Cataract Symptoms and Causes

September 4, 2011 — by Dr. Zimmer
Tags: Cataracts Cataract Surgery

Since the eye is one of the most complicated parts of the body, it should come as no surprise that there are plenty of eye problems that people may face. Some may be as simple as refractive errors, which can easily be dealt with using Pittsburgh LASIK surgery or some sort of refractive surgery alternative. There are other problems with the eyes that may be more complex and require different sorts of surgical solutions.

One such eye health problem that affects many people is cataracts. Many people older than 40 will start to develop cataracts. By age 80, roughly half off the American population will have had cataracts. Let’s take a moment right now to look at some of the basics where cataracts are concerned, including causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention.

What are cataracts?

Cataracts affect the lens of the eye rather than its other structures. When a person develops a cataract, what happens is that the proteins within the clear lens of the eye begin to build up. This leads to poor vision over time.

Cataract Symptoms

There are several symptoms of cataracts that people should be aware of. First and foremost, there is the clouding of the lens of the eye, which is quite noticeable. The lens of the eye will appear milky or white when a cataract is present. In addition, patients will notice that their vision is poorer. This could mean blurriness or haziness, but it can also mean poor night vision, increased glare, or poor color detection.

During a consultation, our team of LASIK surgeons, ophthalmologists, and eye care specialists will be sure to evaluate your situation to ensure you do have a cataract rather than some other eye problem.

The Causes of Cataracts

Age is one of the most common causes of cataracts. As you noted from the statistic above, increased age means increased chance of a cataract forming. Other causes of cataracts include:

  • Too much ultraviolet radiation exposure
  • Diabetes
  • Certain medications for various health conditions
  • Obesity and morbid obesity
  • Trauma or injury to the eye


Treatments for Cataracts

The best treatment for cataracts is Pittsburgh cataract surgery. During cataract surgery, the clouded lens of the eye is removed. The old lens is then replaced with a new artificial lens. This artificial lens may be one of many kinds of artificial lenses, which we’ll be able to discuss in more detail if you require surgery.

Recovery After Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is relatively safe, but it’s important that you follow post-operative instructions closely to ensure that you experience no complications. In general, we recommend that you wear sunglasses and avoid direct sunlight in the first few weeks after surgery. It’s also important to keep the area around your eyes clean during this period and to avoid any heavy lifting as that can build pressure in the eye area and affect your healing.

Cataract Prevention

There are many ways to prevent cataracts. One of the most important is to avoid those harmful UV rays. Be sure to wear sunglasses if you’re out and about, and a hat with a good brim is helpful as well. Stay healthy in general since poor health can contribute to cataracts. Wear eye protection if you’re doing any activities that may be potentially harmful to your eyes as wel.

If you would like more info on cataracts and cataract treatment, contact our Cranberry Township LASIK and eye care center today.