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Treatment for Cataracts
A cataract is an abnormal accumulation of proteins clouding the lens of your eye. The lens is responsible for directing incoming light to the retina at the back of your eye. Unless the lens can clearly "see" light reflected off objects in your visual field, the retina is unable to send understandable image signals to your optic nerve and brain. When cataracts become thick enough, clouding of your vision occurs because light entering the eye is blocked or distorted. Since early to middle stage cataracts typically do not cause symptoms, the only way to know if you have cataracts is to have your eye doctor exam your eyes at least once a year. In addition, cataracts remain invisible until they thicken and interfere noticeably with your vision.
How Do Eye Doctors Treat Cataracts?
Some people with cataracts never need to have their cataracts removed because they never cause vision impairment. Others will need to have them removed surgically. Cataract treatment is a minimally invasive, commonly performed procedure involving your eye surgeon removing the old lens and cataracts and replacing the old lens with synthetic intraocular lens. Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure requiring no hospital stay. Recovery time is around 24 to 48 hours.
Silicone or acrylic intraocular lenses are coated with special materials to protect your eyes from the sun's ultraviolet rays, a primary reason for cataract development. Three kinds of IOLs are available: monofocal, multifocal and accommodative. Monofocal intraocular lenses offer a single focusing distance while multifocal IOLs provide near and distance focusing powers for people with refractive errors. Accommodative IOLs change shape or move within the eye to permit focusing at various distances. If you have astigmatism, you might consider astigmatic intraocular lenses to correct or reduce the severity of astigmatism. Your eye doctor will recommend the type of intraocular lens best suited to your vision needs during your pre-surgery exam and consultation.
Over 95 percent of people undergoing cataract removal and intraocular lens replacement enjoy fully restored vision. If your old lens is replaced with a multifocal lens or accommodative lens, your vision may even improve beyond what your past visual abilities.
If you are suffering from cloudy, blurry vision and haven't had an eye exam lately, please call our office today at 408-739-6200 to schedule an appointment with an optometrist.