WHAT ARE THEY?


Cataracts are a common eye problem that often occurs later in life. Cataracts affect sight by causing clouding in the lens of the eye. The condition prevents the lens from focusing on the retina, resulting in loss of vision.


Cataract surgery is performed depending on the severity of the condition. When individuals find it difficult to read or drive, we perform the surgery with a local anesthesia. The surgery is performed through a small incision and requires no stitch after completion. Dr. Mark Austin has more than 25 years of experience performing small incision no-stitch cataract surgery in the greater Appleton area.




WHAT CAUSES CATARACTS?


The most common cause of cataracts is biological aging and overexposure to ultraviolet light.  The lens lies behind the iris and pupil and works to focus light onto the retina at the back of the eye. The rest of our eye structures work together to adjust and transmit images to the brain, which allows us to see objects and colors.


The lens is made of mostly water and proteins. The protein stays aligned in a way that the lens remains clear. As we age, this protein can clump together and become opaque. Much like trying to look through a foggy window, the clouding is what causes blurriness and difficulty seeing and is called a cataract.  


While there is no guaranteed way to avoid cataracts, wearing eyewear and sunwear that blocks 100% of UVA and UVB rays can slow the onset as well as decrease the exposure to direct sunlight. People with cataracts commonly experience difficulty in appreciating colors and changes in contrast, driving, reading, recognizing faces, and coping with glare from bright lights.




TREATMENT OPTIONS


Treatment for cataracts is safe and effective. The most common form of treatment is surgery. In fact, by age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract, or have cataract surgery. Cataract surgery replaces the lens inside an affected eye and restores your clear vision.


If you have questions about cataracts or other eye health conditions, please call our office or speak with one of our doctors at your next appointment.