Cataract FAQ

How do I know if I have a cataract?
The following are common symptoms of a cataract:

  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty reading
  • Dimming of vision
  • Halos around lights
  • Double vision
  • Frequent changes or cleaning of glasses
  • Difficulty with night driving
  • Glare vision problems

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you may have a cataract. Your eye doctor should make a conclusive diagnosis.

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What is a cataract?
Normally the focusing lens of the eye is crystal clear, allowing light to pass through and form a clear image on the retina. A cataract is simply the clouding or discoloration of the lens. Light passing through the cataract (or cloudy lens) is blocked or distorted and results in a blurred or dimmed image on the retina. Unless congenital or caused by injury, cataracts are a normal part of the aging process, and there is no known way to prevent them from forming. Although most cataracts develop slowly, causing a gradual loss of sight, others progress more rapidly. The speed at which a cataract will develop is impossible to predict accurately.

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When should surgery be performed?
Cataract surgery is advised when blurred vision interferes with normal activities such as night driving, watching TV, reading, sewing, or recognizing faces. The development of a cataract is not, in itself, an indication for surgery. Cataract surgery is an elective procedure, which can be performed when a person needs or wants better vision. The surgeon will discuss with you the results of any testing and advise cataract surgery if he thinks it would be beneficial in your particular case. When you have made the decision to proceed with cataract surgery, the operation will be scheduled at your convenience. The Eye Center staff will explain your treatment to you and give you instructions on what to do before surgery.

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What is an Intraocular Lens (IOL)?
Because cataract surgery involves removal of the focusing lens of the eye, a replacement lens must be used if the patient is to see well following surgery. An intraocular lens (IOL) is a man-made lens which is placed inside the eye after the clouded, natural lens (cataract) has been removed. Specific eye measurements will be taken pre-operatively to determine what power IOL you need. The IOL is inserted in the same place that the natural lens had been. It becomes a permanent part of the eye and requires no care. The IOL does not eliminate the need for eyeglasses. After the eye is healed, you will be referred back to your optometrist for a prescription for new glasses, which will hold your bifocal for reading and also sharpen your distance vision.

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Where will the surgery take place?
All of our routine eye surgery is performed on an outpatient basis in our Medicare-certified, state licensed, AAAHC-certified Bloomington Surgery Center which is located on the lower level of The Eye Center. The surgery center consists of two state-of-the-art operating rooms, pre-op and post-op area, a recovery lounge, a comfortable waiting area for family and friends, and a video room for those who wish to view the surgery in process.

Arrangements must be made, in advance, for someone to drive you home after your surgery. We advise that you go home and rest that day.

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