Cataract

A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens of the eye.

The lens works by focusing light onto the retina at the back of the eye allowing us to see clearly. In association with injury, disease or aging, the lens becomes cloudy. This is called a cataract.

A cataract may occur in either or both eyes and may progress to impair vision, at which time surgery may be considered.

  • Cloudy / blurry vision
  • Pale colors
  • Glare from bright lights such as car headlights, lamps etc. A halo may appear around lights
  • Poor night vision
  • Double / multiple vision
  • Rapid eye prescription changes

Although most cataracts are related to aging, there are other types of cataract:

  • Secondary cataract. Cataracts may develop after surgery for other eye conditions, such as glaucoma; occur when there is an underlying disease such as diabetes; or may be due to steroid use.
  • Traumatic cataract. As name suggests a cataract may develop after injury.
  • Congenital cataract. Present at birth.
  • Radiation cataract.  Exposure to some types of radiation may cause cataracts to develop.

Our specialists conduct a comprehensive eye exam to confirm cataract diagnosis.

Early stage cataracts can be treated with a new eyeglass prescription, brighter lighting, anti-glare sunglasses, or magnifying lenses. As cataracts progress, surgery may be recommended to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a new artificial lens.

Generally, delaying cataract surgery will not be detrimental to eye health although patient safety is kept in mind.  Conducting daily activities, such as driving (or even walking!) with impaired vision carries far greater risk than surgery. Cataract surgeries that need to be performed on both eyes are usually done separately with about 1-4 weeks between surgeries.

Cataract removal is considered to be one of the safest and most effective types of surgery with high satisfaction reported by patients.