What are Cataracts?
Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss in the world. Studies have shown that about 10% of all Americans suffer from cataracts. The number drastically rises with age, 70% of Americans over the age of 75 suffer from cataracts. Despite the high number of people with cataracts, advances in technology have made cataract surgery one of the most successful surgical procedures in the world. Cataract surgery restores vision to patients and allows them to return to activities that may have been put on hold. With over one million cataract surgeries performed each year in the United States, cataract surgery has become the most common surgical procedure in the world.
The eye normally has a clear lens that is located just behind the pupil. A cataract occurs when the natural lens in the eye becomes cloudy. This usually occurs with age and becomes visually significant around age 60.
The lens is responsible for focusing light on the retina. When a cataract is present the amount of light that reaches the retina is diminished. As the cataract worsens, less and less light reaches the retina which causes the vision to become worse. Depending on the size of the cataract, the clouding effect may have either a small or great impact on the vision.
What is the cause of Cataracts?
Cataracts are usually age related and often affect people’s vision. A patient may have a cataract in each eye but the cataracts may develop at different paces. A cataract often is very slow in developing and the brain has time to process the reduction in vision. Thus, some patients may not even be aware that they suffer from a cataracts. On the other hand, some patients have a noticeable cataract and cannot see well enough to perform activities of daily living such as driving, golfing, or reading.
Cataracts are typically related to aging but there are also other kinds of cataracts. Congenital cataracts are present at birth. An injury to the head or the eye may cause a traumatic cataract. Secondary cataracts may be the result of systemic problems such as diabetes, another eye disease, or medications such as steroids.
What is the treatment for Cataracts?
The only treatment option available for a cataract is surgery. Surgery becomes necessary once the cataract starts to interfere with normal daily activities. There is no way to eliminate a cataract once it has developed in the eye. Once the cataract has become developed enough to be visually significant, it will require surgery. Your eye doctor will determine when surgery is best for you. The surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure, and is generally completed in about 15 minutes. The vast majority of patients will notice immediate results following their cataract removal.
What is the Recovery Process?
Patients are typically concerned about the cataract surgery recovery process. Dr. Gregg Feinerman provides the best quality care and thoroughly explains what you can expect after cataract surgery. Recovery from cataract surgery is generally very quick. Most patients obtain better vision within the first 24 hours of the procedure. Although people generally experience little to no discomfort, itching and mild discomfort can occur and are also normal after cataract surgery. Some tearing is also common. Your eye may be a little sensitive to light and touch for a few days after surgery. If you have any significant discomfort, you should notify your doctor. After one or two days, any moderate discomfort should disappear.
For a few days after surgery, your doctor may ask you to use eye drops to help healing and decrease the risk of infection. Ask your cataract eye doctor about how to use your eye drops, how often to use them, and what effects they can have. You will need to wear an eye shield or eyeglasses to help protect your eye. Avoid rubbing or pressing on your eye.
Choosing Your Cataract Surgeon
Selecting an Orange cataract surgeon can be difficult if you are not properly educated about cataracts, cataract surgery and advancements in the new technology. We hope that our educational ophthalmology website has provided an easy to understand outlook on the state of cataract surgery. Although cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed medical procedures it is highly suggested that you carefully select an Orange County cataract surgeon with a high level of experience who is using the latest techniques and technologies.