest operations our surgeons perform at Lakewood. The surgery becomes necessary only when your vision loss begins to interfere with your everyday activities, such as driving, reading or watching television. In the early stages of a cataract, your vision can be aided with different eyeglasses and stronger lighting. Consult your doctor when deciding to undergo cataract surgery.

What is cataract surgery?

To treat your cataract, your surgeon will remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a substitute lens. If cataracts are present in both eyes, your surgeon will need to perform surgery on each eye at different times.

In most instances, the cloudy lens is replaced with an intraocular lens (IOL), a clear, artificial lens that requires no care and becomes part of your eye. Conveniently, you will not see or feel your new lens.

What is a cataract?

A cataract is a clouding or opaque area over the lens of your eye, an area normally transparent. As this thickening occurs, it prevents light rays from passing through the lens and focusing on the retina, that light sensitive tissue lining located in the back of your eye. This clouding is caused when some of the protein that makes up the lens begins to clump together.

In the early stages, a cataract may not cause a problem. The cloudiness may affect only a small part of the lens. However, the cataract can grow larger over time and affect more of the lens, making it harder to see. As less light reaches the retina, it becomes increasingly harder to see, and your vision may become dull and blurry. While cataracts cannot spread from one eye to another, many people develop cataracts in both eyes.

What causes cataracts?

Although scientists do not know for sure what causes cataracts, they believe possible causes could include:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Excessive exposure to sunlight
  • Steroid use
  • Diuretic use
  • Certain major tranquilizers

Cataract symptoms

Although individuals experience cataract symptoms differently, here are the most common ones:

  • Cloudy or blurry vision
  • Lights appear too bright or present a glare or a surrounding halo
  • Poor night vision
  • Multiple vision
  • Colors seem faded
  • Increased nearsightedness, with the need to change eyeglass prescriptions more frequently
  • Distortion of vision in either eye

What are the different types of cataracts?

Cataracts are divided into the following categories:

  • Age-related cataracts: Most cataracts are related to aging
  • Congenital cataracts: Some babies are born with cataracts or develop them in childhood, often in both eyes; some congenital cataracts do not affect vision, but others do and need to be removed
  • Secondary cataracts: Secondary cataracts develop primarily as a result of another disease
  • Traumatic cataracts: Eye(s) that have sustained an injury may develop a traumatic cataract immediately following the incident or several years later

Diagnosing cataracts

In addition to a complete medical history and eye examination, diagnostic procedures for cataracts can include a visual acuity test and pupil dilation. Your eye care professional may perform other tests to learn more about the health and structure of your eye.

Risk factors for cataracts

Possible risk factors for cataracts include:

  • Age: Cataracts often develop between 40 and 50 years old, with vision being impaired after 60
  • Geographic location: Recent studies have shown that people who live in high altitudes are at greater risk
  • Excessive sun exposure: The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends wearing sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat to lessen exposure

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