Cataracts are the third leading cause of blindness in the United States
Studies suggest that everyone who lives long enough will get cataracts, although there may be some reduced risk for individuals who eat properly, avoid sun exposure and do not smoke.
It’s Cataract Awareness Month and Dr. Jonathan Frantz at Frantz EyeCare, the American Academy of Ophthalmology and ophthalmologists across the country want to debunk the myths about cataracts and remind people they don’t have to live with vision loss from cataracts.
A cataract is not a disease but an aging process similar to graying hair. As the eye ages, the normal lens inside the eye becomes cloudy. The lens focuses light rays on the retina at the back of the eye to produce a sharp image of what we see. When the lens becomes cloudy, the light rays cannot pass easily through it, and the image becomes blurry. It can be compared to a window that is frosted or “fogged” with steam.
What causes a cataract?
Cataracts usually develop as part of the aging process. Other causes include:
- Family history
- Medical problems, such as diabetes
- Injury to the eye
- Medications, such as steroids
- Long-term, unprotected exposure to sunlight
- Previous eye surgery
The amount and pattern of cloudiness within the lens can vary. If the cloudiness is not near the center of the lens, you may not be aware that a cataract is present. However, many people experience common symptoms, which include:
- A painless blurring of vision
- Glare or light sensitivity
- Frequent eyeglass prescription changes
- Double vision in one eye
- Needing brighter light to read
- Fading or yellowing of colors
Dr. Frantz is among the top five laser cataract surgeons in the country. He introduced Bladeless Laser Cataract Surgery to Southwest Florida in May 2012 and continues to embrace the latest technology for his patients by being the first surgeon in the state of Florida to offer the VERION Image Guided System, which tracks your eye from the planning stages to your actual cataract procedure. He also offers the area’s only ORA with VerifEye, which provides an in-depth analysis of the eye during surgery.The combination of the most advanced technology, a wide choice of intraocular lenses, and Dr. Frantz’s vast surgical experience offers area residents the opportunity to experience unparalleled cataract surgery.
A thorough eye examination can detect the presence and extent of a cataract, as well as other conditions that may be causing blurred vision or discomfort. To make an appointment for your cataract evaluation, visit www.bettervision.net or call our main office in Fort Myers at 239-418-0999