Cataracts FAQ

Everything you want to know about cataracts

Cataracts are a very common eye condition that you should know about as they can occur to anyone as you age. With a little information, however, you can know the right questions to ask your Calgary optometrist during your next visit to the eye clinic.

One of the most important parts of your eye is the lens. It’s what allows light to enter your eye and your eye to focus on particular images. When that lens becomes clouded, causing blurred vision, light sensitivity, decreases in night vision, or other visual problems, we call that a “cataract.”

What are the main causes of cataracts?

Cataracts can be caused by a lot of different things. Often, the natural process of aging can create cloudiness on your eye’s lens. More serious causes, such as genetic conditions, diabetes, and conditions related to smoking, can also create cataracts. Luckily, unless you’re born with them, cataracts tend to develop slowly. With regular visits to your local Calgary eye clinic, you should be able to identify any cataracts well before they become a serious problem.

What happens if you leave a cataract?

How a cataract develops largely depends on what has caused it. The tendency is, however, for cataracts to get worse. If your cataract is getting worse very slowly it may simply require you to increase the amount of light in your house and wear eyeglasses to correct your vision. If your cataracts have gotten so bad as to affect your normal life, however, your optometrist will probably suggest more serious, surgical options.

How do they operate on a cataract?

If your cataract is bad enough, you may need an operation to repair it. Typically, this is done on an outpatient basis so there won’t be any need to stay a night in the hospital.

During an operation, the optometrist numbs your eye so you won’t feel anything. Then, your clouded lens is removed from your eye and replaced with a clear, artificial lens. If your particular condition precludes the addition of an artificial lens, your original lens will be cleaned of the cataract and replaced. After the operation, however, you’ll have to wear corrective lenses.

Do you have to wait for cataracts to ripen before surgery?

To determine when having surgery is right for you, you should consult your optometrist. Only when cataracts interfere significantly with your ability to do daily activities or somehow threaten your optical health should surgery be considered. Luckily, for most people cataracts develop very slowly so there’s no rush. Delaying surgery usually won’t affect the speed or quality of your recovery.

At Dr. Bishop & Associates we take pride in providing great optical care to the Calgary community. Contact us today at our Calgary eye clinic to find out more about cataracts or inquire about any of our many services.

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