Facts About Cataract | National Eye Institute
Surgery for cataracts involves removing the clouded lens of the eye (the cataract). The lens can be replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens implant (IOL). Or, if an IOL cannot be used for any reason, it will be left out and

Surgery for cataracts involves removing the clouded lens of the eye (the cataract). The lens can be replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens implant (IOL). Or, if an IOL cannot be used for any reason, it will be left out and contact lenses or, in rare cases, eyeglasses can compensate for its absence. Most people will get an IOL during surgery.

Before surgery, ask your doctor about what types of IOLs can go in your eye . Or, if you will not be getting an IOL, find out why, and ask about the pros and cons of contact lenses or eyeglasses .

For most adults, surgery is only needed when vision loss caused by a cataract affects your quality of life. The goals of surgery in adults who have cataracts include:

Some patients see very well the day after cataract surgery. Other patients see well a few days after surgery, and still others may need a full month to reach their maximum vision improvement.

During the first week after surgery, it generally is recommended that the patient keep his or her eye covered at all times, either with eyeglasses or an eye shield, to protect it from being bumped or rubbed. A small amount of pressure can easily open the incision, and protecting the eye prevents this.

Also, it is recommended that the patient refrain from (a) bending with the head below the waist, (b) lifting more than 10 pounds, and (c) straining (on the toilet, for example) to the point of holding one's breath. All of these activities increase the pressure inside the eye and can open the incision.

Cataracts are usually gradual and usually not painful or associated with any eye redness or other symptoms unless they become extremely advanced. Rapid and/or painful changes in vision are suspicious for other eye diseases and should be evaluated by an eye-care professional.

Eye-care professionals may mention during a routine eye exam that you have early cataract development even if you are not yet experiencing visual symptoms.

Although your doctor will be able to tell when you first begin to develop cataracts, you will generally be the first person to notice changes in your vision that may require cataract surgery. Clouding of the lens may start to be seen at any age, but it is uncommon before the age of 40. However, a large majority of people will not begin to have symptoms from their cataracts until many years after they begin to develop.

Surgery for cataracts involves removing the clouded lens of the eye (the cataract). The lens can be replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens implant (IOL). Or, if an IOL cannot be used for any reason, it will be left out and contact lenses or, in rare cases, eyeglasses can compensate for its absence. Most people will get an IOL during surgery.

Before surgery, ask your doctor about what types of IOLs can go in your eye . Or, if you will not be getting an IOL, find out why, and ask about the pros and cons of contact lenses or eyeglasses .

For most adults, surgery is only needed when vision loss caused by a cataract affects your quality of life. The goals of surgery in adults who have cataracts include:

Some patients see very well the day after cataract surgery. Other patients see well a few days after surgery, and still others may need a full month to reach their maximum vision improvement.

During the first week after surgery, it generally is recommended that the patient keep his or her eye covered at all times, either with eyeglasses or an eye shield, to protect it from being bumped or rubbed. A small amount of pressure can easily open the incision, and protecting the eye prevents this.

Also, it is recommended that the patient refrain from (a) bending with the head below the waist, (b) lifting more than 10 pounds, and (c) straining (on the toilet, for example) to the point of holding one's breath. All of these activities increase the pressure inside the eye and can open the incision.

Cataracts are usually gradual and usually not painful or associated with any eye redness or other symptoms unless they become extremely advanced. Rapid and/or painful changes in vision are suspicious for other eye diseases and should be evaluated by an eye-care professional.

Eye-care professionals may mention during a routine eye exam that you have early cataract development even if you are not yet experiencing visual symptoms.

Although your doctor will be able to tell when you first begin to develop cataracts, you will generally be the first person to notice changes in your vision that may require cataract surgery. Clouding of the lens may start to be seen at any age, but it is uncommon before the age of 40. However, a large majority of people will not begin to have symptoms from their cataracts until many years after they begin to develop.

Cataract extraction using intracapsular cataract extraction (ICCE) has been superseded by phaco & ECCE, and is rarely performed.

Phacoemulsification is the most commonly performed cataract procedure in the developed world. However, the high cost of a phacoemulsification machine and of the associated disposable equipment means that ECCE and MSICS remain the most commonly performed procedure in developing countries.

Cryoextraction is a form of ICCE that freezes the lens with a cryogenic substance such as liquid nitrogen . [7] In this technique, the cataract is extracted through use of a cryoextractor  — a cryoprobe whose refrigerated tip adheres to and freezes tissue of the lens, permitting its removal. Although it is now used primarily for the removal of subluxated lenses, it was the favored form of cataract extraction from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. [8]

Surgery for cataracts involves removing the clouded lens of the eye (the cataract). The lens can be replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens implant (IOL). Or, if an IOL cannot be used for any reason, it will be left out and contact lenses or, in rare cases, eyeglasses can compensate for its absence. Most people will get an IOL during surgery.

