Cataract Surgery - Describe Your Experience

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What is a cataract?

A cataract is an eye disease in which the normally clear lens of the eye becomes cloudy or opaque, causing a decrease in vision. The lens focuses light onto the back of the eye (the retina) so images appear clear and without distortion. The clouding of this lens during cataract formation distorts vision. Cataracts are usually a very gradual process of normal aging but can occasionally develop rapidly. They commonly affect both eyes, but it is not uncommon for a cataract in one eye to advance more rapidly. Cataracts are very common, especially among the elderly.

Precisely why cataracts occur is unknown. However, most cataracts appear to be caused by changes in the protein structures within the lens that occur over many years and cause the lens to become cloudy. Rarely, cataracts can present at birth or in early childhood as a result of hereditary enzyme defects, other genetic disease, or systemic congenital infections. Severe trauma to the eye, eye surgery, or intraocular inflammation can also cause cataracts to develop more rapidly. Other factors that may lead to development of cataracts at an earlier age include excessive ultraviolet light exposure, exposure to ionizing radiation, diabetes, smoking, or the use of certain medications, such as oral, topical, or inhaled steroids. Other medications that may be associated with cataracts include the long-term use of statins and phenothiazines.

The total number of people who have cataracts is estimated to increase to 30.1 million by 2020. When people develop cataracts, they begin to have difficulty doing activities they enjoy. Some of the most common complaints include difficulty driving at night, reading, or traveling. These are all activities for which clear vision is essential.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: francis, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: May 06

I have multi focal lens implant after cataract surgery. I have macular degeneration and get shots in both eyes. When I wake up I have a blood film as I look down for about 5 minutes. I am 85. My vision is 20/30 in both eyes.

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Comment from: Peggy, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 17

I have been in good health, taking no medication, was near-sighted, and had no other eye problems. I had cataract surgery on the left eye 6 weeks ago. I was not given any information about lens, and didn't know what questions to ask, just expected that my vision would be like it was before the cataracts. That has not happened. Everything is still blurry with that eye, it doesn't focus well either near or far. I have to cover it when reading. The right eye still has a cataract, but it sees much better than the left one. I don't think I want to have the right eye done. The doctor says I'm doing fine, that it will just take time, but it seems like forever already. And I'm really tired all the time.

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