Cataracts

A cataract is a clouding of the eye's natural lens, which lies behind the iris and the pupil. The lens works like a camera lens, focusing light onto the retina at the back of the eye. The lens also helps us focus, up close and far away. It is mostly made of water and protein; as we age, some of the protein may clump together and start to cloud a small area of the lens. Over time, it may grow larger, making it harder to see.

The lens is mostly made of water and protein. The protein is arranged in a precise way that keeps the lens clear and allows light to pass through it. But as we age, some of the protein may clump together and start to cloud a small area of the lens. This is a cataract, and over time, it may grow larger and cloud more of the lens, making it harder to see.

Most cataracts occur gradually as we age and don't become bothersome until after age 55. However, cataracts can also be present at birth (congenital cataracts) or occur at any age as the result of an injury to the eye (traumatic cataracts). Cataracts can also be caused by diseases such as diabetes or can occur as the result of long-term use of certain medications, such as steroids.

While a comprehensive eye examination can determine for certain if you have a cataract forming, there are a number of signs and symptoms that may indicate a cataract.

  • Gradual blurring or hazy vision where colors may seem yellowed
  • The appearance of dark spots or shadows that seem to move when the eye moves
  • A tendency to become more nearsighted because of increasing density of the lens
  • Double vision in one eye only
  • A gradual loss of color vision
  • A stage where it is easier to see without glasses
  • The feeling of having a film over the eyes and an increased sensitivity to glare, especially at night.

Can cataracts be prevented and treated?

Currently, there is no proven method to prevent cataracts from forming. If your cataracts develop to a point that daily activities are affected you will be referred to an eye surgeon who may recommend the surgical removal of the cataract. Prescription changes in your eyewear will help you see more clearly until surgery is necessary. The surgery is relatively uncomplicated but is the only proven means of effectively treating cataracts.

When will I need to have cataracts removed?

Cataracts may develop slowly over many years or they may form rapidly in a matter of months.Some cataracts never progress to the point that they need to be removed. Usually you will be ready to have a cataract removed when it is having a significant adverse effect on your lifestyle. Our office will arrange a consultation with a surgeon who will decide on appropriate time for removal. Most people wait until the cataracts interfere with daily activities before having them removed.

Cataract surgery has now developed to the point where most procedures are completed during the day and overnight stays in hospital are unnecessary. The results are usually excellent and patients are able to appreciate a significant improvement in vision almost immediately. In the Parkland Regional Health  area we are fortunate to have cataract surgery made available in the Swan River Hospital by Dr.R. Beldavs.

When will I need to have cataracts removed?

Cataracts may develop slowly over many years or they may form rapidly in a matter of months.Some cataracts never progress to the point that they need to be removed. Usually you will be ready to have a cataract removed when it is having a significant adverse effect on your lifestyle. Our office will arrange a consultation with a surgeon who will decide on appropriate time for removal. Most people wait until the cataracts interfere with daily activities before having them removed.

What happens after cataract surgery?

You along with your doctors,will decide on the type of post-cataract vision correction that you will use. Intraocular lens implants,inserted in your eye at the time of surgery acts as a new lens and are the most frequent form of vision correction. In some cases, however eyeglasses or contact lens will be needed to provide the most effective post - cataract vision. Especially for reading.

Dauphin

115 – 2nd Avenue NW
Dauphin, MB R7N 1H3
Phone: (204) 638-3223
Fax: (204) 638-9098

HOURS

Monday to Friday: 8:00 to 5:00
Closed on the last Friday of every month from 12-1pm. 

Roblin

W.E. Nash Clinic, 15 Hospital Street
Roblin, MB R0L 1P0
Phone: (204) 937-8305
Fax: (204) 638-9098

HOURS

Monday: 8:30 to 5:00
Tuesday to Thursday: 9:00 to 5:00
Friday: 9:00 to 4:00

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