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Cataract Care

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is a clouding, or haziness, of the lens of your eye. This part of your eye helps focus light on your retina, the area where images are formed. When the lens becomes cloudy, these images are less clear.

Cataracts usually develop slowly, so you might not notice any vision changes at first. Cataract symptoms include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Difficulty seeing well at night
  • Glare, halos around objects or sensitivity to bright light
  • Double vision
  • Loss of color vision (colors look yellow or faded)
  • Needing a new glasses or contact lens prescription more often

You might notice problems with activities that require clear vision, such as reading or playing golf. By examining your eyes, an eye doctor can tell you if you have cataracts in one or both eyes.

Normal eye Eye with cataract

Cataracts don’t usually cause pain, eye irritation or vision problems that come and go. If you have any of these symptoms, you might have a different eye condition. Talk to your doctor about any eye symptoms or vision changes, especially sudden changes.

If you have symptoms of cataracts or another eye condition, the experts at Oregon Eye Specialists are here to help. Request an appointment online or call 503-935-5580 to find the clinic nearest you.

Causes of Cataracts

Aging is the most common cause of cataracts. About 50 percent of Americans aged 65-74 have some degree of cataract, and 70 percent of Americans who are 75 or older have cataracts.

Other causes include:

  • Previous eye injury or surgery
  • Genetic (inherited) disorders

Risk factors are conditions that don’t necessarily cause cataracts, but increase your chance of getting them. They include:

  • Diabetes and other medical conditions
  • Long-term exposure to sunlight
  • Radiation from X-rays or radiation treatments
  • High blood pressure and obesity
  • Smoking
  • Long-term use of certain medications, such as prednisone or other steroid medications
  • Having family members with cataracts

Cataract Treatment

Cataracts are removed with surgery. An ophthalmologist (medical doctor specializing in eye care and surgery) removes the cataract and replaces it with an artificial lens. The artificial lens is also called an intraocular lens or IOL.

Surgery is the only effective cataract treatment. No eye drops or medications can remove or reduce cataracts.

At Oregon Eye Specialists, our ophthalmologists include some of the most experienced cataract surgeons in the Northwest. Your surgery is done in a comfortable eye surgery facility with the latest equipment and an experienced, caring staff.

Next: When to Have Cataract Surgery »

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