Cataracts

A Natural Effect of Aging

Cataract Diagram

The eye’s natural crystalline lens helps us focus on people and things at varying distances. Unfortunately, as we grow older this lens often stiffens and hardens, and without its youthful suppleness it loses its ability to focus, creating vision problems. This condition — for most, a natural consequence of aging — is called presbyopia.

TO THE RIGHT is an example of Normal Vision versus Cataract Impaired Vision

As we age, these changes occurring to the natural crystalline lens can lead to the development of cataracts, or a loss in clarity of the lens.

Since the lens is no longer as flexible or as clear as it used to be, the eye can’t focus light properly, causing the following symptoms:

  • Cloudy or blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Poor night vision
  • Fading color
  • Frequent changes in glasses prescription

By age 65, many of us will develop a cataract.

Normal Vision
Cataract Impaired Vision

Improving Your Vision

Developing a cataract doesn’t mean a permanent loss of vision quality, or having to give up the things you love, because cataract surgery is a safe, effective way to improve your vision. Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed surgery in the United States, with well over 2 million Americans having the procedure every year. Usually performed on an out-patient basis, cataract surgery is microsurgery, whereby the natural lens is removed and replaced with what is called an intraocular lens (IOL). The procedure is highly successful and most people regain very good distance vision.