Cataract Symptoms

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Cataracts – Common and Treatable

Roughly a million and a half people have cataract surgery every year, and many times those people have cataracts in one or both eyes. Alarming? Not at all. Cataracts are not a disease. They’re not cancerous or contagious. Nor can they cause irreversible blindness. A cataract is simply a clouding or discoloration of the eye’s natural lens. As we age, the lens can grow thicker and less flexible, proteins build up inside, and clarity diminishes, causing cataracts.

Symptoms and Signs of a Cataract

Have you noticed more blurring in your vision, even with your glasses on? Or, are you having trouble driving a night? Have you been squinting at the television just to read last night’s scores? You may be developing cataracts.

 

Most people begin developing cataracts during middle age, but don’t notice any physical signs until they’re older. There aren’t usually any physical indications of early cataracts, but symptoms include: 

 

  • Blurred (but painless) vision from glare
  • Seeing starbursts and/or halos
  • Sensitivity to light and worsening night vision
  • Needing more light to read
  • Yellowing of colors, especially blacks, browns and dark blues 

 

Cataracts develop differently in individuals and even between the two eyes. Most cataracts are associated with ultraviolet exposure and the natural aging process and gradually get worse over a period of many years. In some cases, especially in younger people and those with diabetes, cataracts may progress rapidly over just a few months.

 

  • Women thinking about cataract eye surgery

    Did You Know?

    By age 75, about 70 percent of all people will have cataracts. As our eyes age, the natural lenses become thicker, less flexible and less transparent. Cloudiness develops as protein in the lenses begins to clump together.

  • Young female patient looking into machine cataracts screening.

    CATARACT SURGERY: TRADITIONAL VS LASER

  • Cataracts Eye Specialist Dr. Michael A Cassell - Sabates Eye Centers

    Cataract Eye Specialist

    Michael A. Cassell,  M.D.  Dr. Cassell sees patients at the Independence, Leawood, Olathe and St. Joseph Eye Centers plus at the Truman Medical Centers - University Health and Lakewood.

For emergency or time sensitive appointments, call 913-261-2020
or 1-800-742-0020 (toll free).

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  • Examples: cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration.
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Sabates EYE CENTERS Cataract Specialty Group

Diagnosis of Cataract

Cataracts can only be diagnosed in a thorough, dilated eye exam by an ophthalmologist. He or she can detect the presence and extent of the cataract, as well as any other condition that may be causing blurred vision or visual disturbances.

Treatment of Cataracts

Depending on how cataracts affect your vision and lifestyle, cataract surgery should be considered, especially since there are no medications, devices or other treatments that control cataracts or restore vision. There’s no waiting for cataracts to be “ripe” for surgery anymore, but it should only be performed if cataracts are interfering with common daily activities. You and your ophthalmologist can decide when it’s the appropriate time.

Cataract Eye Surgery Options

Cataract removal is one of the most common surgical procedures in all of medicine. Our Cataract Specialty Group has performed thousands of them – and taught many other doctors how.

Traditional Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery involves removing the cloudy natural lens from the eye. We perform this delicate, painless surgery using a surgical microscope and microsurgical techniques that delicately break up the cataract into tiny pieces and then safely remove them from inside the eye. In most cases, the focusing power of the natural lens is restored by replacing it with a permanent intraocular lens implant (IOL).

LenSx Cataract Surgery

Think of LenSx as LASIK for cataracts. The procedure is the same, but the surgeon performs the first three steps using a femtosecond laser to:

  • Open the clear, cellophane-like capsule that wraps the eye’s natural lens
  • Soften and break up the cloudy, cataract-affected lens (fragmentation)
  • Prepare the cornea for the replacement lens

Thanks to three-dimensional mapping of the eyes, the LenSx laser is applied in the most precise and accurate manner possible.

Cataract Surgery and Recovery

Both procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, under local and sometimes topical anesthesia, in around three to five hours start to finish. Improved vision results in more than 95 percent of cases. As with any surgery, 20/20 vision cannot be guaranteed, but the odds are great of having a very good end result.

 

Click hear for more information about - advanced cataract surgery.

FAQ About Cataracts

Q. How do I know if my cataracts are interfering with my vision?

A. If you see halos or starbursts around lights at night, or if you find it more difficult to drive at night, these are telltale signs.

  

Q. Do cataracts damage my eyes?

AWhile cataracts diminish your vision, in most cases they will not cause any harm to your eyes unless they have completely advanced to a difficult stage.

  

Q. Am I asleep during cataract surgery?

A. No, but your eye is! A local and sometimes topical anesthesia is applied to the region of the eye prior to the procedure.

 

Q. How do my eyes stay still during surgery?

A. We simply ask you to focus on a light we place above your eye. It’s easy!

  

Q. Can my cataracts be removed with a laser?

A. The LenSx technology at our Leawood location makes laser surgery possible for cataracts in many but not all patients.