Getting Clear About Cataracts

Cataracts are caused due to an aging problem and will occur in just about everyone either in your 60’s or 70’s.

Although its a familiar term, the true meaning of cataracts may seem a bit mysterious. A deeper look into this common vision problem can make choosing a treatment option crystal clear.

Just as a magnifying glass helps to focus light onto a surface, the lens of the eye directs light onto the retina to help make vision possible. In both systems, the lens or the magnifier should be crystal-clear in order for the process of light transmission to function properly. Unlike inert glass, however, the lens of the eye is part of a living person and subject like the rest of the body to metabolic wear and tear.

Although it does not always occur, eyes often accumulate by-products of metabolism or environmental assaults over time. This can lead to an irreversible ‘fogging’ of the lens that eventually blocks vision completely. This clouding of vision is what is known as cataracts. Although the process usually begins after age 50, the lenses are cloudy at birth in some cases or damaged by certain chemicals or other injuries later in life. Whatever the source of the damage, cataracts is the leading cause of blindness worldwide.

Clear Cut Cataracts Treatments

Although the process causing cataracts is irreversible, the condition is entirely treatable. Due to the relatively slow progression of the condition, corrective eyeglasses or contacts may be sufficient treatment for early stages of cataracts. As cataracts progresses, however, additional treatment is required.

Cataracts that have advanced sufficiently to interfere with activities of daily living should be treated with a new intraocular lens (IOL). Just as replacing a damaged windshield can return a car to drivable condition, replacement of the “native” eye lens with a new IOL restores vision. Several types of IOL are available to help meet the individual needs of each patient. Similar to the way in which eyeglasses are designed to correct for astigmatism or include bifocal lens, IOLs are available to adapt to the specific corrective vision needs of each eye.

Placement of a new IOL is a quick procedure with lasting benefits. While the eye requires a few weeks to heal completely, vision is restored in as little as 24 hours. During those first days and weeks, some medicated eye drops and follow-up eye exams will be necessary but should not interfere with a rapid return to normal activities.

Choosing a Cataract Treatment Specialist

While no medical procedure is without its potential risks, the benefits of restored vision make cataract treatment with an IOL a worthwhile consideration. This life-changing procedure, the standard of care for cataract treatment across the globe, is available in the Atlanta metro area from the experienced practitioners at the Atlanta Vision Cataract & Laser Center.

Author
Dr. Leonard Achiron

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