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Cataract Print E-mail

Dr. Kennedy A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye. The normally clear lens of the eye collects metabolic debris which builds up over the years. The visual result is like smearing grease over the lens of a camera. A primary cataract develops independently of other diseases with the simple passage of time and is unusual before age 50. A secondary cataract is associated with another diorder such as diabetes, glaucoma or retinal detachment and can occur, threfore, earlier in life. Multiple eye surgeries, such as corneal transplant, also tend to produce cataracts. Cataracts are also classified by position. A supranuclear cataract occurs just above the center (the nucleus) of the lens in the visual axis. An eccentric cataract occurs outside the visual axis and causes little problem with vision until it expands into the visual axis. A central or nuclear cataract (occuring in the center - the nucleus - of the lens) is a serious visual problem requiring surgery to restore clear vision. Cataract surgery involves removal of the clouded lens (the cataract) followed by replacement of the lens with a lens made of plastic, silicone, acrylic or other material. The operation typically takes about an hour, is done under local anesthesia, and does not require hospitalization. Visual correction of near or far-sightedness can be accomplished by replacing the cataract with a lens of appropriate power. Close vision is no longer possible after cataract surgery and reading glasses are almost always required, although there is a type of lens (trade mane Re Stor) which maintains some degree of close vision. I have had one in my right eye since cataract surgery for a cataract secondary to corneal transplant to cure keratoconus; but that is another story.

The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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