What is a Cataract?

What is a Cataract?

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens inside of the eye.  Some level of cataract will develop in all of us as we grow older.  At first, a developing cataract may have little or no impact on one’s daily activities.

As a cataract progresses, patients may begin to notice some of the following:

  • Blurred Vision

  • Rings or haloes around point sources of light

  • Difficulty seeing in dim light

  • Glare from oncoming headlights while driving at night

  • Decreased perception of color

Initial treatment for cataract may include close observation or even simply changing glasses.

Doctors typically recommend cataract surgery for a patient who feels that vision has decreased to a level where he or she is unable to comfortably perform normal daily activities.  Examples may include:

  • Diminished ability to read, sew, or knit

  • Inability to see television clearly

  • More difficulty reading signs while driving

  • Patients may limit or stop driving at night due to glare from oncoming traffic

 Fuzzy vs Clear image displays cataract correction

Cary, Chapel Hill Cataracts and Cataract Surgeons

Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed procedures in the United States.  It is a quick, painless procedure that involves the use of specialized equipment to remove the patient’s cloudy lens and replace it with a new clear lens made of synthetic material.

The goal of cataract surgery is to provide clear vision.  Most patients see more clearly one day after surgery and are back to their normal daily activities within three to four days.

Recent technological advances have given surgeons the capability to customize surgical plans for patients undergoing cataract surgery.  Some patients opt to implant advanced technology lenses which have the potential to eliminate the need for glasses following surgery.

Potential lens options include:

  • Standard Monofocal Lens

    • This type of lens will yield clear vision

    • Patients still require glasses (either for reading or bifocal)

  • Toric Lens

    • This is a special lens which can neutralize astigmatism

    • Patients with significant amounts of astigmatism can have clear distance vision following surgery with this type of lens

  • Presbyopia Correcting Lenses

    • May be either a multifocal or accommodative lens

    • Patients selecting this type of lens are able to see both far away and at near without glasses

This is truly an exciting time for providers who perform cataract surgery.  We are able to use the technology available in our state of the art clinic to provide customized results to fit our patient’s needs.

While cataracts are the most common cause of decreased vision in our aging population, there are other eye disorders which can cause visual dysfunction.  If you are experiencing decreased vision, schedule a comprehensive eye examination to rule out other treatable causes. Call 919-595-2000 to schedule an appointment.

Submitted by Brad Novey, M.D.


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