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Cataract Exam & Treatments in Conifer

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Cataracts Can Be Diagnosed, Treated, and Removed

Most cataracts are related to aging. By age 80, more than half of Americans will have cataracts or have had cataract removal surgery. Cataract surgery is one of the most common procedures performed in the United States today.

Need help managing your cataracts? Please, book an appointment with our team today!

What Are Cataracts

A cataract forms when the lens of your eye becomes cloudy. They can form in anyone and can begin to develop in people in their 40s and 50s; however, they are significantly more common in people age 60 and up.

There are risk factors that can influence cataract development. These include diabetes, smoking/alcohol use, and prolonged exposure to sunlight and UV radiation.

Cataract surgery is a safe and relatively routine procedure, with a postoperative success rate of 98%. If you want to discuss cataract treatment, please visit us for an eye exam so we can assess your eyes.

Symptoms of Cataracts

Cataracts often develop without pain. Symptoms include:

  • Cloudy, blurry, hazy vision
  • Faded or washed-out colors
  • Difficulty seeing certain colors, like dark blue and purple
  • Impaired night vision
  • Glare from light sources, such as headlights or table lamps

Diagnosing Cataracts

During a comprehensive eye exam, we will perform several tests that can indicate the development of a cataract, including:

  • Visual acuity test: This test measures how well your eyes see at various distances.
  • Tonometry: This test measures internal eye pressure.
  • Dilated eye exam: With pupil dilation, this test enables us to fully examine your retinas and optic nerve.

Treating Cataracts

The treatment for cataracts depends on the level of development. If caught early, your cataracts can likely be treated with new eyeglasses or corrective lenses with anti-glare technology.

When the cataract starts interfering with your daily activities, such as your ability to drive or read, surgical removal becomes an option.

There are two types of cataract surgery (explained below). During our testing, we will determine which is appropriate for you, and then provide a referral to an ophthalmologist.

If both eyes have cataracts and require surgery, they will be done individually approximately eight weeks apart.

Information about Cataract Removal Surgery

There are two types of cataract surgery:

  • Phacoemulsification: Often referred to simply as “phaco” surgery. In this procedure, a small incision is made on the side of the cornea. A tiny probe is then inserted into the eye, emitting ultrasound waves that break up the lens. The lens is then removed via suction.
  • Extracapsular: In this procedure, a larger incision in the cornea is made so that the cloudy lens can be removed in one piece.

In both versions of the procedure, an intraocular lens (IOL) is inserted to replace the natural lens. You will not feel or see the new lens; it functions the same as your old lens.

Approximately one week before your surgery, we will measure the curve of the cornea and the size and shape of your eye. This tells us which IOL will work best for you.

On the day of your surgery, your eye will again be dilated and washed. An anesthetic will be used to numb the eye and surrounding tissues. Most people are awake during surgery, though you can be put to sleep for a short time if necessary. The surgery itself will take around an hour.

After surgery, you will be given an eye patch. You are generally safe to go home the same day, though you will need to arrange transportation as you will not be able to drive.

You may experience some side effects, such as light sensitivity and fluid discharge. After a few days, most discomfort from surgery will be gone. Antibiotic eye drops will be prescribed to reduce the risk of infection; you will need to wear an eye shield or eyeglasses to protect the eye. You may take about eight weeks to heal.

We will meet with you during the recovery period to examine the eye and ensure that everything is healing as it should be.

Although problems after surgery are rare, they can include infection, bleeding, inflammation (pain, redness, swelling), loss of vision, double vision, and high or low eye pressure.

With prompt medical attention, these complications can usually be treated successfully. Please visit us if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms.

Cataracts typically present with two main sets of symptoms:

  • Clumps of protein reduce the amount of light reaching the retina. In this case, the clumped protein gradually reduces visual acuity in the affected eye. Most cataracts are of this nature.
  • The lens tints a yellow or brownish color. This can be hard to notice, though it will begin to have a meaningful impact on your vision over time. It can make it difficult to read or discern colors.

The eye’s lens is composed primarily of water and protein. The protein is arranged in such a way that the lens is clear. Over time, protein clumps together. This begins to have a noticeable impact on your vision, creating cloudy or blurry spots.

UV radiation has been shown to also influence the development of cataracts. Protecting your eyes with UV-blocking lenses, found in most eyeglasses and sunglasses, is an effective way to minimize UV exposure.

Of course, the most significant cause of cataracts is aging.

Get Help Managing Your Cataracts

Even though cataracts can impair your vision, we can help find meaningful strategies for you to manage them. Please, book your appointment today!

Our Location

Visit our award-winning location today! You can find our practice right on Main Street, next to Safeway. We offer ample free parking with accessibility options for our patients.

Our Address

Suite 220, 27122 Main Street
Conifer, CO 80433


Phone: (720) 410-5325


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