Restore Your Vision

Cataract Diagnosis &
Surgery Co-Management

Restore Your Vision

Cataract Diagnosis & Surgery Co-management

The doctors at Ascension Optical can diagnose cataracts, and if surgery is needed, will refer you to a trusted, respected surgeon for treatment and provide you with pre- and post-operative care.

What are cataracts?

Cataracts are a cloudy area that forms on the clear lens of the eye. This lens inside your eyes bends or refracts light to help you see. If you develop a cataract, this means the lens in either one eye or both eyes has become cloudy, which makes your vision a bit like looking through a dirty window. If you have cataracts in both eyes, it can make things look hazy, blurry, and less colorful.

What are the risk factors for cataracts?

The most common reason for the development of cataracts is normal age-related changes, as the proteins in the eyes begin to break down. If you are age 60 or older, you can start to develop some clouding on your lenses, but changes in your vision are gradual and can take place over the span of several years.

Other risk factors to develop cataracts include:   

  • A family history of cataracts: if parents, siblings, or other family members have or have had cataracts, this could mean you are at higher risk.
  • Diabetes: while cataracts are very common as you get older, people who have diabetes may develop them at a much earlier age.
  • History of eye injury or eye surgery 
  • Hypertension
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption 
  • Certain medications can be associated with the development of cataracts, including corticosteroids, chlorpromazine, and other phenothiazine-related medications.
  • Poor diet with nutritional deficiencies including a lack of antioxidants.
  • Exposure to UV radiation: studies show an increased chance of cataract formation with unprotected exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

What are the symptoms of cataracts?

Cataracts usually form slowly over time. In the early stages of development while they are still small, you may not notice any changes to your vision. As the cataract grows, your vision may become blurry or hazy. You may find that you have an increased sensitivity to light and difficulty driving at night and that colors seem less vivid. 

Diagnosing cataracts

At Ascension Optical, our doctors diagnose cataracts through testing and advanced technology during a comprehensive eye exam, including a slit-lamp exam where the doctor will use a special slit-lamp microscope to examine your eyes. Your doctor may also measure the pressure within each eye and do some other testing for color vision and sensitivity to glare from light.

Treatment for cataracts

If you have been diagnosed with cataracts, the treatment for your cataracts is based on how much they are affecting your vision. If your cataract isn’t affecting your vision much or at all, then your doctor will recommend a schedule for comprehensive eye exams so that any changes to your vision can be monitored. If your cataracts are affecting your vision where you can’t do normal daily activities, surgery may be recommended to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a synthetic one which will allow you to see clearly. Cataract surgery is common and very effective.