What are cataracts?
A cataract is a clouding-up of the normally clear lens of the eye that can have a significant effect on a person's ability to see. Cataracts occur when the proteins in the lens of the eye begin to “clump up,” preventing light from reaching the sensitive retina where images are transmitted to the brain. Cataracts can occur in one or both eyes.
What causes cataracts?
The most common cause of cataracts is age. In fact, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that half of all people over 80 years of age will have at least one cataract. Other causes include:
- steroid medications
Some cataracts may be present at birth, occurring as a result of an infection in the mother during pregnancy. Cataracts can also occur in children as a result of some metabolic diseases.
How is cataract removal performed?
Cataracts are removed through tiny incisions made in the eye after the eye has been numbed. A special device emits sound waves that gently break up the cloudy lens and remove it using suction. Once the lens is removed, an intraocular lens (IOL) is implanted to serve as a replacement for the eye's natural lens. When both eyes have cataracts, only one eye will be treated at a time.
What is recovery like?
After surgery, a patch will be placed on your eye and you'll remain in recovery for a little while for monitoring. You'll need someone to drive you home. You may have some itching or mild discomfort for a few days, and you'll need to use special eye drops to prevent infection. During the initial stages of healing, you'll also need to avoid bending over and lifting heavy objects, which can increase pressure in the eye. Complete healing usually occurs within about two months.
We Can Take Care of Your Cataracts
Do not let cataracts continue to affect the quality of your vision. You can schedule a consultation at our practice online or call us directly at (310) 340-6925 to learn more about your treatment options.