untreated cataracts

A massive 25 million Americans have cataract. It is a common eye condition in which the lens of the eye gradually becomes weak and your vision is impaired completely. A research done by the study “The Future of Vision” estimates the number of cataract patients will rise to 38.5 million by 2032 and 45.6 million by 2050. (Source: Cataract massively reduces the sharpness of vision. The most common sign is a yellowish-brown tint that clouds your vision.

June is Cataract Month

June has been declared as Cataract Awareness Month by Prevent Blindness to educate the masses on the symptoms, risk factors, and available treatment options. As you age, your eyesight takes a backseat and you rely a lot more on your reading glasses for every activity that you undertake. Cataract often ambushes the eyesight of adults over 40. But untreated cataracts do not come with a lot of noticeable symptoms.

It starts with a difficulty to see things around you. Most people assume it’s a prescription upgrade they require and the first thing they do is rush to an optometrist. Some people might not be able to work or read under the same light, often not realizing you’re damaging your vision a little more. Untreated cataracts get worse with time and before you know it; your vision will get blurry to the point where no type of prescription lenses will work. Many people may also suffer from a dry eye that can leave you feeling tired all the time.

But there’s no need for you to suffer for too long. These signs often indicate that it’s time for you to get cataract surgery.

Here are Some Signs for Untreated Cataracts:

    • Double Vision

Double vision is an early sign of cataract. The cloudy layer on the eye lens can scatter the light entering your eyes which leads to the formation of two images. Looking for correction measures earlier is necessary to avoid adverse problems.

    • Difficulty Discerning Colors

Cataract may affect your color vision. You may see some colors faded, and slowly, your vision may take on a yellowish or brownish tinge. Discoloration due to cataract often goes ignored. But if it worsens, for example, difficulty distinguishing purples and blues, you must get your eyes examined.

    • Compromised Night Vision

With age, the lens of your eye, which sits behind your pupil, becomes cloudy. You may experience bothersome vision problems such as halos and glare at night. Cataract surgery is recommended if you need better visual acuity at night, especially when you are driving.

    • Total Blindness

Untreated cataracts lead to the road of complete blindness or legal blindness. People often feel worried when they hear the word “blindness”. But blindness caused by cataracts is reversible to restore your vision with the help of cataract surgery and a pair of special contact lenses is designed for both adults and children.

Cataract Surgery Complications at a Later Age

Though cataract is a safe procedure, it can, like other surgeries, often pose the risk of complications and serious medical illnesses. And the level of risk at an older age is higher. Let’s have a look.

    • Slow and inconvenient recovery

With age, the risk of developing serious diseases such as thyroid, hypertension, cancer, etc. increases. And people with these pre-existing conditions have higher chances of showing signs of complications such as slow recovery. Diabetes, which is a common health issue in seniors, can alter the healing process dramatically.

    • Side-effects of Medication

Some people at an older age may not respond to medications very well. And this can lead to complications. For example, using steroids for long-term can make them likely to develop an infection. Or, the medication used for thinning the blood to prevent blood clots can make bleeding likely.

You won’t be able to do much about your age or a family history of cataracts. But you definitely make alterations to your diet. Eating foods rich in vitamin C and vitamin E can help prevent cataracts.
Try to add plenty of vegetables to your meals or add them as sides. Some effective ways to delay the progression of cataracts include reduced exposure to UV rays, eating vitamin-rich foods, avoiding smoking, and wearing the right eye protection gear to prevent eye injuries.

If you already facing vision problems, visit your eye doctor to check for signs of untreated cataracts. Cataract surgery will restore your vision so that you don’t struggle with poor vision as you age.

Book an appointment with an experienced eye doctor in Fresno, CA to correct your vision so that you enjoy the simple pleasures of life just as everyone else does!

Alzheimer’s Eyes

Regarded as one of the safest and most commonly performed procedures, the cataract surgery lasts 10-20 minutes on average, under topical anesthesia, and allows an intraocular lens (IOL) to be inserted instead of the opaque lens, leading to a total recovery of your visual ability. Most patients return to normal life as early as the next day, but of course it is necessary to take some precautions to prevent potential cataract surgery complications.

