As we age the lenses in our eyes can begin to cloud, resulting in blurry vision, faded colors, and halos or glare. This phenomenon is the results of cataracts, a type of irreversible damage that can only be corrected with surgery. Cataracts can negatively affect your ability to see clearly and perform everyday tasks, and impact your ability to drive safely.
Who is at Risk?
The most common cause of cataracts is simply aging. Once a person reaches forty, our eyes begin to change and the proteins in the lens can clump and harden, becoming opaque in the process. Beyond the normal aging process, some other common risk factors for cataracts are:
- Previous eye injuries or other surgical procedures near the eyes
- Medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, or obesity
- Certain medications like corticosteroids or cholesterol drugs
- Extended ultraviolet (UV) radiation or other radiation exposure
- Prolonged smoking or alcohol consumption
- Severe myopia (nearsightedness)
Even though cataracts are most frequently caused by age, it is still possible for younger people to develop the condition. The best way to identify early signs of cataracts is to get a yearly comprehensive eye including a full evaluation of the health of the eye, and all structures within. As the symptoms of reduced vision appear gradually, and changes in eyesight can often go unnoticed until they have progressed to a more dangerous phase. Early detection of cataracts is vital to retaining clear vision.
As cataracts are permanent and irreversible, the only treatment option is surgery. After your eye is numbed and stabilized, microscopic incisions are made near the cornea, or the outer layer surrounding the eye. The clouded lens is broken up and extracted using a with gentle aspiration. It is then replaced with a clear lens implant. Lenses of various types are available, including lenses for nearsightedness and farsightedness. Premium intraocular lenses to provide correction for astigmatism as well as extended depth of focus and multifocal lenses to reduce your need for glasses for distance and reading after cataract surgery are also available. Dr. Moore works closely with several leading surgeons in the region and can guide you through the pre-operative process as well as monitor your recovery following surgery.