5 Things To Know About Cataract Surgery

by May 9, 2023

As we get older, our eyesight may begin to decline, and we may develop cataracts, a common condition affecting millions of people worldwide. Cataracts form in the crystalline lens and begin to cloud the lens in the eye. As cataracts progress symptoms may begin to develop such as blurry vision, glare, or halos at night. Cataract treatment is usually to have the lens removed with cataract surgery.


What are Cataracts?

A cataract is a cloudy area that forms in the crystalline lens of the eye. The lens is a transparent structure that focuses light onto the retina, allowing us to see clearly.

When a cataract forms, it prevents light from passing through the lens and reaching the retina, causing vision problems.

Even a small or early cataract may have some impact on vision and lead to symptoms if it is in the line of sight.


Causes of Cataracts

Cataracts can develop for several reasons, including age, other conditions, or environmental factors.

The majority of cataracts are age-related, and the risk of developing them increases as you get older. Nearly everyone over the age of sixty has some degree of cataract formation – whether there are symptoms present or not.

Certain conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or previous eye surgery can cause the formation of cataracts. More rare conditions such as Wilson’s disease and Duchenne muscular dystrophy can also lead to cataracts in young individuals.

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation, smoking, and alcohol consumption can contribute to the formation of cataracts. Often these factors contribute to earlier-than-expected cataracts.

Symptoms of Cataracts

A cataract will impact many aspects of vision and can lead to blurred vision overall, especially at night. A cataract can also reflect and refract light in the eye and lead to glare or starbursts with lights.

Glare at night is a common complaint of those with the beginnings of a cataract.

Another complaint with more advanced cataracts is the changing of color perception – colors may seem muted, dull, or more yellow than before.


Cataract Treatment Options

The treatment for cataracts is typically surgery. The surgeon removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with an intraocular lens (IOL).

With this surgery, the cloudy lens is removed and the symptoms it caused are eliminated.

The new lens is clear and can be selected in the best power possible to give excellent vision after the surgery – often without needing glasses.


Preventing Cataract Formation

Although cataracts cannot be entirely prevented, some steps can reduce the risk of developing them. These preventative measures include limiting UV exposure, removing known risk factors, and having a healthy overall diet.

The biggest source of UV light is the sun. Therefore, it is important to wear a hat with brim, sunglasses, or other protection when you will outside to reduce the amount of UV exposure to the eyes.

Both tobacco and alcohol have been shown to increase the risk of developing cataracts. Stopping smoking and limiting alcohol consumption can help prevent cataracts.

Like other parts of the body, the lens relies on nutrients from the diet to sustain itself and prevent diseases. Having a well-rounded, healthy diet helps to keep the eyes, and lenses, as healthy as possible.


Our eye doctors at Wilmington Family Eye Care in Wilmington, DE excel in the prescription of glasses, contact lenses and the diagnosis of a variety of eye diseases. Call our optometrists at 302-299-1286 or schedule an eye exam appointment online if you would like to learn more about cataract treatment. Our eye doctors, Drs. Daniel Baruffi, Amy Quan, Patricia Jones, and Joseph Goldberg provide the highest quality optometry services and eye exams in Wilmington, Delaware and its surrounding areas.

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