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About Cataracts and Eye Cataract Information from Doctor & Associates in Connecticut Westport Norwalk Wilton Fairfield County

About Cataracts and Your Vision

As we grow older and wish to be sure that we maintain and preserve our eye health and vision, it is important to learn about cataracts because cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss among people over 55. In the United States, the incidence of senile Cataract has been reported to be approximately 42% in those aged 52 to 64, 60% in those aged 65 to 74 and 91% in those aged 75 to 85.

In order for you to have clear vision light must be able to pass through the optical structures of your eyes and focus properly on the retina.

The two primary structures that are responsible for refracting, or bending light so that it can focus properly on the back of the eye, or the retina, are the cornea, which is the outermost clear curved “lens” that is visible when looking at your eye from a side view and the crystalline lens, which is located behind the colored part of the eye, or the iris, and is not directly visible. The crystalline lens will be examined during your eye examination by using specialized instruments to look through the pupil, or the dark center of the iris. Both the cornea and the crystalline lens need to be perfectly clear in order for you to have good vision. If you are in good health and have not had chronic eye infections, inflammation or had any trauma to your eyes, the cornea is likely to maintain its clarity throughout your life. The crystalline lens however undergoes a number of changes that progress as we age. These aging changes can affect your vision.

Even if you have had “good eyes” and “normal vision” all your life, your vision is likely to begin to change in a number of ways as you progress from your 40’s, to your 50’s and then your 60’s and beyond. The most obvious changes to our vision occur as a result of these changes in the crystalline lens.

The two most common changes that occur in the crystalline lens are:

  • A loss of flexibility, called presbyopia, which makes it harder to read and
  • A loss of optical clarity, which can cause a cataract.

When we are younger, the crystalline lens is usually soft, flexible and “crystal” clear so that it has excellent transparency and optical clarity. As we progress through our 50’s and 60’s, the normally “crystal” clear lens may gradually become yellow and cloudy.

When this occurs, you may initially experience a mild blurring of your vision and feel that you might need a change of eyeglasses. As the crystalline lens loses its transparency and its optical clarity, you may notice that it is not as easy to see well and comfortably in dim illumination, such as for night driving. You may notice that colors look faded. The cloudiness may also create glare, haloes, light sensitivity and a continuing decrease in your vision. If the crystalline lens becomes too cloudy it may cause a significant decrease in both your day and night vision.

These are the visual symptoms that are common for those patients whose crystalline lens has clouded and formed a Cataract.

About Presbyopia & Near Vision

Presbyopia is an aging phenomenon that occurs as the crystalline lens loses its flexibility with increasing age. Presbyopia begins at around age 40 and progresses until about age 65. The “normal” flexibility of the crystalline lens allows it to change its shape and alter its curvature in order to rapidly focus your vision at various distances-from far, to near, to arms length, to far or near again. The focusing capacity of the crystalline lens gives you the ability to see things at all distances-a process called “accommodation”.

About the time that we enter our 40’s, the crystalline lens begins to stiffen. The stiffening of the crystalline lens makes it progressively more difficult to change focus or accommodate making it more and more difficult to see close up. Initially, this reduces our ability to see objects clearly at arms length. As presbyopia progresses it becomes more difficult to see reading material or objects close up. When this loss of flexibility occurs, it is called presbyopia or “old eyes’.

As you begin to experience presbyopia patients often tell us that their "arms are too short" requiring them to see up close by moving near objects and reading material farther away in order to bring them into focus and to see them clearly. It is important to know that presbyopia affects everyone including those who have cataracts.

As presbyopia begins, people who have never worn eyeglasses find that they need reading glasses or bifocals in order to read and see up close. People who already wear glasses may need bifocals or trifocals in order to see up close and have comfortable near vision. Advances in cataract surgery and intraocular lens implantation (IOL) allow Connecticut Cataract Surgeon Leslie Doctor, M.D. to remove your cataract, correct near vision and treat presbyopia all as part of your cataract surgery. Presbyopia correcting lens implants that correct both distance and near vision can help patients achieve clear distance vision as well restore their normal range of vision without relying on eyeglasses, bifocals or reading glasses. At Doctor & Associates we offer near vision correction lens implants such as the Crystalens® Accommodating Lens Implant and the AcrySof® ReSTOR® Lens Implant.

As we get older, cataracts often become a common eye problem experienced by a great number of people just like you. Cataracts can affect us even if we have had normal vision all of our lives. It is important to note that cataracts are even more common if we have had certain health problems such as diabetes or taken certain medications such as cortisone for asthma or other types of inflammatory conditions. If you are experiencing vision changes like these, it is important to schedule a comprehensive eye examination and cataract evaluation.

Patients wishing to schedule a cataract evaluation or learn more about cataracts in Connecticut are invited to schedule an appointment for by phoning 203.227.4113. Cataract patients from Fairfield County or southern Connecticut will find that Doctor & Associates can serve as a Connecticut ophthalmic consultant and is conveniently located for patients from Danbury, Stamford, Greenwich, Westport, Weston, Wilton, New Canaan, Norwalk, Fairfield, Bridgeport, Cannondale, Aspetuck, Redding, Trumbull, Shelton, Monroe, Darien, Glenbrook and Ridgefield Connecticut.

The Ophthalmologists at Doctor & Associates serve adults and children in Fairfield County and southern Connecticut needing eye exams for eyeglasses & contact lenses, LASIK,
cataract surgery & lens implants, diagnosis, surgery and treatment of corneal disease, glaucoma, macular degeneration (AMD), uveitis & diabetic eye problems.

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