Cataracts are a clouding or opacification of the natural internal lens. The lens is the part of the eye responsible for focusing light and producing clear and sharp images. Cataracts can vary from extremely small areas of cloudiness to large opaque areas that cause noticeable blurring of vision.
Cataracts may be due to advancing age, may be inherited, or as the result of trauma or disease. Other risk factors which can precipitate the onset of cataracts may include excessive exposure to UV radiation found in sunlight, cigarette smoke, systemic diseases like diabetes or certain medications like steroids.
There is no proven method to prevent cataracts from forming. Wearing good quality UV blocking sunglasses as well a diet rich in antioxidants such as, vitamins A,C,E, Zinc, Selenium and Magnesium can also be beneficial.
Since cataracts have a relatively wide range in severity, the treatment is surgical and is reserved only when the cataracts have begun to interfere with everyday activities such as reading and driving. Our office will refer cataract patients to ophthalmolgy to discuss surgical options. Cataract removal with intra-ocular lens insertion is a commonly performed procedure with great success to help restore clear vision.