A cataract is a clouding of the lens to the retina that makes vision blurry. It is very common among older people: By age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery. Cataracts are typically easy to correct with a quick, effective surgery. Your ophthalmologist will discuss the procedure and recovery with you in detail.
Causes of Cataracts
Cataracts occur because of normal changes that happen slowly in your eyes as you get older. Specifically, the proteins in your eyes begin to break down over time, leaving the lens cloudy. Cataracts may start developing slowly after the age of 40 and typically worsen over time. They may not interfere with a patient’s life for decades, but regular eye exams are important to monitor their development.
Symptoms of Cataracts
Cataracts can make your vision blurry, hazy, or less colorful. Cataracts also can cause increased glare from lights. When cataracts interfere with your ability to drive, cook, read, or perform other activities, you should consider surgery. In most cases, delaying cataract surgery won't harm your eye, so you have time to consider your options. The Cizik Eye Clinic will make the procedure simple and pain free when you are ready to schedule surgery.
Diagnosis of Cataracts
Your ophthalmologist will discuss your symptoms and conduct a full eye exam that includes dilating your pupil to see inside your eye. Special eye drops will be used to widen your pupil. Your doctor can see if you have cataracts and determine how much of your vision is blocked.
Treatment of Cataracts
The symptoms of early cataract may be improved with brighter lighting, new eyeglasses, or magnifying lenses. If these measures do not help, surgery is the most effective treatment. Cataract surgery successfully restores vision for most people. Prior to surgery, your doctor will order an ultrasound to measure the size and shape of your eye and to determine the correct lens.
Your doctor will discuss your existing medications and may prescribe antibiotic eyedrops. Patients may be instructed not to eat or drink anything 12 hours before surgery. Cataract surgery, usually an outpatient procedure, takes an hour or less to perform. Your doctor will use eyedrops to dilate your pupil. You'll receive local anesthetics to numb the area, and you may be given a sedative to help you relax.
During surgery, a small incision is used to remove the clouded lens, and a clear artificial lens is implanted. Normally you can go home the same day as your surgery, but you won't be able to drive yourself so arrange for a ride home. You may also need to arrange help around your home, as your doctor may limit bending and lifting for about a week after your surgery.
Your vision may be blurry as your eyes heal and adjust, but it will improve within a few days. You may also feel some mild itching and discomfort for a few days. In some cases, your doctor may ask you to wear a patch or a shield after surgery. You should also avoid rubbing your eyes.
Complications after cataract surgery are uncommon, but could include inflammation, infection, swelling, and retinal detachment. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience vision loss, swelling, or light flashes.
What you can expect at the Cizik Eye Clinic
The Cizik Eye Clinic opened in 2007 and is housed in Memorial Hermann Plaza at 6400 Fannin Street. It includes dozens of exam areas, multiple operating rooms, and laser suites equipped with the most sophisticated equipment available for patient care. People travel from across the country and the world for treatment at the Cizik Eye Clinic, in part because our affiliation with the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth provides unmatched resources and expertise.
Our friendly staff works diligently to make your visit pleasant and efficient, as we maximize patient flow through everything from routine eye exams to the most advanced eye surgeries. Our physicians are faculty members at McGovern Medical School and are board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology or are board eligible.
At the Cizik Eye Clinic, we understand that the eye is a small part of a whole patient who deserves top-notch, comprehensive care in a cutting-edge facility.
At Robert Cizik Eye Clinic, we offer patients access to highly specialized eye and vision care. To ask us a question, schedule an appointment, or learn more about us, please call (713) 486-9400, or click below to send us a message. In the event of an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room.