A cataract is defined as the clouding of the lens of the eye. The lens of the eye is made up of water and protein. When the lens is healthy, the proteins are arranged in a very precise pattern allowing light to pass through to the retina in a clear manner. As we age, these proteins may begin to clump together and cause the lens to become cloudy which leads to blurry and dim vision. They are commonly found in people as they get older, and can start when people are in their forties but become noticeable after the age of sixty. Besides aging other factors that can contribute to cataract formation are diabetes, smoking and alcohol abuse.
Some of the symptoms of cataracts include:
• Cloudy or blurred vision
• Colors that appear faded
• Glare from headlights, lamps
• Diminished night vision
Cataracts can be corrected by performing surgery to replace the lens of the eye with an artificial lens. There are two types of procedures that can be performed:
- Phacoemulsification – a procedure where a small incision is made to the side of the cornea. The lens is broken up by ultrasound and removed by suction.
- Extracapsular surgery – a procedure where a bigger incision is made in the side of the cornea and the lens is removed in one piece.
After both types of surgery a new plastic lens is inserted and allowed to heal. Most people see immediate improvement in their vision. Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed procedures done today. Ninety percent of patients who undergo this procedure have their vision restored completely.
Flushing Hospital Medical Center offers a full range of comprehensive medical, diagnostic, and surgical services from annual eye examinations to surgical procedures. For more information or to schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist, please call Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center at 718-670-5486 or All City Eye Care Center at 718-380-5070.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.