Cataract is one of the more common eye problems associated with aging. The changes occur in the lens of the eye. At birth, the lens is composed of proteins and is thin, clear and flexible. As we age, the lens grows along with the rest of the body and the arrangement of the protein within the eye can be 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 effect vision enough to prevent a patient from doing the things they want or need to do, we generally recommend removal.
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 instruments to suck the lens out of the eye and grind it up. A new, plastic lens is then replaces 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 there 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.