Cataract surgery is typically performed in an outpatient setting, such as St. Lucy’s Outpatient Eye Surgery Center. Cataract removal is one of the most common surgical procedures in the United States. It is estimated that over 3.5 million cataract removal operations are performed each year.
Did you know that age-related cataracts are extremely common? A normal part of life, almost every person will develop cataracts at some stage. In fact, the majority of people will develop cataracts as they age. It is said that by the year 2020 more than 30 million American people will have cataracts and experience the blurring and distorted vision that comes along with it.
Many people are aware of the term, but do they know what exactly a cataract is or the symptoms that go along with it? With cataracts, vision can slowly become distorted over time. This gradual vision impairment can often go unnoticed for long periods. Cataracts can continue to progress at this pace until a person is blind. Thankfully, cataracts are very treatable and impaired vision can be restored due to modern medical advances.
The term cataract derives just as many words in the English language have, from Greek and Latin roots. The term comes from the Greek and Latin word for “waterfall.” It is believed that this term came about because the clouding of a person’s eye with cataracts resembled water flowing in one’s eyes. Those with untreated cataracts will experience blurred or distorted vision as well as faded colors. As the cataract progresses, these symptoms worsen and can lead to blindness. Although cataracts are associated with the typical signs of aging, they can also result from trauma, sun exposure or disease. The best way to understand the cause of cataracts is to examine the way that the eyes work. To do this, we must examine the parts of the eye, especially the lens and eyeball. The lens is comprised primarily of water and protein. The protein is distributed such a way that light can pass through it without being distorted.
When we age, the eye changes and the protein starts to separate and clump together. This creates a buildup that is difficult to see through; this will begin to affect a person’s vision as the buildup hardens. The lens will begin to thicken and it begins to become less transparent and pliable. This may only affect a small area of the eye at first, but within a matter of time that spot will increase and eventually cover the entire lens of the eye. The vision impairment experienced by a person with cataracts is because the light is scattered through the lens so that it cannot translate sharp images to the retina.
Not all cataracts are the same. There are classifications of cataracts that are determined based on location on a person’s lens. There are three primary types of cataracts nuclear, cortical and subcapsular. Other types which are not a result of aging include congenital and traumatic cataracts.
There is a lot of information available on the internet. The best facts about cataracts come from ophthalmologists with education, training, and experience in cataract surgery. Community Eye Center’s cataract surgeons have collectively performed thousands of successful cataract removal surgeries.
When it is time for cataract surgery, choosing the right eye surgeon and eye surgery center is a big decision. It can make the difference in outcomes. Community Eye Center’s cataract surgeons are dedicated and knowledgeable. CEC’s St. Lucy’s Outpatient Surgery Center is the only outpatient eye surgery center in Charlotte County with national accreditation from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.
- Painless cloudy, dim, blurred vision
- More difficulty seeing at night or in low light
- Sensitivity to light and glare
- Seeing halos around lights
- Faded or yellowed colors
- The need for brighter light for reading and other activities
- Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescriptions
- Double vision within one eye