Got some “cadillacs” in your eyes?
In this particular episode of Ask an Eye Doc, you will learn:
- What cataracts are
- What you can do about it
This episode will make more sense if you’ve already listened to:
- episode 4 – about presbyopia
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For you readers out there, here’s the answer in written form:
In episode 4, we discussed how your focusing lenses slowly harden over time and starts to affect your vision from ages 40 through 65. Once you hit age 65, you’re probably a decade away from having cataract surgery.
So what are cataracts?
Well, it’s a clouding of the focusing lens. From Age 65 to age 75, the lens not only becomes more hardened, but it starts to become more opaque until it’s so cloudy you can’t see through it anymore. It’s sort of like looking out of a dirty window.
The bad news about cataracts is that it always leads to blindness. In fact, cataracts are the leading cause of blindness, accounting for 51% of all blindness worldwide.
The good news
The good news is there is a simple surgery that can be performed that restores the vision once a cataract has matured. This is the most common outpatient surgery performed in the US. The cataract is broken up and removed, and a lens implant is put in its place.
The great thing about the lens implant is that the surgeon can choose what prescription the implant will be. In a way, this is like refractive surgery (LASIK) where you and the surgeon can decide what your final prescription will be after cataract surgery.
With today’s technology, likely no complications will occur and you’ll be able to see clearly after the surgery.
So now you know. A cataract is a cloudy lens.
If your optometrist has diagnosed you with cataracts, you can either wait until it gets really bad, or you can be proactive and have a consultation with a cataract surgeon. Ask your optometrist for a recommendation.