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What is a Cataract?

Elderly couple smiling after Cataract Surgery

A cataract is the clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye, which prevents light from entering the eye from being properly focused on the retina. Cataracts are caused mainly by age, trauma, heredity, and exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Cataracts can also occur as a result of eye disease, after the use of certain medications, or as a result of medical conditions such as diabetes.

  • Getting Older - Age is a major cause of developing cataracts.
  • Birth defect like abnormal conditions in the eyes of unborn babies
  • Environmental factors such as disease, toxic chemicals, medications
  • Accidents or Injuries
  • Exposure to ultraviolet light
  • Cigarette Smoking

What Causes Cataracts?

Researchers believe that there are several causes of cataracts:

  • Aging
  • Diabetes
  • Long-term exposure to ultraviolet light
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Eye injuries
  • Genetic factors (a parent or sibling)

In the early stages of cataracts, one sees colors less vibrantly. In the later stages, the lens becomes almost opaque and has to be replaced with a clear artificial lens.

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What are the Symptoms of Cataracts?

If a cataract is making it difficult for you to carry out your normal activities, most doctors may suggest cataract surgery. Even if your visual acuity isn't severely affected, you might want cataract surgery to remove a cataract that's causing problems with glare or double vision.

Common symptoms of a cataract include:

  • Blurred or cloudy vision
  • Colors appear faded or dull
  • Lamps such as headlights or streetlights have glare or halos; sunlight may appear too bright
  • Poor night vision
  • Double or multiple vision in one eye; this effect may disappear as the cataract grows
  • Frequent prescription changes in your eyeglasses or contact lenses

Important Note: These symptoms can indicate other eye problems that may also result in blindness if left untreated. If you have any of these symptoms, make an appointment with Thomas Eye Group immediately for a complete eye examination.

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Cataract Statistics

Cataracts are the result of the eye's lens becoming tinted and cloudy. This accounts for over 48% of the world’s correctible blindness. Sooner or later cataracts affect just about everyone.

Studies show that cataracts affect:

  • 42% of those between the ages of 52 to 64
  • 60% of those between the ages of 65 and 74
  • 91% of those between the ages of 75 and 85

What are my options for treatment in Atlanta if I have Cataracts?

Most people do not realize how much cataract surgery has advanced over the last 10 years. Not only have there been developments in the equipment but also with the lens implants themselves. Thomas Eye Group offers the latest technology involving no-stitch, no-needle cataract surgery using small incision phacoemulsification. Millions of people undergo cataract surgery every year and have successful surgeries.

When considering cataract surgery you now have new options for lens implants. Some lenses can even correct your vision at near, far and intermediate distances. Years ago the only lens implants were monofocal, now you have options for multifocal/accommodating lenses or the traditional monofocal lens implants. Be sure to discuss these options in your consultation and pre-operative eye exams. 

Laser Cataract Surgery Technology

Thomas Eye Group in Atlanta is proud to offer the FDA-approved CATALYS™ Precision Laser System which represents a breakthrough in cataract surgery in Georgia and beyond. For the past several decades, cataract surgeons have used handheld instruments to perform some of the most challenging parts of the procedure. Today, the new technology offered by CATALYS™ combines a femtosecond laser, 3D imaging, sophisticated software and a number of other innovative features that make the cataract procedure highly customized, gentle and more precise than manual surgery.

Intraocular Lens (IOL) Options

Intraocular lenses come in a variety of materials and designs. Your Thomas Eye Group cataract surgeon generally chooses a lens made of a material that is best suited to your individual situation. Some intraocular lenses used in our practice are coated with UV filters. These lenses are theoretically better at blocking the light rays in the blue spectrum. The UV radiation is thought to be related to the development of macular degeneration in some patients. Some intraocular lenses are designed to be multifocal, which may enable patients to see both at distance and near without the aid of glasses. Additionally, we also offer accommodating lens implants, which actually move inside the eye to emulate the natural process of the eye’s crystalline lens.


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