Cataract Surgery Center

Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss in the world. Studies have shown that about 10% of all Americans suffer from cataracts. The number drastically rises with age, 70% of Americans over the age of 75 suffer from cataracts. Despite the high number of people with cataracts, advances in technology have made cataract surgery one of the most successful surgical procedures in the world. Cataract surgery restores vision to patients and allows them to return to activities that may have been put on hold. With over one million cataract surgeries performed each year in the United States, cataract surgery has become the most common eye procedure.

The eye has a normally clear lens that is located just behind the pupil. A cataract occurs when the natural lens in the eye becomes cloudy. The lens is responsible for focusing light on the retina. When a cataract is present the amount of light that reaches the retina is diminished. As the cataract develops and grows, less and less light reaches the retina which causes the vision to become worse. Depending on the size of the cataract, the clouding effect may have either a small or great impact on the vision.

Cataracts are typically related to aging but there are also other kinds of cataracts. Congenital cataracts are present at birth. An injury to the head or the eye may cause a traumatic cataract. Secondary cataracts may be the results of another eye disease or medications such as steroids.

A patient may have a cataract in each eye but the cataract may develop at different paces. A cataract often is very slow in developing and the brain has time to process the reduction in vision. Some patients may not even be aware that they suffer from a cataract. On the other hand, some patients have a noticeable cataract and cannot see well enough to perform tasks that they would like to do.

Currently the only treatment option available for a cataract is surgery. Surgery only becomes necessary once the cataract starts to interfere with normal daily activities. There is no way to eliminate a cataract once it has developed in the eye, once the cataract has become developed enough it will require surgery. Your eye doctor will determine when surgery is best for you. The surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure. Many patients will notice immediate results following their cataract removal.

Modern day cataract surgery is done by a procedure called phacoemulsification. The center of the lens is softened by ultrasound waves until a small incision can be made. Then the small needle-like device goes in and breaks apart the cataract. The same needle is used to vacuum out the cataract from the eye. The incision made is so small that no stitches are required. After the cataract is removed a lens implant is usually put into place. The surgeons at Great Maryland Eye Physicians will discuss your options with you. We participate with Medicare for glasses following cataract surgery.


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