What are Cataracts?
A cataract is a clouding or opacification of the eye’s natural lens which affects vision. The cataract is generally a result of aging or other factors such as injury, diabetes or the use of steroids. Patients may experience blurred or dull vision and/or sensitivity to bright lights. This light sensitivity can make driving difficult, particularly at night (due to glare from oncoming headlights) or during bright, sunny conditions. These symptoms can initially be treated with glasses or other visual aids. However, once the cataracts grow to a degree that seriously impairs vision, surgery becomes the only effective treatment option. Cataract surgery is typically performed when the visual impairment is interfering with one’s quality of life. Occasionally, a patient may opt for removal of a clear lens, or refractive lens exchange (RLE), as an out-of-pocket option to reduce dependence on glasses.