A cataract is a clouding of the crystalline lens of the eye and is part of the natural aging process. The function of the crystalline lens is similar to the lens of a camera, adjusting its focusing power to see at all distances. The opacification of the lens obstructs light entering the eye from being properly focused on the retina at the back of the eye. Cataracts also cause this light to be scattered, resulting not only in a decrease in vision, but also complaints of glare and halos around lights. Often times these symptoms are more pronounced at night, for example, having trouble or feeling unsafe when driving at night.
The most common cause of cataracts is age, but some cataracts are accelerated due to side effects from drugs, traumatic incidents, or exposure to radiation or ultraviolet light. There are a number of medical conditions that also cause cataracts to occur earlier on in life than typically expected. Although there are several different classifications of cataracts, all treatment options are the same. Vision may be able to be improved with the use of visual aids, a magnifying device, or even a new prescription for glasses. If the cataract is severe enough, and your vision is significantly affecting your daily routine, cataract surgery may be warranted.
To have the status of your cataracts evaluated, or to determine if you are a candidate for cataract surgery, contact our office to set up an appointment.