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Getting Clear On Cataracts

Are you having trouble with blurring or seeing small print? By Daniel Wee, M.D., Opthalmology, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital

 

Cataracts occur when the eye’s lens clouds over. Over time, it can result in blurred and even loss of vision.  Patients of all ages can have cataracts, but it is most common in people over the age of 60, and not all cataracts have to be surgically removed.  Treatment depends on how much of an impact symptoms have on everyday life.

Typical cataract symptoms include:

  • Glaring and halos at nighttime
  • Decreased color perception
  • Difficulty reading small print on the television
  • Trouble seeing road signs

If cataract symptoms are significant enough to impact your life, talk to your ophthalmologist about surgical options.

Cataract surgery has come a long way over the years. Today, it is performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthetic.  This means that patients don’t have to be fully asleep for the surgery, and they can go home the same day.  While cataract surgery is usually 99% successful, actual visual recovery varies. Most patients experience a near full recovery within days and complete recovery within weeks.

It is important to note that a decrease in vision is not always the result of a cataract. The only way to be sure is to have your eyes examined by an ophthalmologist. He or she will rule out other causes of decreased vision, determine the severity of your cataract (if you have one), and suggest a course of treatment.

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