In this country, cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss. For many years, cataract surgery has returned the precious gift of sight to millions of people, allowing them to return to productive, independent lifestyles.

What is a cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye. It can be compared to a window that is frosted or "fogged" with steam.

There are many misconceptions about cataract. It is:

  • Not a film over the eye;
  • Not caused by overusing the eyes;
  • Not a cancer;
  • Not spread from one eye to the other;
  • Not a cause of irreversible blindness.
Common symptoms of cataract include:
  • A painless blurring of vision;
  • Glare, or light sensitivity;
  • Frequent eyeglass prescription changes;
  • Double vision in one eye;
  • Needing brighter light to read;
  • Poor night vision;
  • Fading or yellowing of colors.
The amount and pattern of cloudiness within the lens can vary. If the cloudiness is not near the center of the lens, you may not be aware that a cataract is present.

What causes cataract?
The most common type of cataract is related to aging of the eye. Other causes of cataract include:

  • Family history;
  • Medical problems, such as diabetes;
  • Injury to the eye;
  • Medications, such as steroids;
  • Long-term, unprotected exposure to sunlight;
  • Previous eye surgery.
How is a cataract detected?
A thorough eye examination by your ophthalmologist (medical eye doctor) can detect the detect the presence and extent of a cataract, as well as any other conditions that may be causing blurred vision or discomfort.

There may be other reasons for visual loss in addition to the cataract, particularly problems involving the retina or optic nerve. If these problems are present, perfect vision may not return after cataract removal.

If such conditions are severe, removal of the cataract may not result in any improvement in vision. Your ophthalmologist can tell you how much visual improvement is likely.

More Information
Dr. James Harrison has been performing cataract surgery since 1976 and has been successful in over 99% of his operations. If you would like to know more about no-stitch cataract surgery and how it might benefit you or someone you know, contact Dr. Harrison and his staff at Premier Health. We would be happy to talk to you or speak to a community group about this procedure.

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