Video: National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Cataracts occur when the natural lens in the eye gradually becomes clouded, often as a result of the natural aging process. When opacities develop in the lens and the lens gets too hazy, vision will be impaired. Our office can diagnose and manage cataracts. When cataracts affect the vision to the extent that you cannot read or see distant objects comfortably, we will recommend cataract surgery. Our office co-manages with cataract specialists who are proven experts in the field of cataract surgery. Cataract surgery can provide you with a bright new world of vision.
For patients with congenital cataracts, the lens opacity is present at birth. These type of cataracts can be due to genetic or maternal reasons. There are many different morphological shapes. In infants, congenital cataracts are usually bilateral and recognized by the appearance of a white pupil, which is detected during a routine eye examination in the baby's first six months of life. Maternal reasons for the development of cataracts may include: syphilis or rubella or may be secondary to amniocentesis. There are various types of congenital cataracts. The specific treatment depends on the type and severity.
Traumatic cataracts can result from two major types of injuries:
Perforating Eye Injuries: If a sharp object penetrates the eye (ex. wire) and penetrates the capsule of the lens in the eye, a cataract will frequently develop. This type of cataract will usually develop at a fast rate.
Blunt Eye Injuries: If the eye is injured by a blunt compression-type injury, a cataract may develop up to several years after the injury. Additionally, with this type of injury, the zonules attaching to the lens capsule may be torn or injured, which may impair the "near point" focusing ability for the individual.
Also known as an after-cataract, a secondary cataract is one that forms following cataract removal surgery. Typically, it occurs when a piece of the cataract remains or when scar tissue has formed an opacity. This occurs in about 1 out of every 4 cases and is quite simple to remove. A Yag laser is used to eliminate the remaining opacity and is quick and painless. The procedure is called a Posterior Capsulotomy.