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Cloudy Vision: What Causes Cataracts?

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 20 million Americans ages 40 and over have cataracts. Cataracts typically develop with age, but they can also occur in younger people, infants, and those with certain medical conditions. Kung Eye Center is here to help you better understand cataracts and your treatment options!

What Are Cataracts?

Just like a camera, our eyes have a lens inside that focuses light. As we age, that lens begins to become cloudy and the light can no longer be focused properly. This happens due to proteins that clump together inside the lens as we age. In other words, cataracts are a normal part of aging and happen to mostly everybody! Cataracts usually grow very slowly. Because of this, vision loss is usually very gradual and many people may not even realize that they have cataracts. Typically, patients eventually notice that vision has become hazy, blurry, and even less colorful. As cataracts progress, everyday activities such as reading and driving at night can become increasingly difficult. If left untreated, cataracts can even lead to blindness.

What Are the Causes and Symptoms of Cataracts?

Scientists don’t know the exact cause of cataracts, but risk factors include diabetes, smoking, drug and alcohol use, high blood pressure, obesity, certain medications, eye injuries, and family history. Research also indicates a correlation between cataracts and nutritional deficiencies, such as antioxidants. While the symptoms of cataracts can vary between individuals, primary symptoms typically include:

  • Cloudy, blurry, or dim vision.
  • Changes in color perception and sharpness
  • Sudden development of nearsightedness
  • Difficulty with night vision
  • Increased sensitivity to glare and bright lights
  • Glare or halo around lights
  • Double vision

What Are the Treatment Options for Cataracts?

In the beginning stages of cataracts vision can still be corrected with glasses and contact lenses. As cataracts grow, glasses and contacts become less effective and eventually the cataracts must be removed surgically to restore the vision. Fortunately, cataract surgery is one of the safest, and  most commonly performed outpatient procedures. It usually requires minimal sedation and downtime. Patients requiring cataract surgery can be confident that Kung Eye Center will provide the utmost care and attention.

What Does Cataract Surgery Entail?

Cataract surgery can be performed many ways using multiple technologies, however the general principle is the same in all surgeries. A cloudy cataract is removed and replaced with a clear plastic lens implant. On the day of surgery the patient will have their pupil dilated and will be locally numbed to ensure that they are comfortable throughout the entire procedure. In traditional cataract surgery, all incisions are done completely by hand. Next, an ultrasonic probe is inserted into a small incision to break up and remove cataracts. Finally, a new, artificial intraocular lens (IOL) replaces the previously clouded lens. Depending on the type of artificial lens, the patient may or may not need glasses following the procedure. Complete healing can take several weeks, but most patients can resume usual activities within a few days.

Kung Eye is also proud to offer new state-of-the-art intraocular lens technology in the Light Adjustable Lens. Using cutting edge technology, a quick, and painless, in-office procedure allows adjustments to be made to a patient’s vision after surgery to ensure the best vision possible. Learn more about if you are a good candidate for Light Adjustable lenses here.

Laser Cataract Surgery

Kung Eye Center also offers state-of-the-art laser cataract surgery! By using this computer-guided laser technology, our surgeons can perform a surgery with better precision, less inflammation, and shorter recovery times.

Contact Us

If you are experiencing problems with your vision, Kung Eye Center is here to help. Contact us today at our Staten Island or East Brunswick location to schedule an exam and get more information on your treatment options.

Resources for Our Patients

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