What to Expect After Your Cataract Surgery?

In order to fully appreciate the benefit of cataract surgery, it is often necessary to wait for your eyes and brain to adjust to your new lenses which may require one or two weeks.

It is useful to know that you may experience:

  • A marked hypersensitivity to light and glare due to dilation of pupil may last for 2-3 days
  • A clouded vision during the first hours is normal as the swollen cornea requires 48-72 hours for healing
  • Redness may appear in the white area of your eye
  • A slight annoyance, burning sensation may be present during the early hours
  • A dry eye sensation may persist for three or four months post surgery
  • An occasional itch or the sensation of a foreign body in your eyes are a completely normal phenomena that will disappear within a few weeks or a month
  • Llights may appear elongated and surrounded by halos, especially at night
  • Secondary cataracts are rare but may develop after weeks or years after surgery.
    For best cataract surgery recovery, it is best to use a new pair of lenses or glasses.

What is the Cataract Surgery Recovery Time?

The healing or recovery time differs among individuals, wherein some may experience quick healing while others may heal a bit slower. While the typical cataract surgery recovery time is about one month, you will be able to see images with the sharpest of focus within a week or two of surgery, provided you follow all the post-surgery precautions.

10 Tips for a Safe and Speedy Cataract Surgery Recovery

As long as your wounds have not healed it is necessary to scrupulously follow some basic precautions, especially during the first two postoperative weeks as the eye is extremely delicate. The most important precautions you should observe:

  1. Use maximum hygiene
  2. Instill eye drops according to your prescription after washing your hands thoroughly
  3. Avoid any trauma to your eyes
  4. Apply the protective cup before sleeping after washing it thoroughly with soap and water
  5. Avoid sleeping on the side of the operated eye for some time
  6. Do not make physical exertions or sudden movements
  7. Wash your hair carefully so as not to let soap or shampoo into your eyes
  8. Avoid playing any sports till you have fully recovered
  9. Driving is not recommended as long as your vision is not satisfactory and during the adaptation period of corrective lenses
  10. Avoid swimming and intense physical activity for two to three weeks after the procedure

Importance of Follow Up Appointments

Even though your vision feels correct, you may still be on the road to recovery. The first follow-up visit is should be made the day after yourthe cataract surgery, with other subsequent visits for a complete monitoring of the healing path. In the days following the cataract surgery, report any symptoms that may seem abnormal to your ophthalmologist in Fresno if you are in the area.

If you are looking for a trusted eye doctor in Frenso, give us a call at 559-449-5050 to book an appointment.

Could you have cataracts? When should you have them operated on? These are probably the thoughts going through your mind right? Don’t worry as you are not alone in this and this article is sure to help you put some of your doubts to rest. Cataracts are an eye condition, particularly common amongst elderly people, that causes the lens of the eye to become clouded and reduces your vision. Cataracts are different from glaucoma which cannot be reversed; cataracts can be treated with eye surgery by an ophthalmologist. Here are 7 facts that you need to know about cataracts:

1. Cataract Eye Surgery Replaces Your Clouded Lens with Artificial Lens

Cataract surgery can restore your vision that was lost due to cataracts. A cataract occurs when proteins clump together in your eye which causes clouding or causes the loss of transparency in your natural eye lens. Cataract surgery removes the non-functioning eye lens and replaces it with artificial implants which are called intraocular lens (IOL). The IOL then become a permanent part of your eye.

2. Cataracts are Common

Cataracts are common, the age-related clouding of the eye and the number one cause of blindness globally. More than half of all Americans will have had or undergone cataract surgery by the age of 80, more than 3.5 million cataract surgeries are performed annually and it is one of the safest and most effective types of surgeries.

3. Age is Not a Factor Anymore as the Number of Surgeries Have Risen

The annual number of cataract surgeries is increasing annually and the average age of the surgery patient is dropping. Research indicates that the rate of cataract surgery had increased 5 times between 1980 and 2010. The average age of a patient undergoing cataract surgery has now dropped to 65. Records show that the average age for the same was previously 73 to 75 years in 2004.

