Dr. MJ Bazos MD, Patient Handout
About Your Diagnosis
A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens within the eye. Cataracts often occur with increasing age but can be seen at any age, including infants. The cause of most cataracts is unknown; however, cataracts can be caused by long-term steroid use, intraocular inflammation and infections, and systemic
illness such as diabetes.
Living With Your Diagnosis
The symptom of cataracts is blurred vision or occasionally double vision. At times, distance vision will be blurred more than reading vision, while at other times the reverse will be true.
Cataracts do not damage the eye. They only cause a blurring of vision. If patients are still happy with their overall visual function, then cataract surgery is not necessary. Once patients reach a point where they are no longer satisfied with their overall ability to see, then cataract surgery needs to be considered to improve vision. At times it is possible, with early cataracts, to improve vision with glasses; however, as the cataract progresses, changing the glasses will not improve vision. In most instances, cataract surgery can be performed as an outpatient procedure. There are usually minimal restrictions on activities after surgery. Surgery is never performed on both eyes at the same time. It is usually recommended that patients have the surgery performed on their weaker eye first, so that they can have the stronger eye to depend on while the operated eye is healing.
The DOs
There are no specific medications, diet, or exercise that are be helpful.
The DON’Ts
There are also no specific restrictions when patients have cataracts. In general, cataract surgery is considered an elective operation. This means that the surgery should only be performed if patients desire to improve their overall visual function. In rare instances, when the cataract is so advanced that it is no longer possible for the doctor to examine the inside of the eye, it may be recommended that surgery be performed.
When to Call Your Doctor
Patients should always call their doctor when they notice that their vision is decreasing. There are no “normal” causes of decreased vision. If a patient has a cataract and notices that the vision has gotten worse, they should still be reexamined because there could be other problems occurring in their eyes besides the cataract.