Cataracts are the leading cause of visual loss in adults age 55 and older and the leading cause of blindness worldwide. By age 65, about half of the human population has a cataract, and by age 75, almost everyone has a cataract. However, cataracts are highly treatable, and through advances in both cataract surgery and intraocular lenses (IOLs), more people are experiencing full restoration of their vision than ever before.
What are Cataracts and what causes them?
A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens inside the eye. A variety of factors cause acquired cataracts. Exposure to ultraviolet light and the normal process over time of the lens becoming less resilient, less transparent, and thicker can all contribute to the formation of cataracts. Toxins, such as chronic use of corticosteroids, can cause cataracts. Secondary causes, such as eye surgeries, chronic inflammation, and some types of glaucoma and extreme nearsightedness ( high myopia) can also cause cataracts to develop. When vision loss progresses to the point where it affects your daily life and/or safety, surgery to remove the lens will likely be necessary. In situations where a cataract is in combination with one or more diseases or conditions, surgery may be recommended even if your vision is only mildly impaired. This could happen if your cataract is interfering with the examination or treatment of other parts of your eye.
Cataract surgery is a simple operation where a surgeon removes the eye’s clouded natural lens and replaces it with an artificial, intraocular lens (IOL). The entire procedure is generally done on an outpatient basis and usually lasts between 15 and 30 minutes. Patients may experience little to no pain and can usually return to their normal activities the following day.
Advanced Technology Lenses
Today, for people who have cataracts, there is a procedure to remove the clouded natural lens of the eye and replace it with an advanced, artificial multi-focal lens that will provide excellent vision at all distances, under all lighting conditions, both day and night. What is even better is that this multi-focal lens has helped thousands of people gain independence from glasses for the first time.
The traditional replacement lens implanted during cataract surgery clears the vision, but cannot correct astigmatism. Before now, individuals with this condition were required to either wear corrective eyewear or need additional surgery to reduce blurring and distortion. With the Toric lens it is possible to reduce or eliminate corneal astigmatism and significantly improve uncorrected distance vision. The Toric lens provides quality distance vision, independent of eyeglasses and contact lenses.