Cataracts are a condition that clouds the lens of the eye, and one of the leading causes of blindness. The lens of the eye is what allows light to be focused on the retina to ensure good vision. With age, this lens becomes cloudy and, like having smudges on your glasses, the images you see become blurry. This cloudy lens is referred to as a cataract. Besides normal aging, cataracts can be caused by an injury to the eye or genetics.
Symptoms of Cataracts
The progression of cataracts is slow and gradual. When they begin, most people don’t even notice the slight loss in vision. Early signs can be very subtle. You could have blurry vision and think that it is just the result of aging. Individuals can actually lose a lot of their sight before they begin noticing the symptoms. In some cases, patients only notice a difference after having the cataracts surgically removed from their eyes; they hadn’t realized how bad their vision had become.
The symptoms of cataracts include blurred vision, a decrease in object and color sharpness, and glares and halos around certain objects, especially at night. These glares are especially noticeable with oncoming headlights in the darkness, and this can cause problems when driving at night.
The good news is that ophthalmologists can diagnose cataracts before patients even know there is a problem. This is why it is so important to have an annual eye checkup, especially for individuals 55 years and older. Having your eyes examined by an ophthalmologist is necessary to diagnose and treat this condition before the symptoms get worse and result in permanent blindness.
Initially, prescription glasses can help with cataracts. Surgery is seen as the last resort. Despite that, cataract surgery is one of the most common surgical procedures in the United States. Three million Americans have this surgery performed every year. In addition to being one of the most common surgeries, it is also one of the most successful operations performed.
Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure that is performed to restore vision in the lens. In the past, patients were put to sleep or placed under anesthesia using a needle to the eye. Technology has improved a great deal and eye drop anesthesia is now more commonly used.
Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure performed by Farooq Ashraf, MD, FACS. The procedure takes less than 30 minutes to perform, and patients are able to return home within about an hour of having surgery. Dr. Ashraf performs what is known as laser refractive cataract surgery using highly-advanced, state-of-the-art laser technology. The LensX Femosecond laser that is used was designed with improved accuracy and precision to break up the cataract and replace the eye lens with an artificial lens. Using this advanced technology, there is no need to cut the eye with blades anymore. Instead, with laser precision, those undergoing the procedure get even better results.
For more information on Cataract Surgery by the Atlanta Vision Institute, visit http://cataractsatlanta.com/.