Cataracts Information | Eye Health
What is a cataract?
A cataract is an opacity (cloudiness) which occurs in the lens of the eye. The lens is a natural tissue within the eye that is responsible for focusing light onto the retina. Normally, we are born with crystal clear lenses. Over time, the lens turns yellow due to the natural aging process. This yellowing of the lens helps to protect the retina by filtering harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. In some people, however, the lens becomes excessively cloudy and can impair vision. This can occur at any age. If we live long enough, we will all eventually develop cataracts.
Are Cataracts a Disease? What Causes Cataracts to Form?
Most cataracts occur naturally with age. They are usually not due to disease. People with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, will tend to develop cataracts at a younger age. Cataracts have also been found to occur earlier in people who are exposed to the sun and in smokers. There are also several medications that have been shown to cause the development of cataracts to occur at an earlier age.
What Can be Done for Cataracts?
At Eye Mart Family Vision Care, we discuss how the cataract is affecting your vision and your lifestyle before we make a recommendation. If a cataract has impaired your vision to the point that you are not able to do things that you would like, such as driving or reading, we will often recommend no- stitch small incision cataract surgery.
In certain instances, we may recommend removing the cataract even if it does not bother you. For instance, if the cataract is too cloudy for the doctor to see the back of your eye, we may recommend that you have cataract surgery so that your eye can be properly examined. Occasionally, a cataract may cause glaucoma, a sight-threatening eye disease, and removing the cataract may be necessary in order to prevent damage to the eye from glaucoma.