4. Cataract Surgery Allows You to See Things More Clearly

After having cataract surgery, you will experience the best possible vision due to accurate incisions and corrections which will help you achieve your goal of being less dependent on your spectacles. Studies have shown that there was a decline in car accidents amongst the elderly after their cataract surgeries. Another study depicted a drop in the rate of falls experienced by older women after they underwent cataract surgery. A study in Australia found that there were less reports of anxiety or depression after cataract surgery, this was probably due to improved visibility, improved confidence, reduced social isolation and increased activity.

5. Cataract Surgeries are Not Painful

Cataract surgery is not as painful as most patients have described a mild sensation around their eyes. In certain cases, your doctor may administer a small anesthetic block around your eye. The majority of patients have not found the operation stressing or painful. You can also opt for a general anesthetic to knock you out throughout the procedure.

6. People are Opting to Have Cataract Surgeries Earlier Nowadays

The Boomer generation is opting to have cataract surgery earlier than their predecessors. Their line of reasoning being that the surgery is safe with a lot less complications due to technological advancements. Most patients want to get rid of the cataracts immediately rather than waiting for them to get worse. Research indicates that today’s generation does not want to slow down in their lives due to vision problems and choose to get rid of their vision problems as soon as possible.

7. Cataract Surgery is Not Risk-Free But due to Major Advancements it Offers Benefits Beyond Improved Vision

The rate of there being any serious risks is pretty low ranging between 1-4% according to the American Academy of Opthalmology. You need to discuss with your surgeon about whether the future benefits to your eyes are worth the small risks he will take when removing your cataracts. Today patients may spend just 15 minutes having their surgery with an incision which is just 1/5 the previous size with no sutures after which the patient has to spend just 2 hours at the outpatient surgical center.

If you are facing any symptoms of cataracts then it’s time for your eye exam! Contact our team of professionals at Insight Vision Centre in Fresno, California to schedule your eye exam today!

Natural lens of the eye is removed to be replaced by an intraocular lense in Extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE)

What is Extracapsular Cataract Extraction?

Extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE) is a type of eye surgery in which the lens of the eyes are removed, leaving the elastic capsule covering the lens which is left partially attached to allow the implantation of an intraocular lens (IOL).


The main purpose of ECCE is to restore clear vision by removing the clouded and discolored lens and replacing it with an IOL. Cataract operations are some of the oldest recorded surgical processes dating back to 1750 B.C.

It is a cataract surgery that involves removing the eye’s natural lens while leaving the back of the capsule which holds the lens in place. This process requires a much smaller incision as compared to the older process called Intracapsular Cataract Extraction. A modified version of Extracapsular Cataract Extraction is called Phacoemulsification and uses an even smaller incision which requires no sutures at all.

The natural lens become cloudy, usually due to the aging process. This cloudy lens is called a cataract. The main objective of modern cataract surgery is to remove this hazy lens and replace it with a tiny plastic prescription lens that will be permanently implanted in your eye.

Extracapsular Cataract Extraction

Extracapsular Cataract Extraction is a method of cataract surgery that involves removing the eye’s natural lenses while leaving the back of the capsule that holds the lens in place. This procedure requires a much smaller incision than the older process called Intracapsular Cataract Extraction in which the lens and the entire capsule were removed.

In this procedure, the surgeon makes a tiny incision in the white of the eye near the outer edges of the cornea. The size of this depends on whether the lens of the nucleus is to be removed all in one piece or whether it will be dissolved into tiny pieces and then vacuumed out. The surgeon then enters the eye through this incision and carefully opens the front of the capsule that holds the lens in place. After the nucleus or hard center is removed, you may need sutures if your cataract was removed in one piece. If the phacoemulsification technique is employed, sutures are usually not required to close the incision.


