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Did You Know: Cataracts

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“Cataracts”, what exactly is a Cataract?

The simple answer is a cataract is a cloudy lens. The lens is a marble-like structure in the middle of our eye, that sits right behind the iris, that helps us to see. When we are young, it is typically really clear, as we age, the proteins inside the lens start to clump together, making it appear cloudy and yellow. Cataracts are always screened for at your eye exam.

Causes of Cataracts:

  1. Age, 90% of people will have cataracts by age 70!
  2.  Certain medications, like steroids
  3.  UV light, if you’ve grown up in a hot country, or love the outdoors!
  4.  Have a family history of cataracts
  5. Smoke
  6.  Have had an eye injury, or eye surgery, or radiation near your eyes
  7.  Congenital cataracts, some babies are born with cataracts

Symptoms of Cataracts:

  1. Blurry vision, like looking through dirty glasses
  2.  Poor night vision, bothered by glare
  3.  Colours appear faded
  4.  Double vision

Treatment of Cataracts:

  1. Sunglasses will help slow the growth of cataracts
  2. Quit smoking
  3. Eat healthy fruits and vegetables (antioxidants will help slow the growth)
  4.  Surgery (which is recommended when the cataract gets too dense)

Cataract Surgery involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with a new artificial lens (also called an intraocular lens or IOL). Technology has made this surgery fast, safe, and relatively pain-free.

I love the comments patients make after their surgery . . . like I can’t believe the dust in my house . . . or I had no idea how many wrinkles my husband had . . .

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