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Cataract

VIDEO

WHAT IS A CATARACT?

What Is A Cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of your eye. For people who have cataracts seeing through cloudy lenses is a bit like looking through a frosty or fogged-up window. Cataract surgery is a medically necessary procedure that removes and replaces your cloudy lens.

The Anatomy Of Your Lens

SYMPTOMS

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Clouded, blurred or dim vision
  • Increasing difficulty with vision at night
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Seeing “halos” around lights
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
  • Fading or yellowing of colors
  • Double vision in a single eye

Vision With and Without Cataracts

WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR?

When To See A Doctor

Make an appointment for an eye exam if you notice any changes in your vision. If you develop sudden vision changes, such as double vision or blurriness, see your doctor right away.

Most cataracts develop when aging or injury changes the tissue that makes up your eye’s lens. Some cataracts are caused by inherited genetic disorders that cause other health problems and increase your risk of cataracts.

 

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Cataracts FAQs

Concerned about cataracts? You’re not the only one! Get answers to your most frequently asked questions about cataracts below!

What Are Cataracts?

Cataracts are an inevitable part of your eyes aging. A cataract forms when proteins clump together on the lens of the eye. The lens is naturally clear and helps focus light in the retina.

If a cataract develops, the lens becomes cloudy. As a cataract ripens, it becomes harder and harder to see. This can take several years before the cataract requires removal.

Are Cataracts Treatable?

Although there is no cure for cataracts, they are treatable. While a cataract is still developing, a patient can wear glasses or contacts to see. If glasses or contacts no longer help, cataract surgery is the next step.

During cataract surgery, the natural lens of the eye gets removed. In its place an artificial lens, or IOL is inserted. This IOL takes on the role of what the lens was doing. With an IOL, patients who had a cataract can see again!

Do I Need Cataract Surgery?

The only way to know for sure if you need cataract surgery is to have regular appointments with your eye doctor.

Seeing your eye doctor will help them determine if your cataract needs to be removed. A cataract gets removed when it is significantly impairing your vision or ability to see.

If you do not get cataract surgery, your vision will continue to deteriorate. Untreated cataracts can eventually lead to blindness.

Do Cataracts Cause Vision Loss?

Yes, cataracts cause vision loss. This is only the case if your cataract has become fully developed. Cataracts can take several years to develop. Until they mature, vision loss may be minimal, or may not happen at all.

A happy older man and women walking through the woods holding hands

Am I Too Young For Cataracts?

Cataracts are usually age-related, but this is not always the case. Two non-age-related cataracts are cortical cataracts and posterior subcapsular cataracts. These cataracts can develop if you are diabetic or extremely nearsighted.

What Are The Risks Of Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery is a safe procedure, but like all surgeries, it does have its risks. Common risks of cataract surgery include infection, inflammation, bleeding, and glaucoma. These are rare! The best way to reduce your risks of these complications is taking time to recover.

After cataract surgery, your eyes will be more fragile than normal. The recovery process can take a few weeks, so it’s good to take it easy during this time. Make sure to keep the eye that had a cataract away from germs.

This includes getting your eyes wet in the shower, since water carries bacteria. By following your recovery instructions, it should be easy to avoid complications.

Will My Insurance Cover Cataract Surgery?

This question depends on the kind of IOL you opt to receive for the procedure. The only IOL that Medicare will usually accept is the standard monofocal IOL.

This is because the standard monofocal IOL is not considered a premium IOL. If you get this standard IOL, you will still need glasses or contacts to see after cataract surgery.

Other premium lenses let you see clearly without needing any enhancements. Since they are premium IOLs, they cost more and are not covered by insurance plans.

Can My Cataracts Come Back?

Cataract surgery is the only way that you can remove cataracts. After cataract surgery, you may wonder if you can get cataracts again. You cannot get cataracts again, because cataract surgery involves removing the natural lens.

When the natural lens is removed, it’s replaced with an IOL. The IOL then does the job that the natural lens once did. However, it is possible that the IOL can become cloudy after cataract surgery. If this happens, capsular opacification can occur. If this happens, you will notice blurry or hazy vision, along with sensitivity to glare and light.

A capsular opacification is easy to treat! Your doctor will create a small opening in the center of the IOL. This opening is then created using a laser. Once the opening gets created, light can enter the eye. Like cataract surgery, the procedure is quick and over in a few minutes!

Have more questions about cataracts or cataract surgery? Contact Clarus to schedule your cataract screening today!

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