What is a cataract?
It is clouding of the natural lens inside the eye. The clouding causes the
vision to be blurred or
Why do they develop?
It is normally the result of the normal aging process. However, they can be
caused by exposure to
prolonged ultraviolet radiation, diabetes mellitus, inflammation inside the eye
How can I tell if I have a cataract?
While some cataracts are mild and cause no symptoms, most eventually cause
fogging or dimming of vision. Only your eye doctor can
tell you if you have a cataract. Call your doctor if you notice changes in
vision in either eye.
How can you prevent cataracts?
Most cataracts occur with age and cannot be avoided. It is important to
carefully follow medical advice regarding diabetes or other medical
problems. There is some suggestion that protecting your eyes from bright
sunlight and ultraviolet light may also be helpful.
Can a cataract be "dissolved" by eye drops or other medication?
No medications or eye drops exist that have been proven to "dissolve" or remove
Does a cataract cause pain?
A cataract causes no pain, infection, redness or discomfort unless it is
"mature." A cataract affects the eye by causing
dimming or fogging of vision or requiring a change in glasses prescription.
Does use of the eyes cause cataracts?
Using your eyes will not cause cataracts to form, and keeping your eyes closed
will not prevent cataracts.
How do I know if I need cataract surgery?
If your vision is foggy and blurred due to a cataract, cannot be improved with
new glasses, and you can no longer
see well enough for your normal activities, you may want to have cataract
surgery. Your doctor can discuss with you the
chances for good vision with cataract surgery and can explain what complications
are possible. You will then be able to make
your own decision about the surgery.
Can cataract surgery always restore normal vision?
Cataract surgery will usually result in improved vision. However, some eyes
will have other problems and cataract surgery may
either not help or help only a little bit. Your doctor can usually tell if
cataract surgery will improve your vision and can
advise you what to expect.
How is glaucoma different from a cataract?
Glaucoma is a disease that results in damage to the optic nerve from a high
pressure in the eye. Glaucoma usually has few
symptoms, except in the late stages. Only by periodic eye examinations can one
be certain one does not have glaucoma.
Sometimes glaucoma and cataract can occur together in the same eye. Your doctor
can tell you if this is the case for
you and what can be done about it. Remember, both conditions can be treated,
whether they occur separately or together.
Is cataract surgery done with lasers?
Cataract surgery is not performed with a laser. YAG laser treatment is
sometimes used after cataract surgery
to make a hole in the back capsule of the lens if it has become cloudy. Your
doctor will advise you if this is
Can cataract surgery be performed if there is glaucoma?
If the vision is blurred from cataracts, cataract surgery can still restore
good vision even if the eye
also has glaucoma. Sometimes the type of cataract surgery must be modified
slightly if glaucoma is present.
If a cataract is small, should I have surgery?
Cataract surgery should be considered when the cataract interferes with vision.
If a cataract does not significantly
interfere with normal vision, surgery is not yet needed.
Will a cataract injure the eye?
A cataract will not injure the health of the eye unless it becomes completely
white. This is called a "mature"
cataract and is very rare.
Can my body reject a lens implant?
There have been rare cases in which the eye does not tolerate the lens implant
but these are very unusual.
Will the lens implant ever have to be removed, replaced, or cleaned?
The lens implant is designed to last for the rest of your life. It does not
need to be removed and cleaned.
The lens will only be removed, replaced or adjusted in position if it causes any
injury or severe inflammation
in the eye or if it becomes severely dislocated. This is very rare.