Skip to main content

What are Cataracts?

The eyes’ natural lenses are supposed to be clear and transparent to allow you to see the world clearly. A cataract is a disruption and/or clouding of the natural lens in the eye.  An aging lens turns from clear and transparent to yellow, brown, or even milky white. This interferes with the light from passing into the eye and sharply focusing on the retina.  Individuals with cataracts may have trouble driving, reading, distinguishing colors, or interpreting expressions clearly. As cataracts become larger, your vision suffers more, and can eventually lead to the complete loss of vision and blindness.

If you notice vision changes or the signs of cataracts, you should contact our eye doctors and schedule an evaluation. In the initial stages, vision changes may be correctable by updating or prescribing corrective eyeglasses and stronger lighting. As cataracts progress it may not be possible to improve vision with just a change of glasses and surgery may be recommended.  Cataract surgery is one of the most common and successful types of surgery done in the world. Yearly, about 3 million people undergo cataract surgery in the United States.

Symptoms of Cataracts:

  • Cloudy or blurry vision
  • Dimming vision
  • Difficulty with night vision
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Increased glare because of light
  • Needing brighter light while reading
  • Seeing halos of lights around objects
  • Constant changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescriptions
  • Discoloration in your vision
  • Double vision in the same eye
  • Looks like you’re seeing through foggy glasses

When cataracts first form, they may be unnoticeable. It might only affect a small part of the eye’s lens, so you won’t even notice a change in your vision. But as cataracts progress, they start clouding more of the eye’s lens, eventually leading to severely distorted, faded, and blurred vision. You should contact an eye doctor when you notice the first signs of cataracts — the complexity of the treatment can increase with time.

Causes of Cataracts

Cataracts occur when the tissues of your eyes’ lenses wear down or change because of age or injuries. The proteins and fibers in the lens might start breaking down, leading to the loss of vision. Some individuals have a higher risk of cataracts because of genetic predisposition, past eye surgeries, diabetes, long-term steroid medication usage, and other factors. Numerous factors can contribute to the formation of cataracts.

The eye lens is located just behind the colored part of the eye (iris), and it’s responsible for focusing the light passing into the eye on the retina, leading to clearer and sharper images. Your eye’s lens essentially functions like the lens in a camera to focus the image. When the proteins and fibers within the eye lens break down because of age or injury, they might clump together, leading to cloudy obstructions, i.e., cataracts.

When more proteins and fibers clump together, cataracts worsen, and your eyes become even more cloudy. Cataracts scatter and prevent light from passing into the retina, leading to a distorted or blurred vision. Most people develop cataracts in both eyes, but one eye is usually more advanced than the other, leading to visual differences in the two eyes.

The Diagnosis &
Treatment of Cataracts

Medical Surgical Eye Institute performs cutting-edge diagnostic techniques to diagnose cataracts at the earliest stage possible. Our diagnostic techniques include visual acuity tests, slit-lamp examinations, retinal exams, and more. Our medical providers will examine your eyes, review your medical history, discuss your symptoms, and formulate a personalized cataract treatment plan based on your unique needs and conditions.

If you’re diagnosed with early cataracts, you may only need an updated prescription for your glasses. If you struggle while reading, you may also need a brighter lamp or special glasses with an anti-glare coating. But if your cataracts cause visual problems not correctable with glasses, you will need to undergo cataract surgery to replace the cloudy lenses with clear artificial ones.

Schedule an Appointment

Medical Surgical Eye Institute is a state-of-the-art ophthalmology practice specializing in cutting-edge diagnostic technology, such as wide-field retinal imaging, corneal imaging/analysis, cataract imaging/analysis, and glaucoma imaging/analysis. Our ophthalmologists diagnose and treat your eye conditions at the earliest stage possible to develop a personalized treatment plan to preserve optimal vision. If you notice problems with your vision, please schedule an appointment for evaluation and diagnostic testing at our office in Worcester, MA.

Schedule a

Contact Us (508) 853-2020