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What are cataracts?

Normal lens Lens                        affected by cataracts

    Cataracts are a clouding of the lens of your eye, which is normally clear. For people who have cataracts, it can be compared to looking through a frosty or fogged up window. The presence of cataracts can make it more difficult to drive a car (especially at night), red, or see facial expressions. Most of the time, cataracts develop slowly and don't disturb eyesight early on but will eventually interfere with your vision.

Stages of Development

  • Immature
  • Mature
  • Hypermature

Types of Cataracts

  • Cortical
  • Nuclear
  • Morgagnian
  • Posterior Subcapsular

Signs and Symptoms

Call your doctor if you are experiencing:

  • Clouded, blurred, or dimmed vision
  • Increasing difficulty with vision at night
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Seeing "halos" around lights
  • Changed in eyeglasses or contact lens prescription
  • Fading or yellowing of colors
  • Double vision in a single eye

Treatment Options

At first, enhanced lighting and glasses will help the patient deal with the impaired vision but eventually, the vision may interfere with your normal activities. At this point, cataract surgery is an option. During cataract surgery, the clouded lens in removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens, called and intraocular lens. This will remain as a permanent part of your eye after implantation. Cataract surgery is generally an outpatient procedure and is considered to be safe; however, it does carry a minor risk of infection, bleeding, or retinal detachment. After the procedure, some discomfort can be anticipated for a few days but the patient can usually return to work with few limitations within approximately a week.

Where can I go to get treated?

Katzen Eye Group

410-821-9490

Locations

  • Lutherville
  • Mercy Medical Center
  • Rosedale
  • Bel Air
  • Pasadena
  • Dulaney Eye Institue

Omni Eye Specialists

410-277-EYES (3937)

Locations

  • Windsor Mill
  • Eldersburg
  • White Marsh
  • Pasadena
  • Glen Burnie
  • Dulaney Eye Institute
  • Oak Crest Village

Wilmer Eye Institute

410-955-5080

Locations

  • Bayview Medical Center
  • Bethesda
  • Frederick
  • The Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Columbia
  • Bel Air
  • Green Spring Station
  • Odenton
  • White Marsh

(This page was adapted from the American Optometric Association)