Cataracts

One of many conditions treated by specialists at The Krieger Eye Institute, a cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye.

The lens, located behind the iris, helps to focus light or an image on the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. When a cataract forms, it becomes difficult for light to pass through the lens to the retina, and so vision becomes blurred. Cataracts usually develop with aging, but they occasionally occur in young children. Possible causes include:

  • Eye injuries and certain diseases (such as diabetes)
  • Unprotected exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light
  • Smoking
  • Certain medications (including corticosteroids and phenothiazine-related drugs)
  • Previous eye surgery

With age-related cataracts, changes in vision tend to be gradual. In some cases, a new eyeglass prescription may improve vision at least temporarily.

symptoms of cataracts

What are the symptoms of cataracts?

Symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Cloudy or blurry vision
  • Photophobia (light sensitivity)
  • Increased sensitivity to glare from lights
  • Frequent eyeglass or contact lenses prescription changes
  • Double vision in one eye
  • Need for brighter light to read
  • Poor night vision
  • Reduced intensity of colors (bright colors appearing faded or yellow)

A thorough examination by your ophthalmologist can detect the presence and degree of cataract, as well as any other conditions that may be causing blurred vision or discomfort.


How are cataracts treated?

Cataract SurgeryCataract treatment is based on the severity of the visual impairment.

Symptoms of early cataract may be improved with new eyeglasses, anti-glare coatings on eyeglass lenses, and the usage of brighter lighting while reading. However, when cataracts progress to the point that they interfere with your ability to do normal, everyday activities, surgery may be the only effective treatment. Some medical studies have linked eye-friendly nutrients such as lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc to a reduced risk of certain eye diseases, including cataracts. However, no medications, dietary supplements, exercises or optical devices have definitively been shown to prevent or cure cataracts.

 

 

Advances in cataract surgery

Cataract surgery involves surgically removing the cloudy lens of the eye and replacing it with an artificial lens. During traditional procedures, surgeons inject a local anesthetic into the tissue around the eye and make an incision in the white part of the eye; afterwards, patients wear an eye patch for about a day and vision gradually improves.

faster healing At The Krieger Eye Institute, our physicians use an advanced surgical technique called topical clear corneal cataract surgery, which reduces operating and healing times and offers more immediate improvement in vision.

 

Less risk, faster healing

With topical clear corneal cataract surgery, a small incision is made in the cornea (clear part) of the eye, and only drops are required to anesthetize the eye. The cataract is removed and a plastic lens is inserted that unfolds inside the eye. Because the incision is so small, stitches usually are not required. The patient should experience improved vision immediately. As a precaution, the patient may be provided with a protective clear shield for the eye to wear home.

After cataract surgery, you may return almost immediately to all but the most strenuous activities. You will use eye drops as your ophthalmologist directs. Several postoperative visits may be needed to monitor the eye as it heals.

Cataract surgery is a highly successful procedure. The risk of any serious complications from the surgery is extremely low.


is cataract surgery right for you?

Is cataract surgery right for you?

Every case is different, but most cataract patients can benefit from surgery.





The Krieger Eye Institute brings a special perspective to your vision

Our physicians at The Krieger Eye Institute have specialized training and experience in ophthalmology as well as other areas. They work together to cover all aspects of eye treatment, using the most advanced technology to provide compassionate, high-quality care with the goal of helping patients achieve the best possible outcomes.

For appointments and more information, call 410-601-2020.