Cataracts

What is a Cataract?

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A cataract is a slow, progressive clouding of the eye’s natural lens. It interferes with light passing through the eye to the retina. Cataracts are caused by a change in the proteins of the eye, which causes clouding or discoloration of the lens. Over time cataracts typically result in blurred or fuzzy vision and sensitivity to light.

People with progressed cataracts often describe the sensation as looking through a piece of wax paper. A cataract may make light from the sun or a lamp seem too bright, causing glare. Colors may not appear as bright as they once did, however, most cataracts develop so slowly that people usually don’t realize that their color vision has markedly deteriorated. Oncoming headlights may cause uncomfortable glare at night, making driving more difficult. There is a myth that cataracts have to ripen, before they can be removed. This was true before about 1930, when the surgical technique to remove cataracts was quite primitive and the surgical outcome was essentially awful, even in uncomplicated cases. Patients essentially had to be blind from their cataract before surgery, so they could appreciate the poor vision that their very thick glasses provided afterward. These days, when the average cataract patient usually sees better after surgery than his peers who may have minimal cataract, we wait until the patient finds that the cataract is interfering in his lifestyle. Patients have cataract surgery because they are having difficulty seeing the golf ball, or reading the financial pages, or have difficulty driving at night. The most common response on the day after surgery is, When can I have the other eye done? and Why did I wait so long?

Causes of Cataracts

  1. Getting Older – Age is a major cause of developing cataracts.
  2. Birth defect like abnormal conditions in the eyes of unborn babies
  3. Environmental factors such as disease, toxic chemicals, medications
  4. Accidents or Injuries
  5. Exposure to ultraviolet light
  6. Cigarette Smoking
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Cataract Surgery is available in Hamden, Connecticut at the Eye Center. If you feel like you may be experiencing a developing cataract please make sure to contact one our staff immediately to discuss cataract surgery and the NEW lens implant options. WE offer the latest no-stitch cataract surgery and NEW multifocal IOL lens implants that can reduce your need for glasses after surgery.

Types of Cataracts

Nuclear Cataracts:

These are by far the most common type of cataract. The cells that your eyes’ lenses shed throughout your lifetime can’t be lost into the air. Instead, they gather in the center, or nucleus, of the lens. This causes the lens to thicken and yellow, creating an opaque cloudiness that steadily worsens over time

Posterior Subcapsular Cataracts:

This type of cataract forms beneath the lens capsule, a small membrane that holds the lens in place. They can develop rapidly and worsen significantly within a matter of months. People taking high doses of steroid medications have a greater risk of developing this type of cataract.

Cortical Cataracts:

This type of cataract develops in the lens cortex, the outside edge of the lens. Changes in the water content of the lens fibers create fissures that look like the spokes of a wheel growing in from the edge of your eye. As the cataract develops, white streaks grow toward the center of the lens and scatter light that passes through to the retina.