Inside each eye, we have a natural lens. The lens bends (refracts) light rays that come into the eye to help us see. While your natural lens should be clear, a cataract can cause it to become cloudy. Proteins in your lens break down and cause things to look blurry, hazy, or less colorful.
Vision Problems with Cataracts:
Having a cataract is often like looking through a foggy or dusty car windshield. If you have a cataract, you may notice these specific vision changes:
- Blurry vision
- Seeing double (when you see two images instead of one)
- Being extra sensitive to light
- Trouble seeing well at night, or needing additional light when you read
- Seeing bright colors as faded or yellow instead
What Causes Cataracts?
Aging is the most common cause. This is due to normal eye changes that begin around age 40, which is when normal proteins in the lens start to break down. This is what causes the lens to become cloudy. People over age 60 usually start to have some clouding of their lenses. However, vision problems may not happen until years later.
Other risk factors for cataracts include:
- Parents, brothers, sisters, or other family members who have cataracts
- Certain medical problems, such as diabetes
- Previous eye injury, eye surgery, or radiation treatments on your upper body
- Having spent a lot of time in the sun, especially without sunglasses that protect your eyes from damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays
- Certain medications such as corticosteroids, which may cause the early formation of cataracts
How to Treat Cataracts
The only way to remove a cataract is with surgery. Your ophthalmologist will recommend removing a cataract when it keeps you from doing the things you want or need to do.
During cataract surgery, your cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens. That lens is called an intraocular lens (IOL). Your ophthalmologist will talk with you about IOLs and how they work.
At Sawyer Eye Center, we offer the most advanced technology to remove cataracts while simultaneously correcting astigmatism, nearsightedness, and/or farsightedness with multifocal lenses.
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