Cataracts develop slowly over time, so deciding when to have them removed can be a hard decision. With regular eye exams and time spent talking with the experts at Eye Care Center of Kauai in Lihue, Hawaii, you don’t have to guess about when to make that decision. Don’t wait until cloudy vision severely affects the rest of your life. Protect your vision by scheduling an eye examination today.

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What is a cataract?

A cataract occurs when the lens in your eye becomes cloudy. It can develop in one or both eyes, but it doesn’t spread from one to the other. You can begin to get a cataract in your 40s and 50s, but at that age it’s small and doesn’t affect vision. Then over time, the cataract worsens, typically causing vision problems after the age of 60.

The risk of cataract increases with age, but other factors that can increase your chance of developing a cataract include:

  • Family history of cataracts
  • Diabetes and other chronic health conditions
  • Long-term exposure to sun without the protection of sunglasses
  • Previous eye injury or eye surgery
  • Radiation treatment on upper body

What are the symptoms of cataracts?

The lens in your eye does two things: It focuses light from outside the eye on the retina and it helps adjust the eye’s focus, so you can see things close up and far away.

The lens primarily consists of water and protein arranged in a way that keeps the lens clear and lets light pass through. Cataracts begin when the protein clumps together, which stops light from passing through and makes that part of the lens cloudy.

As cataracts cause increasing areas of cloudiness on the lens you’ll experience:

  • Cloudy or blurred vision
  • Colors that seem faded
  • Glare from headlights and lamps may be too bright
  • Poor night vision
  • Double vision
  • Need to frequently change your eyeglasses or contact lenses

How are cataracts treated?

New eyeglasses, brighter lighting, or using a magnifying lens may improve your vision, but when cataracts progress to the point where these options don’t help, surgery to remove the cataract is the only treatment.

During surgery, the doctor will remove the old lens, then replace it with a new one called an intraocular lens.

Just like prescription eyeglasses, your intraocular lens will be customized to ensure you have optimal vision.

What are the benefits of Symfony Multifocal and Toric lens implants?

The doctors at Eye Care Center of Kauai often use two intraocular lenses, the Symfony Multifocal and the Toric lns Implant.

The multifocal lens works well for patients who need near, intermediate, and distance vision corrected with their new lens.

The Toric intraocular implant is often used for patients who are having cataract surgery and who also have astigmatism, as it’s specially designed to correct vision problems due to astigmatism.