Millions of Americans are expected to have to deal with cataracts at some point in their lives. This common problem can slowly degrade vision but, with appropriate care, can be corrected. This is great news! All you need to do is recognize when it is time to have cataract removal surgery, and how to discover which approach is best suited to your needs. That’s where we come in. Dr. Murrell has been providing personalized ophthalmologic care to patients in the Amarillo area for more than 30 years. When you visit our office, you can expect to receive a thorough examination and full information regarding your treatment options.
Cataracts: What They Are and how to Spot Them
Cataracts develop on the natural lens of the eye when individual protein cells clump together. When this happens, the lens becomes cloudy. Once proteins begin to accumulate, cloudiness progressively worsens. Without lens replacement, clouding can completely obstruct vision. Fortunately, vision can be restored with a simple in-office procedure that takes less than half an hour.
One of the telltale signs of a cataract in one or both eyes is blurred cloudy vision. People who wear eyeglasses or contacts may notice that their prescription changes frequently. Halos or glares may appear around light sources, and light sensitivity may occur. Finally, the vibrancy of colors may appear diminished, and night vision may decline. Symptoms like these serve as an alert that a comprehensive eye exam is needed.
Cataract Removal can Include Vision Correction
Cataract surgery is performed to remove the clouded lens and insert a new lens in its place. The new lens sits within a pocket of tissue and does not feel any different than the natural lens. In many cases, cataract removal surgery also corrects vision. The way this is accomplished is by implanting a corrective lens in place of the natural lens that has become clouded.
Recent advances in ophthalmology have made it possible to greatly reduce a person’s need for corrective eyeglasses after cataract removal. For example, multifocal intraocular lenses allow for near vision and tasks like reading, as well as distance vision and tasks like driving. Another option for vision correction is available with Toric intraocular lenses. This premium lens may be appropriate for patients with astigmatism.
Cataracts are not usually considered a serious eye condition, but they can put a serious damper on quality of life. Therefore, treatment should be obtained as soon as enjoyable activities or safe driving are diminished by poor vision.