What are cataracts?
Like the lens of a camera, the eye’s lens focuses to keep the images of both close and distant objects clear. Over time, the lens becomes less transparent; studies suggest accumulated exposure to ultraviolet light causes the natural lens to cloud. Most often, this clouding takes place slowly as proteins within the lens degenerate.
What causes the lens to cloud?
In most cases, the culprit is the normal aging process. If you are age 65 or older, you probably have cataracts, but they may not have progressed to the point that they affect your vision. Certain lifestyle choices and relatively common health conditions, like diabetes, may hasten cataract development. Nutrition may play at least a limited role. Heavy salt consumption, for example, appears to increase the risk of significant cataract development. Some research suggests that antioxidant vitamins, like vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamins C and E, and selenium, may slow cataract development. All of these are available in common multivitamin formulas. Beyond that, the use of nutritional supplements carries its own risks; you should consult your physician before adding them to your diet.
Are cataracts painful?
Cataracts do NOT generally cause pain, discomfort, redness, discharge, or sudden, alarming vision changes that would lead you to seek immediate help. The changes caused by cataracts generally develop so slowly that you don’t notice them until they are serious enough to affect your normal lifestyle.
How are cataracts treated?
Not only is cataract treatment the most frequently performed surgery in the United States, it is also one of the most successful. More than 99% of patients who undergo cataract removal rank their vision as significantly improved.
Drs. Osmundson, Hammer, Dierks, Eide, In't Veld, and West perform this highly effective procedure at Ophthalmology LTD. Eye Surgery Center. Conveniently located under the same roof as our main office in Sioux Falls, the Surgery Center is dedicated exclusively to eye surgery. Our state-of-the-art operating rooms and pre- and post-op suites are staffed by specially trained, experienced ophthalmic nurses and technicians who will assist your eye surgeon in giving you the best possible results.
What happens during a cataract procedure?
During the outpatient cataract procedure, our surgeons remove the clouded lens and implant an artificial replacement lens—either a standard monofocal lens or an advanced technology “lifestyle” lens—in its place. The procedure is performed in as little as fifteen minutes, and soon after the procedure you will be allowed to return home. Vision often improves immediately following cataract surgery, and recovery time is surprisingly short.
How are advances in technology affecting cataract surgery?
In addition to traditional replacement lenses, there are now advanced technology replacement lenses available for those looking to see better at night and to restore a full range of vision at all distances. These “lifestyle” lenses allow you to participate in activities you may be missing out on—using the computer, reading the newspaper, driving, playing golf, and gardening. Ask one of our cataract surgeons about the best option for you and your lifestyle. We are here to help.
Ready for a cataract consultation?
Call Ophthalmology LTD. at 605-336-6294 to learn more about modern surgery to correct cataracts…the PROVEN, EFFECTIVE, COMFORTABLE, and AFFORDABLE way to recover clear vision and reclaim your life.
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