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A cataract is a clouding or darkening that develops in the normally clear lens of the eye. This prevents the lens from properly focusing light on the retina, at the back of the eye, resulting in a loss of vision. It is not a film that grows over the surface of the eye. No one is exactly sure what causes a cataract, but it is known that chemical changes within the lens cause it to become cloudy. This is often thought of as a part of the natural aging process, but it may also result from heredity, medication, an injury or disease.

Cataracts are most often found in persons over age 55, but are also occasionally found in younger persons, even newborns. Cataracts usually develop in both eyes, but often at different rates. Some cataracts develop slowly over a period of years and others form rapidly within a few months. Currently, there is no proven method to prevent cataracts from forming or to make the cloudy lens clear after a cataract has developed. Quite often, your eye doctor can prescribe changes in your glasses or contact lenses to help you see more clearly as your cataract develops. Often, the patient with cataracts must have more frequent changes in their glasses or contacts. In many cases, the vision of a patient with cataracts does not require surgical intervention.

It is important to keep your eye checked because a cataract can induce the disease of glaucoma. While it is improper to remove a cataract in it’s early stages, it is also ill advised to wait until the cataract progresses to an extremely advanced stage. An advanced cataract is actually more difficult to remove and thusly a greater risk. In your complete eye examination, your eye doctor can determine whether or not you have cataracts. Cataracts vary in their development from person to person, so the symptoms may also vary. Here are some common symptoms that people experience:

  • increasing haziness causing blurred or distorted vision…colors may seem yellowed

  • difficulty seeing in bright sun light

  • trouble driving at night

  • an increasing need for more light to see clearly to read

  • a tendency to become more nearsighted because of increasing density of the lens

  • double vision

  • a gradual loss of color vision

  • a stage where it is easier to see without glasses…second sight

Ultimately, if your cataract impairs your daily activities, we will refer you to a recommended eye surgeon for surgical removal of the cataract. The surgery is relatively uncomplicated and has a 95% success rate. Our office is equipped to provide the pre-operative and post-operative eye care. We currently recommend a clear corneal procedure because it can be done under topical anesthesia and because it usually requires no suturing of the incision. These factors improve the healing of the eye and allow a more accurate correction of your sight following surgery.

When your eye’s natural lens is removed during cataract surgery, some type of treatment is usually needed to achieve clear, comfortable vision. Intraocular lenses, contact lenses and glasses are all common forms of post-cataract vision correction. Intraocular lens implants are inserted at the time of surgery and serve as “new” lenses. Whatever the treatment, regular follow-up care is important in making sure you maintain good vision and eye health.

* Please consult your eye doctor for further details. This information is presented for informational purposes and is not designed to substitute for the advice of your eye doctor.




       Dr. Joseph Audia  2403 West Main St. Salem, WV 26426  304-782-1005                          Dr. Joseph Audia   345 Floral Drive   Harrisville, WV 26362   304-643-2117
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