What are Cataracts?
A cataract is the clouding of the lens inside the eye. The lens of the eye is made up of protein and water. A cataract occurs when the protein in the lens of the eye clumps together and obstructs your vision. When light passes through the lens of the eye, it passes through this gathering of protein.
Cataracts are one of the leading causes of blindness throughout the world. According to the National Eye Institute (NEI), more than half of all Americans will either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery by age 80.
What Causes Cataracts?
Cataracts typically develop due to aging, but that isn’t always the case. There are other conditions that may be the cause including:
Long-term exposure to ultraviolet light
Exposure to radiation
In the first stages of cataracts, patients typically do not notice a change in their vision. Cataract symptoms progress over time and usually patients notice their vision becoming blurry or cloudy. Colors also may appear faded or dull. Many people experience poor night vision and headlights or streetlights appear to have a glare or halos. Sunlight appears too bright, and double or multiple vision in one eye can occur.
It is extremely important to monitor the progression because if left untreated, cataracts can cause blindness.
Note: These symptoms are not always specific to cataracts. Other potentially blinding diseases can cause similar symptoms. A comprehensive eye exam is necessary to find the correct problem so that it can be treated properly.
The treatment for cataracts is cataract surgery to have them removed and a synthetic lens is placed in the eye. This flexible intraocular lens (IOL) replaces your natural lens and performs exactly like your natural lens. There are multiple types of IOLs to choose from.
At Eye Clinic of Austin, we also offer laser cataract surgery which uses a laser for the incision. This procedure provides the most advanced, precise way to remove cataracts.