A cataract is simply a clouding of the natural lens inside the eye. The lens maintains a delicate balance between water and protein so that we can see clearly through it. When the proteins clump together, the resulting cataract blocks some of the light entering the eye, making vision blurry or hazy.
Cataracts typically occur more frequently in older adults, however, there are many other factors such as family history, diabetes, long-term UV exposure, eye injury or certain medications like steroids that can contribute to cataracts.
Cataract symptoms may include:
- Blurry vision
- Lights sensitivity
- Double vision
- Decreased night vision and sensitivity to headlight glare
- Dull or fading colors
When a cataract first develops, vision aids like contacts or glasses may help improve your vision. Once the cataract begins to interfere with daily tasks such as reading and driving, cataract surgery is the only viable treatment option.
During cataract surgery in Laguna Hills, your doctor removes the cloudy natural lens from the eye while the patient is under a topical anesthesia. Next, a replacement device called an intraocular lens (IOL) is inserted which remains permanently in the place of the removed natural lens. The IOL compensates for the magnification that the old lens provided. Modern IOLs are designed for various functions and made of various materials; your doctor will know which is most appropriate for your individual needs. The total surgery time is typically less than 10 minutes.
Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure and requires little downtime. With proper rest and avoidance of any strenuous activities such as heavy lifting, recovery is usually just a matter of days and most patients experience only minor discomfort. You will be required to wear an eye shield following the procedure and will need to use eye drops as instructed by your doctor. Several follow up appointments will be required to ensure the eye is healing properly and initial results are sustained.
An eye exam is the best way to determine if you have a cataract. If you are experiencing any symptoms of cataracts, contact Harvard Eye Associates today at 949-951-2020 or harvardeye.com to schedule a consultation.