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Skip Navigation Links Home > Procedures & Services > Cataract Options > Understanding Cataracts

Understanding Cataracts

Examples of a Cataract
Vision with
  Vision after
cataract procedure
Examples of a Cataract
Night vision with cataracts

A cataract is not a growth or film but the clouding over the focusing lens of the eye which is located just behind the pupil. Once the focusing lens begins to cloud, there is no way to make it clear again, nor any technique to arrest its progress. The cataract progressively limits a person's ability to do even simple things - reading street signs, driving at night, reading, stepping off curbs or steps, or performing other activities of an independent life-style.

The most common cause of cataracts is aging. Other causes include: trauma, medications such as steroids, systemic diseases such as diabetes, prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light and smoking.

Cataract Surgery
To restore vision that has been lost or impaired by a cataract, the cloudy lens must be removed. But once removed, it must be replaced since it is the focusing lens of the eye. Cataract Surgery is generally a brief outpatient procedure with little discomfort, and usually only requires a short period of twilight anesthesia to keep the patient comfortable during surgery.

Surgery involves making a tine incision in the eye. Through this small, self-sealing incision, your Key-Whitman surgeon will gently emulsify the cataract and remove the small fragments. Once the cataract is removed, a clear lens will be inserted through the same opening and set into position to restore the eye's focusing ability. New advances in lens design now give many of our patients the choice to see near and far without complete dependence on glasses.

After Cataract Surgery
You will remain in our fully accredited surgery center for only a few hours. Eye drops previously prescribed by your eye doctor will be used after surgery to prevent the risk of infection and help your eye to heal. Your doctor will discuss other limitations and special instructions to follow after surgery.

Several months after surgery, clouding or haziness will be experienced afain because of a condition called Posterior Capsular Haze or PC Haze. After surgery, cells begin to grow on the membrane which is left intact in order to hold te new lens implant. We treat this condition with a YAG laser to create an opening in the back of the capsule. This is a quick and painless treatment and usually only needs to be performed once in each eye after surgery.

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