Cataracts

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.

A cataract is like a cloud, over the lens of the eye. This clouding affects vision, making normal activities, such as driving a car, reading a newspaper or seeing people’s faces, increasingly difficult. Gradually, as cataracts progress, patients may experience symptoms such as:
  • 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
As cataracts advance over time, clouding of the lens and vision problems worsen. Sight becomes severely limited. If progression of cataracts affects a person to the point of interfering with daily activities, cataract surgery becomes necessary. With cataract surgery, the cloudy lens goes through a process during which it must clump together. Then, it is broken into small pieces and gently removed from the eye. An artificial lens is inserted in the place of the natural lens.
Age-related cataracts are the most common form of the condition. Although, other types of cataracts may develop during different stages of life. For example, the condition can even be brought on by an eye injury. As a person ages, risk factors in eye health increase.Woman getting eyes checked for cataracts Comprehensive medical eye exams become even more critical as a person ages. Risk of cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration as well as other eye conditions becomes more prevalent with age. Early diagnosis and intervention of these diseases can often prevent vision loss or blindness. The best way to stay on top of eye health and to diagnose cataracts is through comprehensive medical eye exams. A healthy adult should receive a comprehensive eye exam on an annual basis, with more frequent visits depending on the risk of or presence and severity of ocular disease. During a comprehensive eye exam, doctors examine every part of the eye. Part of the mission of Community Eye Center is to adequately inform patients about their eye condition(s) and the appropriate alternatives to preserve a lifetime of good vision.
People who have cataract surgery often report clearer vision within hours. Within days, most people resume their normal day-to-day activities. Patients with pre-existing medical conditions, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and corneal problems, may find it takes a little longer to see clearly. The clouded lens may be removed and replaced with a premium lens that provides vision correction. Premium artificial lenses are available at Community Eye Center. These replacement lens options may relieve a patient’s dependency on glasses after surgery. During cataract surgery consultation, Community Eye Center’s ophthalmologists will present patients with facts about replacement lenses. With these facts, the patient can decide which lens choice is best for his or her individual needs.
It is not necessary to travel for superior eye care. Community Eye Center’s St. Lucy’s Outpatient Surgery Center offers exceptional delivery of care, specialized exclusively in eye care. Community Eye Center van for transportation to get cataract surgeryWhen outpatient eye surgery, treatment or another procedure is required, Community Eye Center knows that coordinating transportation for oneself or a loved one can be complicated. Community Eye Center offers complimentary local transportation for patients in need.

Dr Joseph W Spadafora, DO

Board Certified Ophthalmologist & Medical Director

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Dr Eric R Schaible, MD, FACS

Board Certified Ophthalmologist & Cataract & Anterior Segment Specialist

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Dr Eric A Liss, MD

Board Certified Ophthalmologist

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Call 941-625-1325 Or Book Your Appointment Online.

More Information

Although cataract removal is short, common and regarded as a safe procedure, many still have questions.