Before surgery, ask your doctor about what types of IOLs can go in your eye . Or, if you will not be getting an IOL, find out why, and ask about the pros and cons of contact lenses or eyeglasses .

For most adults, surgery is only needed when vision loss caused by a cataract affects your quality of life. The goals of surgery in adults who have cataracts include:

Surgery for cataracts involves removing the clouded lens of the eye (the cataract). The lens can be replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens implant (IOL). Or, if an IOL cannot be used for any reason, it will be left out and contact lenses or, in rare cases, eyeglasses can compensate for its absence. Most people will get an IOL during surgery.

Before surgery, ask your doctor about what types of IOLs can go in your eye . Or, if you will not be getting an IOL, find out why, and ask about the pros and cons of contact lenses or eyeglasses .

For most adults, surgery is only needed when vision loss caused by a cataract affects your quality of life. The goals of surgery in adults who have cataracts include:

Some patients see very well the day after cataract surgery. Other patients see well a few days after surgery, and still others may need a full month to reach their maximum vision improvement.

During the first week after surgery, it generally is recommended that the patient keep his or her eye covered at all times, either with eyeglasses or an eye shield, to protect it from being bumped or rubbed. A small amount of pressure can easily open the incision, and protecting the eye prevents this.

Also, it is recommended that the patient refrain from (a) bending with the head below the waist, (b) lifting more than 10 pounds, and (c) straining (on the toilet, for example) to the point of holding one's breath. All of these activities increase the pressure inside the eye and can open the incision.

Cataracts are usually gradual and usually not painful or associated with any eye redness or other symptoms unless they become extremely advanced. Rapid and/or painful changes in vision are suspicious for other eye diseases and should be evaluated by an eye-care professional.

Eye-care professionals may mention during a routine eye exam that you have early cataract development even if you are not yet experiencing visual symptoms.

Although your doctor will be able to tell when you first begin to develop cataracts, you will generally be the first person to notice changes in your vision that may require cataract surgery. Clouding of the lens may start to be seen at any age, but it is uncommon before the age of 40. However, a large majority of people will not begin to have symptoms from their cataracts until many years after they begin to develop.

Cataract extraction using intracapsular cataract extraction (ICCE) has been superseded by phaco & ECCE, and is rarely performed.

Phacoemulsification is the most commonly performed cataract procedure in the developed world. However, the high cost of a phacoemulsification machine and of the associated disposable equipment means that ECCE and MSICS remain the most commonly performed procedure in developing countries.

Cryoextraction is a form of ICCE that freezes the lens with a cryogenic substance such as liquid nitrogen . [7] In this technique, the cataract is extracted through use of a cryoextractor  — a cryoprobe whose refrigerated tip adheres to and freezes tissue of the lens, permitting its removal. Although it is now used primarily for the removal of subluxated lenses, it was the favored form of cataract extraction from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. [8]

Most cataracts are highly treatable. Cataract surgery is one of the most common surgeries performed in the United States, with approximately 98% of patients experiencing improved vision if there are no other eye conditions present.

Two very small incisions (one larger, approximately three millimeters, or one-tenth of an inch, and one smaller, approximately one millimeter, or one thirty-second of an inch) are made in the cornea , which is the transparent dome-shaped tissue that covers the front part of the eye. A viscous (thick, sticky, glue-like) material is injected into the front part of the eye to help maintain its shape during surgery. This viscous material is made from substances that occur naturally in the body. Because it is thick, this material will not leak out of the incisions during surgery.

The surgeon creates an opening in the natural "sac" or "bag" that holds the lens in place, called the lens capsule. The lens is separated from the lens capsule by using a balanced salt solution.

As we get older the the protein in our lens, which is normally perfectly arranged to let light pass through and keep the lens clear, may start to clump together and start to cloud in a small area of the lens. This clouded area may grow over time making vision more blurred.

Age, diabetes mellitus, corticosteroid use, female gender, socio-economic status, ethnicity, smoking and alcohol are all cataract risk factors.

There are several types of cataracts including nuclear, cortical, posterior subcapsular and mixed. Nuclear cataracts result in progressive opacification of the central lens, typically causing impaired distance vision. Cortical and posterior subcapsular cataracts typically cause disabling glare, even before visual acuity is markedly impaired and can progress rapidly.

