Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about Cataract and Cataract surgery.
What is a Cataract?
Every year, more than 50,000 Canadians' sight becomes impaired due to eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts. More than 2.5 million Canadians suffer from cataracts and 50% aged 65 and older are at risk for developing it. In anticipation for the Cataract Awareness Month, the specialists at OCC Eyecare have answered Frequently Asked Questions to help you better understand this condition.
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the eye's natural lens, which results in impaired vision. It cannot be corrected by glasses or contact lenses.
What causes Cataracts?
Cataracts can be caused by infection, drug side effects, and physical trauma, however, the most common cause of cataracts by far is aging.
What age do cataracts develop? Are cataracts found only in older people?
Typically, most cataracts develop slowly over time and affect people over the age of 50. About half of the population has a cataract by age 65, and nearly everyone over 75 has at least one.
What happens if cataracts are left untreated?
In most cases, cataracts cause continual loss of vision, eventually leading to legal blindness or even total blindness. However, blindness caused by cataracts can be successfully restored with cataract surgery and implantation of an intraocular lens (IOL).
Is cataract surgery safe?
All surgery involves some risk. It’s best to choose an experienced specialist with several thousand procedures under their belt. OCC Eyecare surgeons have each done over 20,000 cataract surgeries in addition to surgeries in their specialties of oculoplastics, retinal disease and glaucoma. They use some of the most advanced methods for removing cataracts as well as offering the leading IOL options.
Are you awake during cataracts surgery? Is Cataracts a painful procedure?
All patients awake during cataract surgery are given oral medication before the procedure so they are fully relaxed and feel no discomfort. It’s recommended to be awake during the procedure as it eliminates risks associated with general anaesthesia and enables your cataract surgeon to communicate with you during your procedure.
How is a cataract removed?
A small incision is made in the front surface of the eye with a scalpel or a laser. A circular hole is then cut in the front of the thin membrane that encloses the eye's natural lens. Typically, the lens is then broken into smaller pieces with a laser or an ultrasonic device so it can be more easily removed from the eye.
Once the entire lens is removed, it is replaced with a clear implant called an intraocular lens (IOL) to restore vision. OCC Eyecare specialists provide many options for cataract removal such as CATALYS femtosecond laser technology and Ultrasonic Cataract Surgery.