What is a Cataract?

Cataract Surgery Payson, Utah

What is a Cataract? A cataract is a common eye condition where the lens of the eye becomes cloudy, leading to a decrease in vision. It is most commonly associated with aging and is therefore most prevalent among the elderly. The lens of the eye is naturally transparent, but with age or due to other factors, it can lose its clarity. This process is similar to an egg white turning cloudy as it is whisked or cooked. Early cataracts can often be detected in a patients 50’s, but are more commonly removed in a patient’s 70’s.

Causes of Cataracts The formation of cataracts can be attributed to several factors:

  1. Aging: The most common cause of cataracts is aging. As the eye ages, some of the protein in the lens may clump together and start to cloud a small area of the lens.
  2. Medical conditions: Certain conditions, such as diabetes, can increase the risk of developing cataracts.
  3. Injury: Physical trauma to the eye can also lead to cataract formation.
  4. Lifestyle factors: Smoking and excessive exposure to sunlight can accelerate cataract formation.
  5. Genetics: In some cases, children can be born with cataracts or develop them in childhood, often due to genetic reasons.

Symptoms of Cataracts The symptoms of cataracts can vary depending on the type of cataract, but common signs include:

  • Blurred or dim vision.
  • Increased difficulty with vision at night.
  • Sensitivity to light and glare.
  • Seeing “halos” around lights.
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription.
  • Fading or yellowing of colors.

Treatment Options The only effective treatment for a cataract is surgery, which is recommended when the impairment to vision affects daily activities. Cataract surgery is a simple, generally safe procedure where the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with a clear, artificial lens. This surgery is one of the most common and successful medical procedures performed today.

Cataracts are a leading cause of vision loss among the elderly but can be effectively managed with early detection and treatment. Regular eye examinations can help detect cataracts and other eye problems at their onset, leading to quicker and more effective management.

This understanding highlights the importance of eye health maintenance and timely medical consultation for the preservation of vision, particularly in later life. Regular check-ups can catch cataracts early, potentially simplifying treatment and improving outcomes.

If you are over 55 let us evaluate your cataracts. Call us at the Orchard Eye Center at 801-658-5486

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