A cataract is a clouding of the lens within your eye, which results in blurred or distorted vision. Cataracts are most commonly found within the aging population, but they can also occur in children. There are more than 50 different types of cataracts and they each can affect your vision in different ways.

The most common cause of cataracts is advancing age. Diabetes, demographics and genetics are also strongly associated with an increase in prevalence. Other factors which could influence cataract growth include: exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, trauma, systemic disease, cigarette smoking or the use of certain medications. Although cataracts develop without pain or discomfort, there are several signs which could indicate that a cataract may be forming. These could include blurred vision, increased glare sensitivity, or a feeling that you want to ‘clean your glasses’. A temporary improvement in near vision may also indicate formation of a cataract.

Presently there is no cure for cataracts, other than surgery. But, in North America we are fortunate that cataract surgery is one of the most common surgical procedures performed and has an excellent success rate. If, during your eye examination, the doctors detect a cataract, they will monitor its growth and development. If the cataract has progressed to the point where recreation or work tasks are significantly disrupted, a referral recommending surgery may be arranged. The surgery typically takes 15 to 30 minutes and does not involve a general anesthetic or an overnight stay at the hospital. The surgeon will remove your natural lens (which is where the cataract has formed) and replace it with a plastic implant. The recovery time is very rapid and within a very short time, you will be back to your normal life activities. Approximately 4 to 8 weeks after your surgery, you will return to our office to change your glasses and continue care.

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