Common Eye Conditions Cataract

What is a cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision. The lens is found behind the pupil and helps focus the light traveling through the pupil to the retina so we can see. When this lens becomes cloudy with age the image we get will be blurred as if looking through a dirty window.

Most cataracts are related to aging and are very common in older people. By age 80, more than half of all people will have cataracts and require surgery. A cataract can occur in either or both eyes. It cannot spread from one eye to the other.

Risk Factors for getting cataracts

  • Diabetes
  • Use of steroids over long period of time
  • Family history
  • Excessive radiation exposure
  • Smoking, alcohol

How is it detected?

Cataracts are usually detected during an eye examination. At our clinic a thorough examination including slit lamp and visual acuity testing will easily confirm cataracts.

If the blurring is severe enough to interfere with your daily activities then surgery may be warranted and we can discuss all your options with you.

We also provide state of the art ultrasound A scans with the more accurate immersion shell technique to measure the power of the replacement lens that will be inserted during surgery.

What are the different types of cataract surgery?

There are two types of cataract surgery. (Your surgeon will determine which is best for you).

  1. Phacoemulsification or phaco. A small incision is made on the side of the cornea, the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye. Your doctor inserts a tiny probe into the eye. This device emits ultrasound waves that soften and break up the lens so that it can be removed by suction and a new artificial silicone lens, called an intraocular lens(IOL) is inserted. An IOL is a clear, plastic lens that requires no care and becomes a permanent part of your eye. Light is focused clearly by the IOL onto the retina, improving your vision. You will not feel or see the new lens. Most cataract surgery today is done by phacoemulsification, also called "small incision cataract surgery."
  2. Extracapsular surgery. Your doctor makes a longer incision on the side of the cornea and removes the cloudy core of the lens in one piece. The rest of the lens is removed by suction. After the natural lens has been removed, it is replaced by an artificial silicone lens.