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Cataract Exam: Diagnosis & Management | Manhattan Beach, CA
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Manhattan Beach, CA / (310) 545-4090

Cataract Exam & Management

Cataracts: The Inevitable Eye Problem

Most people are familiar with cataracts, and may even know someone who has them. But do you know how cataracts develop? More importantly, do you know whether you are at risk of developing cataracts yourself? By learning more about common eye issues, you take a proactive approach to your vision and eye health.

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is simply a lens that becomes increasingly opaque, or cloudy.

The eye’s natural lens (or crystalline lens) is made of proteins and water. For the majority of your life, the proteins are evenly spaced, allowing ample room for light to pass through. As you grow older, these proteins restructure; moving closer together and restricting the amount of light able to pass through. As the cataract continues to develop, the patient’s vision becomes increasingly cloudy.

Who Experiences Cataracts?

Unfortunately, cataracts affect all of us eventually. The restructuring of the crystalline lens is a normal part of the aging process. In fact, most patients over the of age have 40 have some level of cataract development.

Risk Factors

Although everyone will develop cataracts at some point, there are some factors which could increase your risk of cataract development at a younger age. The exact cause of cataracts is unknown, but it often occurs as a result of the tissue changing due to age or injury. However, some other factors have been shown to increase the risk of developing cataracts, including:

  • Smoking
  • Prolonged or excessive exposure to sunlight
  • Health problems such as diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Hypertension
  • Eye trauma or injury
  • Extended steroid use

Symptoms of Cataracts

Cataract symptoms vary depending on the type of cataract, however, generally there is a yellowing of the lens and a decrease in vision, causing reduced vision, glare, halos (particularly when driving at night), and occasionally double vision in the affected eye.

Cataract Surgery

Cataracts can be eliminated through a fairly simple surgery. However, this surgery is only performed on patients with advanced cataract development.

Patients living with cataracts can rely on stronger corrective prescriptions or low vision aids for quite some time before surgery becomes necessary. Once you reach the point that you can no longer live your life normally with the help of extra magnification, it’s time to pursue surgery as an option.

Cataract surgery is performed one eye at a time, with a week or so between each surgery. Each procedure takes about 10-15 minutes per eye.

Using a small, ultrasonic tool, the ophthalmologist breaks the cloudy lens up into smaller pieces. Once these smaller pieces have been disposed of, the ophthalmologist inserts a new artificial lens (called an IOL) to replace the natural one through a small incision in the side of the eye.

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223 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Manhattan Beach,
CA 90266, USA

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Email [email protected]

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