- Painless cloudy, blurry or dim vision
- More difficulty seeing at night or in low light
- Sensitivity to light and glare
- Seeing halos around lights
- Faded or yellowed colors
- The need for brighter light for reading and other activities
- Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
- Double vision within one eye
The lens is made mostly of water and protein. As we age, the lens continues to grow layers on its surface and hardens. Protein in the lens may clump together and become cloudy in some areas, preventing light from passing clearly through the eye. This cloudiness of the lens is what we call a cataract.
Less common types of cataracts, not related to normal aging cause as a result of different diseases like diabetes, some medications, congenital factors and eye injury.
The only way to know for certain if you have cataracts is to have a dilated eye exam (where your pupil is widened with eye drops). Your ophthalmologist can detect early signs of cataract development by looking at your eye's lens. You should have an eye exam every year if you're older than 65, or every two years if younger.
Before surgery, the length of your eye and the curve of your cornea will be measured. These measurements help your Eye Surgeon select the proper lens implant for your eye. To reduce the risk of infection from surgery, your ophthalmologist may prescribe antibiotic eyedrops for you to use one or two days before surgery.
The most common procedure used for removing cataracts is called phacoemulsification. A small incision is made on the side of the cornea (the front part of your eye), where your surgeon inserts a tiny instrument that uses high-frequency ultrasound to break up the center of the cloudy lens and carefully suction it out.
After the cloudy lens has been removed, the surgeon will replace it with an intraocular lens (IOL) implant made of plastic, silicone or acrylic. This new, clear lens allows light to pass through and focus properly on the retina. The IOL becomes a permanent part of your eye.
Following your surgery, it is very important to put the eye drops exactly as prescribed by your ophthalmologist to promote healing. You will also need to take care to protect your eye by wearing the eye shield whenever you sleep, and by wearing special wraparound sunglasses in bright light. Be sure not to rub your eye.
During the first week of your recovery, you must avoid strenuous activity such as exercise or bending and heavy lifting. You will also need to avoid getting any water, dirt or dust in your eye, which can lead to infection.
You may have some blurry vision a few days to weeks after surgery procedure.