Cataracts

Cataract is one of the more common eye problems associated with aging.  These changes occur in the lens of the eye.  At birth, the lens is composed of highly organized proteins which make the lens thin, clear and flexible.  As we age, the lens grows with the rest of the body and the arrangement of the proteins within the eye are altered.  This alteration can allow for clumping of the proteins together to form opacifications in the lens.  These opacifications are called cataracts and can cause changes in vision.

The changes in vision that are often noted with cataracts include an increase in light sensitivity or glare, halos around lights, fading of colors, and difficulty with reading, driving, etc.  Once the cataract has begun to affect vision enough to prevent a patient from doing activities they want or need to do, we generally recommend removal.

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Cataracts are removed through a procedure called a cataract extraction.  A surgeon will numb the area and make small incisions in the cornea of the eye.  The surgeon will then use very small instruments to grind up the lens and remove it from the eye.  A new plastic lens implant is then inserted into the eye to replace the old lens.  The surgery takes about five minutes and improvements in vision happen fairly rapidly.  Generally, the procedure is done on an outpatient basis, so hospitalization is usually not required.  Our doctors work closely with the top cataracts surgeons in the area to provide our patients with the best available care.