A cataract is cloudiness of the crystalline lens inside the eye. The lens is located behind the
pupil and the iris. In the beginning, the cloudiness is mild and may have little or no effect on the
vision but as the cloudiness 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.
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.
For state of the art surgical care of cataracts in St. Louis area, please call us
at any number below.
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.
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.
Some of 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
3535 S. jefferson
St. Louis, MO 63118
Phone: 314- 771- 3000
( Located in the medical
pavilion of St. Alexius Hospital,
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
■ Poor night vision.
■ Double vision or multiple images in one eye.
(This symptom may clear as the cataract gets
■ 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 extremely difficult to
treat and can lead to total blindness and painful situations.
3535 S. Jefferson, Suite S-4
Saint Louis, MO 63118