Cataracts are a common eye condition causing a clouding of the natural lens in the eye. There are many types of cataracts, though the most common type are aging cataracts, or nuclear sclerosis. This natural clouding of the lens occurs very slowly throughout the course of our life and often starts to cause vision changes in our late 60s or early 70s. The most common signs of visually significant cataracts are blurry vision even with glasses, difficulty with nighttime driving, glare from oncoming headlights and issues with near vision. While cataracts can cause very blurry vision they are rarely damaging to the overall health of the eye.
In Younger Patients
Some younger patients may develop cataracts as well, most often the type called Posterior Sub-capsular cataracts, or PSC, which form on the back surface of the crystalline lens. Several factors may contribute to the development of PSC cataracts but the most common are: high nearsightedness, long-term oral or inhaled steroid use, and directed trauma to the eye. Most commonly patients will describe their vision as appearing like someone smeared Vaseline on their glasses lenses.
Cataract surgery may sound like a scary process, but with modern technologies and techniques it can be a very positive experience. Cataract surgery is a painless surgery that takes only about 10-12 minutes to complete. General anesthesia is rarely used during cataract surgery, opting for the much safer and effective conscious sedation.
During cataract surgery one small incision is made in the front surface of the eye, called the cornea. A small device called a phacoemulsification tip is then used to break apart and remove the natural lens. Through the same small corneal incision a small artificial lens is placed into the eye in the space where the natural lens once sat. The new artificial lens is typically able to fully correct any previous glasses prescription, including those patients with astigmatism. Newer technologies now provide multi-focal lenses which are designed to provide a glasses free experience after cataract surgery giving both distance and near vision.
Our doctors at EyeTech are always willing to discuss options with you and help to determine which implants you may be a great candidate for. The Doctors at EyeTech can help to determine if you are ready for cataract surgery.
Dr. Ward and Dr Philpy regularly diagnose and treat eye injuries, infections, inflammations, burning, redness, pain, sensitivity, pink eye and remove foreign bodies from the eye.
Our doctors can treat, prescribe medication for and manage many different eye diseases like glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.
Diagnosis and Referral
For eye conditions like cataracts, retinal tears and retinal detachments that may require surgical or specialized care, our Optometrists provide initial diagnosis as well as referral, co-management and follow-up care in coordination with an Ophthalmologist.
Many eye problems like glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy don't have obvious symptoms in their early stages. Changes in vision are often so gradual that you unconsciously adjust to your sight without realizing your vision has changed. You may think you are seeing as well as you were a year ago and don’t have problems, but you can't be sure until you've had your eyes thoroughly examined.