Cataracts are the most common cause of vision problems among adults. A normal part of the aging process, cataracts produce some form vision loss and impairment in 80% of those over the age of 60. The naturally soft, transparent and clear lens of the eye becomes harder and progressively cloudy.
The cataract, or “cloudiness” interferes with the light rays that should focus on the retina. A cataract is not a growth or a film that covers the eye. Once removed, cataracts do not grow back.
As a cataract develops:
- Vision may become increasingly blurred
- Color brightness may be lost
- Glare or halos may surround car headlights at night
- A feeling that a film is in front of the eye may occur
- Cleaning or getting new glasses usually does not correct the fuzzy or hazy vision
Presently there are no proven ways to prevent cataracts. The only way to restore vision is the microsurgical removal of a cataract. Diet is not a treatment for cataracts, and there is no medication or eye drops that treat cataracts.
Decreasing vision that interferes with your daily activities indicates your need for cataract surgery. Today, there is little reason for a person with cataracts to change their lifestyle or give up activities such as:
- Driving a car, particularly at night
- Sewing or other detail work
- Watching television
Treatment options include:
- Cataract Microsurgery
- Intraocular Lens (IOL)
Cystoid macular edema (CME) is a condition in which swelling develops in the center of the retina (macula) and leads to a decrease in vision. It can occur in many situations, but most commonly will occur with:
- Inflammatory diseases
- Certain medications
- After eye surgery
- Diabetes may predispose patients to this condition post-surgery
Generally, CME is mild and over 90% of patients will have spontaneous resolution. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroids are used in the treatment of CME.