June is "Cataract Awareness Month.” This blog post will discuss the importance of cataract awareness and how you can achieve clear vision today.
A cataract is a clouding and hardening of the eye’s natural lens, which distorts vision, making images blurry and dull. When left untreated, cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in aging adults. They affect the vision of nearly 25.7 million Americans over age 40. Cataracts are a normal part of the aging process, and everybody will develop cataracts at some point in their life.
Some common symptoms of cataracts include:
Blurry or cloudy vision
Poor night vision
Frequent changes to your contact or glasses prescription
Halos or glare around lights
Cataracts genuinely occur gradually, beginning around the age of 40 when reading fine print becomes more challenging and you may require reading glasses. As the cataract progresses, colors begin to dull, becoming more yellow or brown looking. You may begin to notice that objects do not appear as crisp as they once did.
The Eye Institute of West Florida's board-certified, fellowship-trained cataract surgeons perform thousands of cataract procedures each year. They begin the cataract removal process by first performing a comprehensive, dilated eye exam during your cataract evaluation. During the cataract evaluation, additional testing is performed to determine the overall health of your eyes. Your cataract specialist will also ask you lifestyle questions to better assess the proper lens implant and to customize the cataract procedure to best suit your goals and needs.
Cataracts are not reversible, and they will not go away with medication or eye drops. The only way to get rid of cataracts is by surgically removing the clouded lens and replacing it with a new, clear lens. Cataract surgery at The Eye Institute of West Florida takes roughly five minutes per eye, and the procedure is done on the first eye (determined by the surgeon) and then one week later the second eye.
Cataract surgery is the safest and most predictable surgery. Patients typically experience improved vision a few days after surgery and continue to see improvements for the next few weeks. Most patients go back to their typical daily activities within a few days of their surgery. It is natural for your eyes to be itchy and red and to experience a bit of blurriness immediately following cataract surgery; however, this will go away within a few days.
One of the most important decisions when considering cataract surgery is what type of lens is right for you. With recent advancements in cataract surgery, there are numerous options when it comes to determining what procedure and lens is right for you. Depending on whether you choose standard cataract surgery, laser cataract surgery or laser cataract surgery with a premium lens implant, your visual outcome will differ. With the advanced lenses available today, it is even possible to reduce or completely eliminate your need for glasses as they provide a more continuous range of vision than single focus lenses. One of The Eye Institute of West Florida's cataract surgeons will discuss your options during your cataract evaluation at any of our four locations in Largo, Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater, and recommend the best treatment plan and lens implant based on your visual needs and lifestyle.
When Should I Consider Cataract Surgery?
The appropriate time to have cataract surgery depends on individual lifestyle the and severity of the cataract(s). A few questions to consider to determine if you are ready for cataract surgery include:
Is a change in glasses/contact prescription no longer improving your vision?
Have you noticed a decrease in the clarity of your vision?
Do colors look duller than you remember them?
Are you finding night time driving to be more difficult due to blurriness and halos around lights?
Is a decrease in vision impacting your every day life?
If your answer to any of these questions is "yes," scheduling a cataract evaluation with one of our cataract surgeons is the best option for you. Our specialists will help determine whether it is time for you to consider cataract surgery to improve your daily life. The Eye Institute of West Florida is home to the Largo Ambulatory Surgery Center, a state-of-the-art ophthalmic surgery center dedicated to every type of eye surgery. Our surgery center is equipped with three laser platforms for cataract surgery, the most in any sub-specialty ophthalmic practice. These laser platforms allow our cataract surgeons to customize each procedure to the specific patient’s ocular structure and lifestyle.
Cataract surgery is quick, painless and proven to drastically improve all aspects of life. If you or someone you know is suffering from cataracts, schedule an appointment with one of our cataract specialists by call us today at (727) 341-9232 or contacting us through our website!