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Q: What are cataracts, and how are they treated?

Posted September 11, 2013 in Advice Column, Norwalk

A: A cataract is a cloudy or opaque area in the lens of the eye that can interfere with vision. Symptoms of cataracts include blurred vision, glare  and reduced intensity of colors. Cataracts can develop at any age, but are most common in persons older than 65. They usually form in both eyes, but may be worse in one eye. Many cataracts progress very slowly; in some cases, a change in prescription may be all that is needed to provide good vision.

Currently, they is no clinically established method to prevent the development and progression of cataracts. They only proven way to treat cataracts is to surgically remove the lens. The time to consider cataract surgery occurs when vision has decreased to the point where the patient can no longer satisfactorily perform his or her daily activities. Your optometrist can help with that decision. After a comprehensive eye exam, he or she will advise you about the potential risks and benefits of cataract surgery, assist in locating a qualified cataract surgeon and in many cases, provide the necessary care following surgery.

Answer provided by Dr. Michael O’Meara at Optometric Association of Warren County, P.C., 1228 Sunset Drive, Suite A, Norwalk, 981-0224.

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