What Are Cataracts?
A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which is located behind the iris (the colored part of the eye). When light cannot pass through a clouded lens properly, the result is distorted or blurred vision that gradually becomes worse as the cataract grows. Cataracts aren’t painful and are very common and nearly 50% of Americans will have cataracts by the age of 75.1
Symptoms of Cataracts
At first, cataracts have only a minor impact on your vision. Some people notice their vision is slightly blurred or has a hazy effect to it. Additionally, the early signs of a cataract can include light sensitivity and increased glare from the sun or headlights while driving at night.
Most patients experience more significant changes as a cataract progresses. These include the following:
- An overall distortion in vision
- Washing out of colors especially indoors
- Double vision in one eye
- Problems with glare from lights and the sun
- Frequent changes in your eyeglass prescription
- Decreased vision at night with halos around headlights on cars2
How Are Cataracts Diagnosed?
Cataracts can rarely be seen by the naked eye, but our doctors can quickly diagnose this common condition during a comprehensive eye exam, which may include:
- A detailed patient history
- Visual acuity and refraction tests
- Examining the lens of the eye using a specialized microscope called a slit lamp
- Evaluation of the retina
- Measuring the pressure within the eye
- Testing for color vision and sensitivity to glare
The only treatment for cataracts is to surgically remove the clouded lens and replace it with a clear artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL).3 Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure and is one of the most frequently performed and safest surgical procedures in the United States, with over a 99% success rate.4
Contact Columbus Ophthalmology Associates
The cataract surgeons of Columbus Ophthalmology Associates are some of the most respected leaders in cataract surgery in the country. If you are experiencing symptoms such as blurred vision that may be attributable to cataracts, please contact us to make an appointment with an experienced ophthalmologist.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cataracts
What causes cataracts?
For most people, cataracts are a natural part of the aging process. While anyone may be diagnosed with cataracts, there are certain risk factors that may make some people more likely to develop cataracts, such as:5
- Eye injuries
- Excessive alcohol use
- Excessive exposure to UV light or sunlight
- Chronic use of certain medication such as oral steroids
Can cataracts be prevented?
Cataracts are not preventable, but it may be possible to reduce your risk of developing cataracts by living a healthy lifestyle that includes a nutritious diet, not smoking, and protecting your eyes from UV light by wearing sunglasses.
Can cataracts come back after treatment?
No. The intraocular lens that is used to replace the clouded natural lens is made of specialized plastics that do not cloud over again. However, some patients may notice blurred vision months to years after cataract surgery. This condition is often referred to as a “secondary cataract,” however, it is actually called posterior capsular opacification (PCO) and is a result of wrinkling of the clear membrane inside the eye that holds the replacement lens in place. This condition is easily treatable with in office laser eye surgery.
Real Patient Reviews
4.9 Star Average on Google & Facebook
Two years ago I had my cataract surgery. Dr. McHale was amazing. In the last 6 months I was experiencing blurred vision in my left eye and required laser surgery on scar tissue that developed. It was the easiest procedure I’ve ever been through and [I] immediately had clear vision. It took less than a minute. Of course, Dr. McHale did the work. Highly recommend this location.
The staff and doctors are very personable, and friendly. Dr. McHale did an excellent job on my cataract surgery, I would recommend him to anyone. The surgery center staff was extremely kind and thorough. I knew exactly what to expect, and [they] made me very comfortable and confident in their care. Great job!
I highly recommend Dr. James McHale and the Staff at Columbus Ophthalmology Associates. I had cataracts in both eyes, used to wear contacts, and was quite nearsighted. Dr. McHale removed the cataracts in October, installed new lenses, and now other than wearing reading glasses, I can see perfectly without contacts. I had worn contacts for 51 years. The procedure for both eyes was painless, and I could see perfect within a day or so. Their website was great, and I would recommend that you go there and watch Dr. McHale’s videos if you are at all anxious about the procedure.
From first appointment to most current, all the staff was professional, helpful and caring. Dr. Orlando was my doctor and my surgeon (cataract) and was extremely nice and caring. If I were to have further issues I would return to COA!
1 National Eye Institute. Cataract Data and Statistics. Available: https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/resources-for-health-educators/eye-health-data-and-statistics/cataract-data-and-statistics. Accessed February 10, 2021.
2 Cleveland Clinic. Cataracts. Available: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/8589-cataracts. Accessed February 10, 2021.
3 American Academy of Ophthalmology. Cataract Surgery. Available: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-cataract-surgery. Accessed February 10, 2021.
4 American Refractive Surgery Council. Is Cataract Surgery with Vision-Correcting IOLs Safe? Available: https://americanrefractivesurgerycouncil.org/refractive-surgery-procedures/cataract-surgery-with-vision-correcting-iols/is-cataract-surgery-with-vision-correcting-iols-safe. Accessed February 10, 2021.
5 Mayo Clinic. Cataracts. Available: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cataracts/symptoms-causes/syc-20353790 Accessed February 10, 2021.