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What is Cataract Surgery?

Cataracts are a common vision problem, especially in older adults. A cataract is a clouding of the lens in your eye that leads to blurred or hazy vision. 

As cataracts worsen over time, they can significantly impact your quality of life and ability to perform daily activities. Fortunately, cataract surgery is a safe and effective treatment option. 

Keep reading to learn more about cataract surgery!

What are Cataracts?

A cataract occurs when the natural lens in your eye becomes cloudy. This is due to protein fibers that break down inside the lens. 

A clump of protein fibers forms inside the lens and slowly grows in size and darkness. Eventually, light is unable to pass through your lens, making clear vision challenging. 

If left untreated, cataracts always lead to blindness once the lens is completely clouded. Cataracts are primarily caused by aging. 

They are an unavoidable part of life. Most people don’t begin to develop cataracts until they are over forty. 

However, some people develop cataracts earlier in life due to a variety of factors. Smoking, excessive drinking, spending too much time in the sun, and a poor diet can all cause you to develop cataracts early. 

What are the Symptoms of Cataracts?

Vision loss is not the only sign you might be developing cataracts. Cataracts can cause many different symptoms, depending on each person and how far they have created. 

In addition to blurry and dim vision, you may also experience:

Double Vision

Sometimes, cataracts cause you to see double. This typically only happens in one eye. 

You will see an offset, slightly transparent image at all times. This tends to go away as the cataract continues to grow.

Light Sensitivity

Before light is completely blocked by a cataract, the cataract can scatter the light inside the eye. This causes strong and sometimes painful glare.

Bad Night Vision

The loss of vision from cataracts is very noticeable at night. With less light available, it makes the effects of the cataract even more noticeable.

Faded Colors

As the cataract grows, it changes color. You may notice your ability to see color contrast slip away. 

Everything you see will take on a muted, yellowish-brown color.  

Cataract symptoms don’t appear immediately after a cataract begins developing. In fact, you can live for years with cataracts and not even realize it. 

Cataracts can only be treated with cataract surgery, but it won’t be necessary until the cataracts begin to affect your quality of life.

What Happens During Cataract Surgery?

During cataract surgery, the lens of your eye is removed and replaced with something called an IOL. This is necessary because the cataract is part of your lens.

Cataract surgery involves opening your cornea, breaking apart and removing the lens, placing the IOL inside the eye, and leaving the tiny incision in your cornea to heal during recovery. The procedure is fast, effective, and considerably safe.

Before your cataract surgery, you will need to choose an IOL. An IOL is a small synthetic lens made from acrylic or silicone material. 

Choosing the right IOL for your lifestyle and budget is important.

Are you interested in learning more about cataract surgery? Schedule a cataract evaluation at Simone Eye Center in Warren, or Macomb Township, MI, to discuss your options!

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