What is a cataract?
A cataract is a clouding to the natural lens inside the eye. Cataracts develop as part of the natural aging process of the eye. However, cataract development can be caused by or be speed up by previous eye surgery, injury, certain diseases, and even some medications. Cataract development usually does not harm the eye but causes blurry vision. Cataracts usually progress slowly over a period of years and in early stages stronger eye glasses or brighter light may help. As cataracts progress and the lens becomes more cloudy, patients often experience symptoms such as painless blurry vision, glare and haloes around lights at night, double vision in one eye, need for bright light to read, and fading or yellowing of colors.
How is a cataract detected?
By performing a thorough eye examination, your eye doctor can detect the presence of a cataract.
Careful evaluation will also rule out any other conditions that may be causing blurred vision or other eye problems . Problems with other parts of the eye (such as the cornea, retina, or optic nerve) can be responsible for vision loss and may prevent you from having much or any improvement in vision after surgery. If improvement in your vision is unlikely, cataract removal may not be recommended. Your eye doctor can tell you how much visual improvement is likely.
When should surgery be done?
Cataract surgery should be considered when cataracts cause enough loss of the clarity of your vision to interfere with your daily activities. Based on your symptoms you and your eye doctor should decide together when cataract surgery is appropriate. If it is determined that it is time for surgery your surgeon will do a complete evaluation of your eyes and also do measurements for the artificial lens that will be implanted to replace your natural lens that has become a cataract.
How is a cataract treated?
Surgery is the only way a cataract can be treated. No medications, dietary supplements, or exercises have been shown to prevent or cure cataracts.