  • Cataract extraction is one of the most frequently performed surgical procedures in industrialized countries. Around 300,000-400,000 cases of disabling cataracts occur annually in the USA alone. 1 to 1.5 million cataract extractions are performed annually in the United States.
  • Estimates by the WHO in 1997 state that cataracts are responsible for 50% of the cases of blindness globally. This figure is expected to rise to 50 million by 2020. 1.2% of the population in Africa is blind of which cataracts are responsible for 36% of such cases.
  • About one person in every 50 of the American population will eventually have to have a cataract removed. Rates of cataract formation varies from group to group though. 50% of people over the age of 60 have some degree of cataract formation, with the figure rising to 100% for those aged 80 and above.

Risk Factors that Come with Age

  • Genetic Factors
  • Sex
    Women are a bit more likely to develop cataracts over time.
  • Exposure to Ultra-Violet Rays
    Cortical cataracts are more likely to occur to people who are exposed to sunlight frequently.
  • Smoking
    People who smoke more than 25 cigarettes a day are more likely to develop nuclear or PSC cataracts.
  • Heavy Alcohol Consumption
  • Use of Steroid Medication
  • Socioeconomic Status
    People with college education have lower rates of cataract formation than people who did not finish school.
  • Chronic dehydration, Diarrhea and Malnutrition.

Cataracts occur when there is a clouding of the clear lens, located directly behind the iris leading to clouded and misty vision. This mostly occurs in older people, but it may develop in infants and kids too. In fact, some people can even be born with a cataract. Let’s understand more about childhood cataracts.

They can be divided into two categories:

Congenital cataracts: When cataract is present in the baby at birth or shortly after it’s born

Developmental, infantile or juvenile cataracts: When cataracts are diagnosed in children that are 2 years and above.

Symptoms of Cataracts in Children

Cataracts in kids can affect one or both eyes. The symptoms include:

  • Blurry vision
  • ‘Wobbling’ eyes
  • Asquint (both eyes pointing in different directions)

Spotting these signs in infants is not easy, which is why your baby’s eyes should be routinely examined within 72 hours of birth. The test should be followed when they are 6-8 weeks old. It’s possible that cataracts can develop in children after these screening tests too. Detecting cataracts in children at early stages is important to reduce the risk of long-term vision problems.

Causes of cataracts

There are numerous reasons for cataracts to occur in children. Some possible causes include:

  • Genetic reasons when it is inherited from the parents
  • Injury to eye after birth
  • Certain genetic conditions that include Down’s syndrome
  • Infections that affected the mother during pregnancy

Treatment of Childhood Cataracts

Contact lenses: They can be used after eye surgery for bilateral or unilateral cataracts in kids under the age of two. Contact lenses can be used by older kids as well, however they are highly recommended for those under two as their eye and focusing power changes quickly during early infancy.

Intraocular lenses: These are artificial lenses that can be implemented to replace the natural lenses in children. Though this method isn’t widely used and is still under study for infants, there have been excellent results for those who opted for it.

Glasses: When cataract surgery has been done in both eyes and contact lenses failed to do the needful, then eyeglasses are recommended. They are even used when intraocular lenses are inappropriate. At times when focus needs to be managed very carefully, kids might have to wear glasses along with a contact or an intraocular lens, as the focus needs to be managed very carefully.

Risks of Cataract Surgery

Though it is successful in most cases with a low risk of serious complications, cataract surgery does have a few risks. The most common is a condition that can affect the artificial lens implants called posterior capsule opacification (PCO). This causes cloudy vision to return after the surgery. Glaucoma is another risk when pressure starts building inside the eye. If left untreated, glaucoma can cause irreversible and permanent damage to the eye and vision.
Most complications can be treated with further surgeries or medication. It is crucial that cataracts are detected in early stages and is treated quickly. Failing to provide immediate cataract care can result in a permanent lazy eye or even blindness, depending on the severity of the case.

How Can Childhood Cataract be Prevented

Cataracts that are genetically passed may not be prevented, however taking precautions during pregnancies to avoid infections may drastically reduce the chances of your child being born with cataracts. Genetic counseling may help if you are planning another baby after having a child with childhood cataracts.

If your child is complaining of compromised vision or if you observe any cataract symptom in the kid, contact our Eye doctor in Fresno at InSight Vision Center immediately.

