The fact is, cataracts are relatively common.Cataract removal is widely listed as the number 1 surgical procedures performed in the United States today, with approximately 3 million Americans a year undergoing cataract surgery. Fortunately, cataract treatment has come a long way in the past 20 years.
A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye. Contrary to popular belief, a cataract does not form outside the eye, but rather on the intraocular lens – inside the eye. A cataract prevents light from passing through the lens correctly, making vision blurry, and increasing the amount of glare visible at night.
For adults aged 55 and up, cataracts are the world’s leading cause of blindness. Fortunately, in the U.S. we have developed processes and procedures that help detect, monitor and treat cataracts from an early stage. This allows our eye surgeons to better care for cataract patients. The advances in cataract care also allow cataract patients to maintain a level of control over their treatment options.
How Does Cataract Screening Work?
A cataract screening test involves an ophthalmologist who can perform a comprehensive eye examination. Diagnosing a cataract is more involved than simply visually seeing a clouding of the eye.
There are many aspects that play into the diagnosis and treatment of a cataract – many of which are listed here:
Medical and Health History
- Patient’s health and that of their family
- Medications – both non-prescription and prescription drugs being taken
- History of diabetes, high blood pressure, sun exposure, smoking and other factors
History of Vision Issues
- Current visual health / recent changes in vision
- Family history of eye diseases (macular degeneration, glaucoma, etc.)
- Any previous eye injuries or surgeries
Current Vision Acuity
- Distance vision – sharpness and clarity
- Vision testing with different lenses (i.e. eyeglass exam)
- Peripheral vision acuity
Overall Evaluation of Eye Health
- External exam of eyes and lenses using special equipment such as a slit lamp
- Dialated eye exam (or fundus) using an opthalmoscope (recommended every 2 years for individuals over 40 unless there is a history of glaucoma, then it is every year)
- Eye fluid pressure tests with the eye (aqueous humor)
When Should I Get Cataract Surgery?
With today’s modern cataract monitoring techniques, your ophthalmologist can track the progress of your cataract to help you decide when the time is right to remove it surgically.
Cataract surgery involves replacing the affected lens with an intraocular lens. The surgery is simple and relatively inexpensive, and has a tremendous success rate.
Westchester Eye Surgeons have been diagnosing and treating cataracts for patients in and around Chicago for well over 20 years. We offer a tremendous range of expertise in eye health issues, and utilize only the most advanced and safest surgical techniques and equipment.Leave a reply →