LAGUNA HILLS • SAN CLEMENTE
Orange County, California
800-974-EYES (3937)

About Cataracts:



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Cataract Specialists Orange County

What are cataracts?

A cataract is a clouding of the internal focusing lens inside the eye, which is normally clear in youth, gradually developing density over a lifetime. Cataracts typically do not cause visual difficulty until a person's late 60's or beyond.

What causes cataracts to develop?

Cataracts develop because of a natural aging process in the lens itself If we all live long enough, we will most likely develop cataracts. Ultraviolet (UV) exposure may play a role, but otherwise we aren't completely certain of the cause. Some cataracts occur in younger people because of direct trauma to the eye (such as getting hit in the eye with a hard ball), genetic conditions, or occasionally vitamin deficiencies. Wearing sunglasses in bright sunlight and eating healthy foods are suggested for everyone.

What are the symptoms of cataracts?

Early on, cataract symptoms can be very mild. Many people first notice a distracting glare from oncoming headlights when they drive at night. It may require more and more light to comfortably read, even while wearing glasses. Some people notice that television captions become increasingly difficult to read.

Normal Vision Vision with Cataracts
Cataract Experts Orange County
Normal Eye

A healthy, clear lens focuses light directly onto the retina, causing a crisp, clear image to be seen.

Cataract Eye

A cloudy, cataractous lens scatters light, only partially hitting the retina, causing a hazy image to be seen.

Do glasses help with cataracts?

Sometimes they do. During a routine complete eye examination, we evaluate vision and the total health of the eye, also screening for other disorders like glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetes. This allows us to determine whether a change in glasses would provide a significant improvement in vision. However, when cataracts become dense enough, even new glasses will not help because the eye is seeing through a cloudy internal lens that cannot be corrected with glasses.

Can cataracts be reversed or prevented?

Wearing ultraviolet (UV) protecting sunglasses may help reduce the progression of cataract. It is worthwhile for most people to investing in a good quality pair of sunglasses, which need not be very expensive. In addition, a balanced diet containing a reasonable amount of antioxidant vitamins may help prevent cataracts, while supporting overall health.

Do cataracts occur in both eyes at the same time?

Generally, cataracts progress at about the same rate in both eyes, however many people seem to notice cataract symptoms in one eye first. During an examination, we can determine whether any other conditions such as macular degeneration are also contributing to difficulty with vision.

Cataract Surgery

When should cataracts be removed and why?

We no longer recommend surgery when a cataract is "ripe", which is a very dense cataract. Rather, the decision for surgery is based on when visual difficulties begin to interfere with normal activities of daily living, like driving, reading, work, or hobbies.

About cataract surgery... next page -->



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Harvard Eye Associates
Laguna Hills Office

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24401 Calle de la Louisa
Suites 300-312
Laguna Hills, California 92653

949-951-2020
FAX: 949-356-1660
Harvard Eye Associates
San Clemente Office

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665 Camino de los Mares
Suites 102-103
San Clemente, California 92673

949-493-5411
FAX: 949-356-1660

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