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What are cataracts? How do they affect vision?

By admin | Oct 23, 2017

The way we see is very much like how a camera takes a picture.  The front of the eye – the cornea, pupil, and lens – focuses light.  This light gets focused onto the retina, the film of the eye that converts light impulses into neurological signals.  These signals get transmitted through the optic nerve and to the brain where they are developed into images.

The lens is a metabolically active tissue.  Just as a tree lays down one ring a year, the lens lays down several.  Over time, it slowly thickens and becomes less optically clear.  This causes images to appear hazy.  The light entering the lens is also scattered because the lens is not optically clear.  This can lead to symptoms such as glare and halos which can be especially bothersome at night.

Clear VisionVision with Cataract
Clear Vision                                                       Vision with Cataract

While the presence of a cataract is a normal aging process, there are other causes for why cataracts can prematurely form.  Trauma, use of steroids, or inflammation in the eye (uveitis) are a few reasons.  If someone has had eye surgery, this could hasten cataract formation as well.  Sometimes, conditions we are born with, for example, high myopia (nearsightedness) can lead to earlier cataract formation as well.

When evaluation your vision, our specialists will take into consideration and explain all factors that might be causing you to have difficulty seeing clearly.  Having a clear understanding of your unique medical issues, and how they affect your sight is very important.  Here at Retina Consultants of Boston, we strive to communicate and educate our patients so we can work as a team to help preserve your vision.

In the interest of maintaining further transparency and providing a wide breadth of information to our patients and providers, this blog will serve as an educational and informative resource on interesting happenings within Retina Consultants of Boston and in the greater field of Ophthalmology.

Here at Retina Consultants of Boston, Dr. John J. Weiter and Dr. Namrata Nandakumar are on the forefront of diagnostic techniques, treatment and micro-surgical techniques for macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachments, macular holes, and a number of other issues affecting the vitreous and retina. Check back here frequently for news and updates on our practice and all things retina!