June is Cataract Awareness Month

Everyone has heard of cataracts, but what, exactly, are they?

They’re a clouding of the lens inside the eye. They’re detected during a normal eye exam and are somewhat common with adults over the age of 40 (and increasing as we age). As they are so common and tend to progress slowly, your eyecare physician should monitor their progression as you grow older.

One of the first symptoms of a cataract can be glare, especially when looking into lights at night. They may appear as haze, but actually they represent a loss of clarity of vision or loss of sharp perception of images. It’s hard to remember what good vision is like compared with gradual acuity loss that occurs with a cataract. This is especially true when cataracts develop in both eyes at the same rate — there’s no good standard of comparison in this case.

Cataracts can be successfully treated in about 98% of cases. In fact, cataract surgery is the most commonly-performed surgery in the United States with an average age for cataract surgery of 73 to 75 years old. During surgery, a small incision is made, a tiny instrument is inserted to break up and remove the lens, then a intraocular lens is replaced in the eye.

There is now the technology to even insert a lens that has progressive properties. When this type of lens is used, the patient often does not have to wear corrective eyeglasses — the bifocal corrective lenses are actually integrated into the prosthetic lens in your eye!

The surgery is normally not painful and takes 20 minutes or less to perform. Recovery begins immediately, but you must have someone to drive you home from the surgical center. You’ll be given a pair of sunglasses to wear when you leave — wear them even if it is not sunny out.

You’ll also have a protective shield placed over your eye after the procedure. Your physician will give you instructions on the recovery process and answer any questions you may have.

Interested in learning more about cataracts and corrective surgery? Contact Dr. Frank or Dr. Marczewski at Spex Expressions at (81) 758-1039 or by visiting www.SpexExpressions.com/cataracts.

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