As you age, the lens of your eyes also age. As it grows old, a few of its cells die and accumulate, thus turning the lens cloudy and yellow. This results in problems like blurry vision, fuzzy images of yellowed or fading colors. This condition is known as cataract. Anyone can be at a risk of cataract. Let’s understand more about this condition and its various types.

Types Of Cataracts

  • Sub-capsular cataract
    This occurs when the back of the lens gets clouded and blurs the vision. Those suffering from diabetes or people taking high doses of steroids are at a higher risk of developing this kind of cataract.
  • Nuclear cataract
    This is usually associated with aging and forms deep in the nucleus of the lens.
  • Cortical cataract
    This type of cataract is seen in the part surrounding the central nucleus called the lens cortex. It is characterized by white colored wedge-shaped opacities that start at the periphery of the lens and reach the center, resembling white-colored spoke.

Cataracts Symptoms and Signs

The symptoms of cataract differ based on the type of cataract you have. If you experience any of the following signs, consult an eye doctor immediately.

  • Cloudy and blurred vision: Cataract will start out small and will hardly affect your vision initially. Eventually, the blurriness will increase and your vision will start getting hazy.
  • Enhanced brightness: The sun, lamp or headlights will seem too glaring and bright as compared to before. On the other hand, brightness of colors will decrease. There will be an increased difficulty with vision at night
  • Halo effect: You will see halos around any light source.
  • Frequent change in lens or glass prescription

Different types of cataracts will give different symptoms. In case of nuclear cataract, you might experience a temporary improvement in your near vision, known as ‘second sight.’ This will be a short-lived phenomenon and will disappear soon, worsening the cataract. Contrarily, a sub-capsular cataract may not produce any symptoms until it’s well-developed.

What Causes Cataracts

The lens inside the eye focuses light onto the retina and allows us see things clearly. This lens is made up of protein and water, and the arrangement of protein is such that it keeps the lens clear and allows the light pass through it. However, with age, some of this protein starts clamping together and clouds a part of the lens. This is cataract, which may grow larger and cloud more of the lens, making it harder to see.

Age is the primary reason for causing cataract, but there are other factors that elevate the risk. Some include:

  • Diabetes or hypertension
  • UV radiation from sunlight
  • High myopia
  • Family history
  • Excessive smoking or drinking
  • Previous eye surgery, eye injury or inflammation
  • Prolonged use of corticosteroid medications

Preventing Cataract

Though there is no concrete proof that cataract can be successfully prevented in a patient, there have been studies that suggest that certain nutrients and nutritional supplements may reduce the risk of cataracts. Vitamin E, Vitamin C and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids may reduce cataract risk. Covering your eyes every time you step out in the sun will greatly help.

It should also be noted that eye drops will not help prevent or dissolve small cataracts because they are not a particular ‘substance’ which can be dissolved. Even the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) hasn’t approved of any eye drops which can cure or delay cataracts. Any such eye drops only lessen the burning and itching sensation in your eyes.

Cataract Treatment

As soon as initial symptoms begin to appear, you can aid your vision through glasses, appropriate lighting, strong bifocals and other visual aids. As the condition worsens, surgery is the only option.
Cataract surgery is a simple, painless and most commonly performed treatment which helps regain a clear vision. The surgery is recommended when the vision is seriously impaired and starts affecting your daily life. Cataract extraction is done with this surgery in a 15 minutes procedure which involves the use of a laser. This surgery gives really successful results. 9 out of 10 people who underwent this surgery are known to regain a vision as good as 20/20 and 20/40.
The surgery involves removal of your clouded lens and in most cases replacing them with clear, plastic intraocular lens (IOL). Cataract surgery recovery is a must after the operation.

Post-Surgery Care

  • Do not rub or press your eyes
  • Don’t lift heavy-weight for the next few weeks
  • Heavy exercises should be avoided
  • Normal routine activities can be resumed the day after, once the eye patch is removed

If you or a loved one is suffering from cataract or is showing symptoms of the same, contact our eye care in Fresno immediately.

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