What is a cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision. Most cataracts are related to aging. Cataracts are very common in older people. By age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery.
What are the symptoms of a cataract?
Common symptoms of a cataract include:
- Gradual, painless onset of blurry, filmy, or fuzzy vision
- Poor central vision
- Frequent changes in eyeglass prescription
- Changes in color vision
- Increased glare from lights, especially oncoming headlights when driving at night
- “Second sight” improvement in near vision (no longer needing reading glasses), but a decrease in distance vision
- Poor vision in sunlight
- Presence of a milky whiteness in the pupil as the cataract progresses.
How do we treat a cataract?
The symptoms of early cataract may be improved with new eyeglasses, brighter lighting, anti-glare sunglasses, or magnifying lenses. If these measures do not help, surgery is the only effective treatment. Surgery involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens. If you feel that your vision is changing, it’s best to have it evaluated by your SMO ophthalmologist or optometrist. Cataract surgery is the most frequently performed surgery in the United States, generally improving vision for over 90% of patients.
SMO offers expert no-shot, no-stitch cataract surgery done locally at Oaklawn Hospital in Marshall and Brookside Surgery Center in Battle Creek. SMO also provides refractive cataract surgery, offering treatment for astigmatism and presbyopia to lessen or eliminate the need for glasses following surgery. With thousands of surgeries performed, you can rest assured your vision is in good hands!