Cataracts

Cataracts affect millions of people each year, including more than half of all Americans 60 years of age and older.

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Cataract Treatment in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

If you are encountering blurred vision, muted colors, and increased difficulty seeing while driving at night, it’s quite possible that you have developed cataracts. This is a very common condition that affects up to 50% of Americans by the age of 75.1 At Cincinnati Eye Institute, our experienced ophthalmologists can diagnose and treat cataracts, restoring your clear vision or even helping you see more clearly than you did before you developed cataracts.

What are Cataracts?

A cataract is a natural clouding of the eye’s lens. Think of the lens like a window: when it becomes cloudy, it is more difficult to see through the window clearly. Cataracts affect the eye in much the same way.

For most people, cataracts progress slowly. When a person’s cataracts are in their early stages, he or she may be able to achieve clearer vision by changing eyeglass prescriptions or using stronger lighting. Eventually, however, cataracts will progress to the extent that they impede vision and surgical treatment is necessary.2
 
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Symptoms of Cataracts

At first, symptoms of cataracts are often mild and may not even be noticeable without an eye exam. As cataracts progress, symptoms include:

woman relaxing at home

Risk Factors for Developing Cataracts

The most common risk factor for developing cataracts is age: most people will begin to develop cataracts at around age 40, though symptoms may not become apparent for decades after that. Additional factors that can increase a person’s risk of developing cataracts include:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Exposure to air pollution
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Eye injuries
  • High blood pressure
  • A family history of cataracts3

Cataract Diagnosis

While you may not be able to see cataracts with the naked eye, this condition can be quickly and easily diagnosed by an ophthalmologist during a comprehensive eye examination, which includes:

senior couple driving

Cataract Surgery

The only treatment for cataracts is cataract surgery, where the clouded natural lens of the eye is removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). Cataract surgery is among the most frequently performed surgical procedures in the United States and is generally considered to be very safe, with more than a 99% success rate.
Learn More About Cataract Surgery

Can cataracts be prevented?

For most people, cataracts are a normal part of the eye’s aging process. Cataracts cannot be prevented, but it may be possible to slow their progression and protect your eye health by taking certain steps, such as:

Schedule an Appointment

To learn more about cataracts and your cataract treatment options, please contact us at CEI to schedule an appointment with an experienced ophthalmologist.

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 March 26, 2021.
2 Mayo Clinic. Cataracts. Available: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cataracts/symptoms-causes/syc-20353790. Accessed March 26, 2021.
3 Cleveland Clinic. Cataracts. Available: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/8589-cataracts#diagnosis-and-tests. Accessed March 26, 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.

The doctors at Cincinnati Eye Institute have either authored or reviewed the content on this site.

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