More Information About Cataracts
Most people over age 50 will eventually develop cataracts. Marked by the clouding and discolouring of the eye’s lens, cataracts cause vision impairment that cannot be corrected by glasses or contact lenses.
What Causes Cataracts? Like macular degeneration, the exact reason cataracts begin to form is still unknown. However, studies have shown that certain lifestyle factors (such as drinking, smoking, and diet) can influence the development of cataracts. Diabetes also greatly increases the probability of cataracts forming.
The eye’s lens is essentially made of water and protein. The protein is arranged in a special way that allows light to pass through it. As we age, these proteins can start to clump together; when proteins clump together, the lens gets cloudy. This process creates a cataract.
Signs & Symptoms of Cataracts – Cataracts are completely painless. The first signs of their formation are usually due the impacts on vision. These include:
- Blurry, hazy vision
- Glare and halos around lights, especially at night
- Worsening corrective lens prescription
- Decreased night vision
- Colours seem faded and washed out
Types of Cataracts – There are three common types of cataracts:
- Subcapsular cataract – These cataracts form at the back of the lens and are more common in people living with diabetes or using steroidal medications.
- Nuclear cataract – These cataracts form in the nucleus, the central part of the eye’s lens. These cataracts are the most common and are associated with aging.
- Cortical cataract – These cataracts form around the edge of the lens, working inwards.
An Overview of Cataract Removal Surgery – Once we have determined your candidacy for surgery we will refer you to a local Ophthalmologist (who will perform the surgery).
Together, we will select a new intraocular lens (IOL) to replace your natural lens. The IOL is used in place of the natural lens and is not seen or felt once inserted. Different types of IOL’s are available for different needs.
When surgery begins, the eye is numbed so that no pain is felt. The surgeon then uses radio waves to break up the natural lens, which is removed via suction and disposed of. The IOL is inserted in its place.
The surgery is quite fast, with the procedure itself taking between 10 and 20 minutes. Recovery is also quite quick, with discomfort largely minimized via eye drops and topical medications.