A cataract is simply the clouding of the eye’s internal lens that slowly hardens and yellows, that eventually results in poor vision. This natural aging of the eye’s internal lens normally occurs in some form by age 40, and the effects increase with age.
Cataract surgery is a procedure which removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with a clear, artificial lens. Most often, cataracts progress slowly, so you should have time to have regular appointments with your ophthalmologist and make an informed decision and plan for your surgery. However, Cataracts is more difficult to remove if allowed to progress to the very advanced, hardened stage.
For early detection, watch for these common symptoms of Cataracts:
Glare sensitivity and poor vision at night
Typically this is one of the first noticeable symptoms of cataracts. Bright lights from headlights and streetlights can cause the eyes to wince from sensitivity. Also, rain can increase the glare while you are driving, which may cause further discomfort to your eyes. Having poor vision at night can impair your judgment to stops, switching lanes and making turns. If you are experiencing these problems, it may be time to schedule an appointment.
Halos around light
Halos formed around bright lights are caused by the diffraction of light entering the eye. Light is scattered within the eye and reduces the contrast of images. The glare is often worse in dim environments such as driving at night versus in bright light situations. Seeing halos around light is a good sign that you may have a cataract, and you should talk to your doctor to start exploring your options.
Blurry vision and frequent changes in prescriptions
A cataract causes blurry vision due to the cloudiness of lens blocking light to your eye. Patients normally think that it’s merely time for a new eye prescription. However, once a patient goes through several prescriptions and still can’t achieve clear, sharp vision, it may be a sign of a cataract slowly affecting vision.
Double vision can also be a symptom of cataracts. If the cataract is in both eyes, both eyes will be experiencing distorted vision. Double vision is often referred to Diplopia and can be caused by other serious conditions. If you are experiencing double vision, an appointment should be made immediately.
If you notice these symptoms, you should also be prepared to discuss with your ophthalmologist how much they impact your daily life. For example, if a cataract is present but it does not inhibit you to perform daily activities, it may be too soon for removal. However, if blurred vision has caused you to stumble and fall, this is severely impacting your daily life and you may wish to schedule surgery as soon as possible.
Cataract Surgery and Lenses
Traditional surgery uses a standard monofocal IOL implant. However, the use of corrective lenses for near distance and reading is still needed with the standard lens. If a patient wants to eliminate the need for bifocals, there are several lens options to choose from at Fichte Endl & Elmer eye care:
- Premium Presbyopia Correcting Lenses: Lenses that allow the patient to see distance and near.
- ReSTOR IOL: Apodized Diffractive Optics for a Full Range of Vision.
- Crystalens: FDA-approved intraocular lens (IOL) enabling sharper vision at multiple distances.
- Tecnis Multifocal IOL: Multifocal Lens provides patients with high-quality vision at any distance, and in any light condition.
- Toric Lenses for Astigmatism: Patients with astigmatism.
- Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE): Nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia and eliminate the need for cataract surgery in the future.
It is important to have regular eye exams and speak with an ophthalmologist if you start noticing any of these symptoms. Fichte Endl and Elmer provide a wide variety of innovated cataract surgeries. Call today for more information.