Cataracts are one of the most common eye diseases, but cataract myths abound. For instance, many people assume that cataracts only affect the elderly. The truth is that cataracts can start developing in your mid-to-late thirties. The only way to diagnose cataracts is through a comprehensive eye exam.
What is a cataract?
The eye’s natural lens is normally clear. A cataract is a cloudy area that forms as crystallin proteins break down and clump together. Some people say that cataract vision is like looking through a foggy or dusty window.
Cataract signs and symptoms include:
- Hazy, blurry, or double vision.
- Colors appearing faded or yellowish.
- Extra light sensitivity.
- Needing more light when reading.
- Decreased night vision.
Who gets cataracts?
Age-related cataracts can happen to anybody. However, they tend to run in families. Lifestyle factors including smoking and excessive sun exposure also accelerate cataract development. Having diabetes or high blood pressure are other cataract risk factors.
While wearing sunglasses and quitting smoking can help slow cataract development, the only actual cure is surgery. During this procedure, the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens called an IOL, or intraocular lens.
There are different types of IOLs and each has its own benefits. Our ophthalmologist and eye surgeon, Dennis Matzkin M.D., can help you decide which type of lens is best for you.
“The range of advanced implants has increased steadily over the years,” said Dr. Matzkin. “There are implants for ‘normal eyes’ to enable full range of vision, including driving at night, watching TV, golfing, swimming, reading fine print, and more. There are also implants with extended depth of focus for patients who have other conditions—such as dry eyes or macular degeneration—and implants for those who want better vision at night.”
- Standard monofocal lenses improve vision at one distance. People with this IOL usually see clearly far off but use reading glasses for clarity up close.
- Toric IOLs have built-in astigmatism correction.
- Multifocal lenses are like bifocal or trifocal eyeglasses, providing clear vision at multiple distances.
The PanOptix lens is Dr. Matzkin’s preferred type of lens for lens replacement surgery. An innovative tri-focal intraocular implant, PanOptix allows you to see clearly up close, intermediately and far away. Of all the lens options for cataract surgery, the PanOptix lens most closely replicates a natural lens’ focal ability. In most cases, it does the job so well that recipients are able to give up wearing glasses entirely. Click here to read more detailed information about PanOptix lenses.
Do you have more questions about cataracts? Call or text (423) 855-8522 and make a consultation appointment today. Please read our COVID-19 protocol to learn how our professional and friendly staff is committed to keeping you safe!