Questions About Cataracts

Questions about Cataracts

Los Angeles, California

What is a cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of your eye’s normally clear lens. The amount of vision impairment may be small initially, but as cataracts grow, so will the impairment, potentially leading to blindness. The most common cataracts are related to aging; more than half of all Americans over age 65 will experience a cataract in their lifetime.

Are cataracts found only in older people?

While about half of US citizens over age 65 experience cataracts, even more people over the age of 75 have at least one cataract. Though much more common in elderly citizens, infants can also experience cataracts. These are called congenital cataracts, and they most often occur if a mother has experienced German measles, chickenpox, or another infectious disease during pregnancy. Other times, congenital cataracts are inherited.

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How is a cataract detected?

Cataracts are detected during a comprehensive eye examination. The exam includes a visual acuity test to measure the ability to see at different distances, pupil dilation to examine the lens and retina, and test called a tonometry to measure fluid pressure in your eye.

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should schedule an eye exam as soon as possible:

  • Cloudy or blurry vision
  • Poor night vision
  • Double or multiple vision
  • Glare from headlights, sunlight or lamps that seem too bright
  • Faded colors
  • Glasses or contact prescriptions that need changed frequently

How is a cataract removed?

Once clouded, the lens of the eye cannot be made clear again. Dr. Khanna will either remove your lens or use an ultrasound and surgical solution to break apart the cataract and remove it. The back membrane of your lens, called the posterior capsule will be left in place and your damaged lens will be replaced with a refractive lens.

If both the lens and membrane must be removed, you must undergo an intracapsular extraction. Doing this will ensure that the membrane alone will not ultimately grow cloudy and cause poor vision in the future. If this membrane does become cloudy, or if any part of your remaining natural lens becomes cloudy, this condition is called a secondary cataract.

Is cataract surgery effective?

Yes. Cataract surgery is one of the most popular and most effective surgeries performed in the United States today. In fact, over 90 percent of people who undergo cataract surgery enjoy better vision today than they did prior to surgery.

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What are some possible side effects of cataract surgery?

As with most surgeries, there is a risk of pain, swelling, infection, and post-operative bleeding. However, few patients experience any of these. If you do experience side effects, there are medications that Dr. Khanna and his trained staff can prescribe to ease any discomfort. There is also the slim possibility of a retinal detachment. If you experience excessive pain, nausea or vision loss, you should come in to the office immediately.

If you live in the Los Angeles area and have cataracts, we encourage you to contact The Khanna Institute today to schedule a free cataract surgery consultation. Dr. Khanna can grant you clear, unclouded vision, enhancing your quality of life for years to come.

The Khanna Institute serves patients throughout the Los Angeles area, with offices in Beverly Hills and Westlake Village, California.