A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye. For people who have cataracts, seeing through a cloudy lens is much like looking through a frosty glass or a fogged-up window.
Other symptoms of cataracts include sensitivity to light and glares, seeing “halos” around lights, frequent eyeglass or contact prescription changes, fading or yellowing of colors and doubled vision in one eye. Clouded vision caused by cataracts can make it difficult to read, drive a car at night or see the expression on a loved one’s face.
Cataracts usually occur as part of the natural aging process and develop slowly over a number of years. Others are related to inherited genetic disorders that cause other health problems, increasing the risk of developing cataracts. Cataracts can also be caused by medical conditions such a diabetes, trauma or past eye surgery. Additional factors that may increase your risk of cataracts include: drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, exposure to ionizing radiation, high blood pressure, excessive exposure to sunlight, prolonged use of corticosteroid medications and smoking.
Illinois Eye Center (IEC) doctors will work with you to help you decide when cataract surgery is needed. Cataract surgery is a simple procedure to regain very good vision. You may want to consider surgery if your cataracts have progressed to the point of seriously impairing your vision, and as a result, affecting your daily life. More than 3 million Americans undergo cataract eye surgery a year – this makes it the most frequently performed surgery in the United States!
Cataract eye surgery is typically done on an outpatient basis. During your surgery, your clouded lens is removed and replaced with a clear plastic intraocular lens or IOLs. After a short stay in the outpatient recovery area, you’ll be good to go – but plan on having someone else drive you home!
IEC offers the most advanced IOL choices available to our cataract patients, providing the best overall visual results. In addition, IEC uses the latest technology to assess each patient’s cataracts in order to help determine the best IOL to fit their lifestyle, needs and personality. Contact Illinois Eye Center, at (309) 243-2400 or visit our website for more information on cataract eye surgery.