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Are my cataracts ripe?


Elderly woman holding a ripe green apple. Are your cataracts ripe?

According to the WHO, cataracts cause nearly 51% of blindness in the world! That accounts for nearly 20 million people. In the United States, that number is around 5%. As a cataract specialist, I see my fair share of cataracts in the clinic.

So what is a cataract?

A cataract is the natural lens inside of our eye that has started to show signs of aging. This results in a hardening and opacification of the lens. The opacification or clouding of the lens can occur in different ways that affect our vision differently. Here are some of the ways your vision may be affected:

  • Blurry vision
  • Double vision or ghost images
  • Increased glare and sensitivity to light
  • Decreased low-light vision (driving at night or reading in a dimly lit room)
  • Faded colors or colors that are less vivid

If you’ve been diagnosed with cataracts, there is no need to worry. In fact, it’s very likely that you’ve had cataracts for some time but are now just being diagnosed! Some of the risk factors for cataract include:

  • Age: most cataracts begin to develop around the age of 40
  • Chronic medical illness including diabetes
  • Prior eye surgery, radiation or eye trauma
  • Excessive amounts of sun exposure (without sunglasses)
  • Certain medications (mostly steroids)
  • Smoking

Treatment for cataracts involves surgery. Your ophthalmologist will make small incisions in the front of the eye (either by laser or by a blade) and will make a small opening in the surface layer of the cataract. They will then use a tool called a phacoemulsification handpiece that will break up the cataract and remove it from the eye. The ophthalmologist will insert an artificial lens into the eye and place a shield over the eye. We’ll spend more time in another blog post, discussing the day of surgery and what to expect, but those are the basic steps of cataract surgery. You can also learn more by watching our cataract videos.

Who Gets Cataracts?

It’s important to know that nearly everyone gets cataracts. Nowadays, more people than ever before are looking to cataract surgery to help improve their quality of life. While the news of a cataract diagnosis can be concerning, most patients really enjoy the experience and the freedom that cataract surgery can bring after your vision is restored. Cataract surgery is the most rewarding part of my job. I love seeing patient’s reactions after a successful cataract surgery and being a part of that journey.

If you or a family member has cataracts, give us a call! We would love to take care of you!

Are you suffering with the symptoms of cataracts?