Surgery for cataracts involves removing the clouded lens of the eye (the cataract). The lens can be replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens implant (IOL). Or, if an IOL cannot be used for any reason, it will be left out and contact lenses or, in rare cases, eyeglasses can compensate for its absence. Most people will get an IOL during surgery.

Before surgery, ask your doctor about what types of IOLs can go in your eye . Or, if you will not be getting an IOL, find out why, and ask about the pros and cons of contact lenses or eyeglasses .

For most adults, surgery is only needed when vision loss caused by a cataract affects your quality of life. The goals of surgery in adults who have cataracts include:

Some patients see very well the day after cataract surgery. Other patients see well a few days after surgery, and still others may need a full month to reach their maximum vision improvement.

During the first week after surgery, it generally is recommended that the patient keep his or her eye covered at all times, either with eyeglasses or an eye shield, to protect it from being bumped or rubbed. A small amount of pressure can easily open the incision, and protecting the eye prevents this.

Also, it is recommended that the patient refrain from (a) bending with the head below the waist, (b) lifting more than 10 pounds, and (c) straining (on the toilet, for example) to the point of holding one's breath. All of these activities increase the pressure inside the eye and can open the incision.

Surgery for cataracts involves removing the clouded lens of the eye (the cataract). The lens can be replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens implant (IOL). Or, if an IOL cannot be used for any reason, it will be left out and contact lenses or, in rare cases, eyeglasses can compensate for its absence. Most people will get an IOL during surgery.

Before surgery, ask your doctor about what types of IOLs can go in your eye . Or, if you will not be getting an IOL, find out why, and ask about the pros and cons of contact lenses or eyeglasses .

For most adults, surgery is only needed when vision loss caused by a cataract affects your quality of life. The goals of surgery in adults who have cataracts include:

Some patients see very well the day after cataract surgery. Other patients see well a few days after surgery, and still others may need a full month to reach their maximum vision improvement.

During the first week after surgery, it generally is recommended that the patient keep his or her eye covered at all times, either with eyeglasses or an eye shield, to protect it from being bumped or rubbed. A small amount of pressure can easily open the incision, and protecting the eye prevents this.

Also, it is recommended that the patient refrain from (a) bending with the head below the waist, (b) lifting more than 10 pounds, and (c) straining (on the toilet, for example) to the point of holding one's breath. All of these activities increase the pressure inside the eye and can open the incision.

Cataracts are usually gradual and usually not painful or associated with any eye redness or other symptoms unless they become extremely advanced. Rapid and/or painful changes in vision are suspicious for other eye diseases and should be evaluated by an eye-care professional.

Eye-care professionals may mention during a routine eye exam that you have early cataract development even if you are not yet experiencing visual symptoms.

Although your doctor will be able to tell when you first begin to develop cataracts, you will generally be the first person to notice changes in your vision that may require cataract surgery. Clouding of the lens may start to be seen at any age, but it is uncommon before the age of 40. However, a large majority of people will not begin to have symptoms from their cataracts until many years after they begin to develop.

Cataract extraction using intracapsular cataract extraction (ICCE) has been superseded by phaco & ECCE, and is rarely performed.

Phacoemulsification is the most commonly performed cataract procedure in the developed world. However, the high cost of a phacoemulsification machine and of the associated disposable equipment means that ECCE and MSICS remain the most commonly performed procedure in developing countries.

Cryoextraction is a form of ICCE that freezes the lens with a cryogenic substance such as liquid nitrogen . [7] In this technique, the cataract is extracted through use of a cryoextractor  — a cryoprobe whose refrigerated tip adheres to and freezes tissue of the lens, permitting its removal. Although it is now used primarily for the removal of subluxated lenses, it was the favored form of cataract extraction from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. [8]

Most cataracts are highly treatable. Cataract surgery is one of the most common surgeries performed in the United States, with approximately 98% of patients experiencing improved vision if there are no other eye conditions present.

Two very small incisions (one larger, approximately three millimeters, or one-tenth of an inch, and one smaller, approximately one millimeter, or one thirty-second of an inch) are made in the cornea , which is the transparent dome-shaped tissue that covers the front part of the eye. A viscous (thick, sticky, glue-like) material is injected into the front part of the eye to help maintain its shape during surgery. This viscous material is made from substances that occur naturally in the body. Because it is thick, this material will not leak out of the incisions during surgery.

The surgeon creates an opening in the natural "sac" or "bag" that holds the lens in place, called the lens capsule. The lens is separated from the lens capsule by using a balanced salt solution.

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