What does cataract disease mean? A cataract is an eye disease in which the lens inside the eye becomes cloudy. This clouding prevents light from entering the eye, and makes the image that appears on the retina look blurry. Depending on the severity of the cataracts, vision distortion may be mild, moderate, or even severe.
As a normal part of the aging process, the crystalline lens within the eyeball may develop fibers that reduce the transparency of the lens, causing visual impairment. Most cases of cataracts are age-related, with over 50% of the American population who reach the age of 80 having experienced cataracts.
If your eye doctor detects cataracts during an eye exam, and it causes vision problems, you will be referred to a reliable specialist for cataract surgery. Currently, this is the only known cure for cataracts, but the recovery and prognosis of cataracts surgery are typically excellent. Our eye care practice provides co-surgery management services, so we will support you both before your cataract surgery and during the post-operative recovery period.
During cataract surgery, the surgeon will probably use phacoemulsification to remove the natural crystalline lens of the eye, which has developed an opacification, or cataract. Then, it will be replaced by a synthetic intraocular lens (IOL) which will restore vision when it is implanted into the eye. Other refractive errors can also be corrected during this surgical procedure.
Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who have sub-specialized in eye surgery, and they are the ones who regularly perform cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is relatively non-invasive, and is generally performed under local anesthetic – topical anesthesia or perbulbar or retrobulbar block – on an out-patient basis in a surgical center or hospital. Patients usually experience minimal or no discomfort at all. The vision restoration success rate of cataract surgery is over 90%, and complications are rare.
Cataracts are usually treated with this minimally invasive outpatient ocular surgery with quick post-operative recovery time and a high degree of success.
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The more you know, the better you will be able to deal with or prevent challenges that arise in life – and cataracts is no different.