CATARACTS
EYE CENTER of MISSOURI
A cataract is cloudiness of the crystalline lens inside the eye.  The lens is located behind the
pupil and the iris.
Its job is to help focus images on the retina. Generally we are born with a very
clear lens but it starts to lose clarity with age and become cloudy.
In the beginning, the
cloudiness is mild and may have little or no effect on the vision but as i
t increases, the vision
gets worse. Development of a cataract is generally associated with age.  Certain other factors
may also contribute to their formation, such as diabetes,  family history, race, ultraviolet light,
trauma or some medications including  steroids. Cataracts typically effect only vision, but in
some cases, they may lead to  a common type of Glaucoma called Narrow Angle Glaucoma. They
may also cause Pupillary block glaucoma.

                    Treatment of Cataracts

In the early stages of cataracts, vision may be improved with new glasses,
better lighting conditions, and a change in life style, such as, avoiding driving
at night. However when a cataract has progressed to the point where it effects
your vision and life style significantly, you may consider cataract surgery. The
procedure is usually fast and done under local anesthesia combined with
intravenous sedation.  Success rate in improving vision, if there are no other
problems such as retinal diseases or corneal problems, is greater than 98 %.

Surgery involves using ultrasound to dissolve the cloudy lens and remove it by
aspiration and replace it with an Intra ocular lens.  The incision is small and in
most cases no stitches are needed.

A cataract in early stages is somewhat soft but becomes hard and dense as
time goes by.  It is easier to remove a soft cataract than a more mature one,
which requires more surgery and could be rather difficult. However surgery
should only be considered when vision is impaired significantly.  Other
considerations prior to cataract surgery include evaluating the health of the
retina and possible glaucoma caused by the cataract, which is difficult to treat
medically.

If your vision is blurred, we will be happy to help you with diagnosis and
possible treatment.

                      INTRA OCULAR LENSES

    When a cataract or cloudy lens is removed, it is replaced
    with an artificial lens, most commonly called an
    Intraocular Lens
    ( IOL) or simply an implant. These implants have been
    widely used for the last 30 years . Use of these lenses
    helps focus light images on the retina. Like any other
    modern day technology, these lenses also have gone
    through an evolution and continue to get better every day.

                                        MULTIFOCAL LENSES

    Standard implants can help us see better at one given
    point, usually at a distance.  Now  there are several
    newer  premium models available which can help one
    see better at both distance and near,  therefore
    minimizing dependence on glasses. These implants are
    known as Multifocal or premium IOLs. There are
    implants for astigmatism also.

    These premium lenses may not be covered by insurance
    and, if you desire to choose one of  these, you may incur
    some additional cost for them.
PHOTOGRAPH OF THE CATARACT INSIDE AN EYE,
MODERATE   AND    ADVANCED
Glare is very common complaint among
people with cataracts
St. Louis STL


3535 SOUTH JEFFERSON
ST. LOUIS, MO 63118                     PHONE 314-771-3000


Direction

3535 S. jefferson
St. Louis, MO 63118
Phone: 314- 771- 3000

( Located in the medical
pavilion of St. Alexius Hospital,
Jefferson Campus)

    MOST COMMON CATARACT SYMPTOMS

    Cloudy or blurry vision.
    Colors seem faded.
    Glare. Headlights, lamps, or sunlight may          
    appear too bright. A halo may appear around
    lights.
    Poor night vision.
    Double vision or multiple images in one eye.
    (This symptom may clear as the cataract gets
    larger.)
    Frequent prescription changes in your
    eyeglasses or contact lenses.
How vision can be effected in cataracts?  A normal photo on the left may appear
somewhat cloudy in early cataract as seen in the middle photo but will be more
cloudy in moderately advanced cases as seen on the right. In very advanced cases,
vision is lost completely.
Neglected cases may lead to other complications such as glaucoma, uveitis and
retinal complications as well. Some of these complications are quite difficult to treat
and can lead to total blindness and painful situations.
3535 S. Jefferson, Suite S-4
Saint Louis, MO 63118
Phone   314-771-3000