Cataract by Definition

Cataract - As light passes through the cataractous lens, it is diffused or scattered. The result is blurred or defocused vision.

Simply put, a cataract is a "clouding" of the lens in your eye. The lens, located just behind the iris, or the colored part of your eye, works like the lens of a camera. It picks up images, then focuses the lights, colors, and shapes on the retina - the transmitter located at the back of your eye that sends the images to your brain.

The human lens, made mostly of protein and water, can become clouded--so clouded it keeps light and images from reaching the retina. Eye injury, certain diseases, or even some medications can cause the clouding. But, in over 90% of cases, clouding is caused by the aging process.

A cataract can be the reason sharp images become blurred, or seeing things at night is more difficult. It may also be why the eyeglasses or contact lenses that used to help you read, or do other simple tasks, no longer seem to help.

What a Cataract Is Not

A cataract is not a "film" over the eye, and neither diet nor lasers will make it go away. The best way to treat a cataract is to remove the old, clouded lens and provide a replacement.

One of the Safest & Most Successful Procedures Performed Today

Great advances have been made in cataract surgery. Millions of people undergo this vision-improving procedure every year. And, they experience excellent results.

For patients, it's a simple operation. A tiny incision is made in the eye. Through this incision, the surgeon inserts an instrument, about the size of a pen tip. The surgeon uses an ultrasonic instrument that breaks up and gently removes your cloudy lens.

Once the clouded lens has been removed, the next step is to replace it. That is, to implant an artificial lens that will do the work of your own lens. This artificial lens is referred to as an intraocular lens or IOL.

How will it feel?

Instrument breaking up and removing pieces of clouded lens.

Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure. You'll spend just a few hours at the Surgery Center. Because your eyes will be treated with anesthetic, you should feel little to no discomfort.

After the surgery, you'll be given a short time to rest. Then, the very same day, you can go home. Within the next 24 hours, Dr. Shultz or Dr. Chang will want to see you for an evaluation. Drops will be prescribed to guard against infection and help your eyes heal. For a few days, you may need to wear a clear shield.

The Miracle of Cataract Surgery

When your cataract has been removed it may seem like a miracle. All the things you couldn't see clearly are bright, clear, and vivid again. In fact, many people will tell you they haven't seen life so clearly in years.

Once you see how good the world looks, you'll be so glad -- like millions of others just like you -- that a cataract is one thing you can live without.

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks. You and Dr. Shultz or Dr. Chang should consider the potential risks and benefits, and determine if cataract surgery is right for you.

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