What Is a Cataract?
Cataracts are any cloudiness of the eye’s natural lens that causes you blurry or defocused vision. They are a natural part of aging and can play a role to your health and vision. Cataracts are seen most often in adults 55 and older, but they can occur earlier. Early cataracts can be present for years and only cause minor vision problems. However, cataracts can evolve quickly, and it is difficult to predict when they will begin causing major problems or require surgery. The good news is they can be successfully treated with cataract surgery.
Cataract surgery involves the removal of your cataract by taking out your natural lens and replacing it with your choice of artificial intraocular lens (IOL). With modern day techniques and instrumentation, this surgery has become very successful over the years. The decision to have cataract surgery is solely based on how much trouble cataracts are causing you in day-to-day vision activities such as reading, driving at night and enjoying the beautiful outside scenery.
Main Causes and Symptoms of Cataracts
The main cause for this eye condition is the changes in your lens induced by age. Other common causes may include medication, genetics, diabetes, eye trauma and previous eye surgery. You will know if you have cataracts if you experience deterioration in the quality of your vision.
How We Diagnosis Cataracts
Cataracts are diagnosed during a comprehensive dilated optometric or ophthalmologic eye examination offered at our practice, and it involve several steps. These include:
- Medical History — Our team will ask questions about your health conditions and medications.
- Eye Tests — We can see how much vision loss you have experienced by using an eye chart and performing a retraction. This will help us update your prescription and identify any need for a change of glasses.
- Eye Inspection— Graf will use a microscope to examine the front structures of the eye, including the clarity of the cornea and lenses. This will help him decide if your vision is likely to be improved by removing the cataract. If cataract surgery seems warranted, measurements for the lens implant will be taken.
- Discussion — If cataracts are present, Dr. Graf can discuss your options with you in our clinic. If your vision is still performing well and your activities are not limited, a decision may be made to wait before removing the cataract.
Cataract Surgery and Intraocular Lens Options
When you are considering cataract surgery, there are many intraocular lens options to choose from.
The most standard type helps you to focus just at one distance and requires wearing glasses. These lenses have been studied for several years and have provided excellent vision for our patients.
If you are looking for an option that helps reduce astigmatism and avoid the need of glasses, toric IOLs may be the right choice for you. We will discuss both these options at the time of your cataract evaluation in St. George, Utah.
To book an appointment to see if you suffer from cataracts, call Graf Medical Eye Care at 435-634-0420 to schedule a consultation with our skilled optometric physician , Dr. Jeffery Graf OD FAAO.