All About Cataract Eye Surgery

As we get older, we become more at risk to develop age-related vision problems. These problems commonly include cataracts, an eye condition that impacts adults over the age of 50. A cataract is a term for the cloudiness that develops within the clear lens of the eye. By the age of 80, most Americans will have cataracts. Cataracts that negatively impact your vision can be corrected through surgery. But how do you know if you have cataracts, or if you need surgery to correct them? Continue reading to learn more about cataract eye surgery from the optometrists at Clarkson Eyecare.

What Are Cataracts?

Cataracts occur when the lens in the eye becomes cloudy. This lens filters the light, so a clouded lens makes it more difficult to filter. As a result, it's harder for your lens to focus images on your retina located on the back of your eye.

When the lens is cloudy instead of clear, the images that appear on the retina aren't as focused as they should be, which may cause visual distortions. Cataracts may affect one or both eyes.

People with cataracts in both eyes or one eye may experience blurry vision, see colors less vividly, or perceive double images. They also can become sensitive to bright lights appearing in dark areas, which makes driving at night challenging.

Joyful cataract patient performing yoga

Who Develops Cataracts?

Although it is rare for someone under 40 to develop cataracts, it is possible for anyone to develop them – including infants and children. Cataracts are most commonly seen in older adults. There are a few traits that can increase the risk of developing cataracts. These are:

  • Being diabetic

  • Smoking

  • Not wearing proper eye protection in the sunlight

  • Regularly consuming alcohol

  • Upper body radiation therapy

  • History of cataracts in the family

  • Eye trauma or surgery

  • Taking certain medications, such as steroids

Not all cataracts cause vision problems, and not all vision problems caused by cataracts require surgery. If you notice that your cataracts begin to interfere with your ability to read, drive at night, or hinder your everyday activities, you may need cataract surgery.

Is Cataract Surgery Right for You?

Your eye doctor can help you determine whether cataract surgery is right for you. Together, you can discuss whether poor vision detracts from your everyday life and if the time is right for the procedure. Cataract surgery is never an emergency that needs to be performed quickly. There are advantages to having cataract surgery when your vision has worsened: About 90% of people report that their vision improves after they recover from the procedure. People typically stop seeing blurry or double images, and they may experience colors more vividly.

Cataract surgery is commonly performed as an outpatient procedure. During the surgery, the eye doctor removes the cloudy natural lens from your eye and replaces it with a clear artificial lens. If there are cataracts in both eyes, you'll have separate procedures for each eye that are several weeks apart.

after cataracts image

Cataract Surgery: Preparation, Procedure and Recovery

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Learn More About Cataract Eye Surgery

Think you may need cataract eye surgery? Find a Clarkson Eyecare location near you to schedule an appointment. Our team of highly trained eye care professionals provide comprehensive eye care including routine eye exams, preventative care, and treatment.