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Developing Cataracts | Long Island Eye Doctor

Developing Cataracts
Meghan Schiffer, OD

A common concern for our patients is the development of cataracts.

A cataract is the clouding of the lens inside the eyeball. The most common type of cataract develops slowly over time. Given enough time, each and every one of us will develop a cataract. Other types of cataracts caused by trauma, the use of certain medications, or diabetes can develop more quickly and begin to affect vision at an earlier age. Some people are even born with cataracts, but these may or may not affect vision at all.

How can you tell if cataracts are affecting your vision?

One of the most common symptoms noticed by patients with cataracts is glare or halos around lights, especially at night. You’ll know if cataracts are affecting your vision when you cannot see things clearly even with an updated pair of glasses. Some patients’ near sighted prescriptions get much worse when developing a cataract.

So, what is involved in cataract surgery?

The removal of a cataract is performed on an outpatient basis by an ophthalmologist. Two very small incisions are made in the cornea in order to break up the cloudy lens and remove it. The natural lens is then replaced by an artificial lens which includes a prescription specifically for your eye. The surgery itself can be as quick as 10-15 minutes for non-complicated cases, and the recovery is relatively quick and painless.

Pre- and post-operative exams are often completed in your primary care optometrist’s office. It is normal to notice a slight blurriness in your vision while your eye heals. You and your surgeon will decide whether a reading prescription can be incorporated into the artificial intraocular lens. A low powered spectacle prescription for distance is sometimes needed and can be prescribed by your optometrist about one month after surgery.

While all surgeries have risks, cataract surgery has become a very common and relatively safe procedure. If cataracts are beginning to affect your vision, but you’re not yet ready for surgery, READ MORE HERE.

Dr. Meghan Schiffer

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