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Cataract Information from Biddeford, Maine

What is a cataract?
A cataract is not a tumor or a new growth of skin tissue over the eye, but a fogging of the normally transparent lens. As the lens fogs over, less light passes through to the retina and vision is affected.
What causes cataract?
Most cataracts are caused by a change in the chemical composition of the lens. This process is associated with aging and usually develops gradually over many years. Cataracts rarely develop quickly.
How is vision affected?
The early symptoms of cataract are hazy, fuzzy, blurred or double vision. Your eye glass prescription may need to be changed frequently. Eventually stronger glasses no longer improve vision. Your eyes may be sensitive to light and glare, making night driving difficult.
Cataracts cannot usually be seen with the naked eye. An ophthalmologist uses a variety of instruments to determine the type, size and location of a cataract. The interior of the eye is viewed with a special instrument called an ophthalmoscope.
Eye Care in Biddeford, ME - Dr. Robert Wescot
When cataracts begin to interfere with your work or lifestyle, it is time to remove them. Surgery is the only effective way to remove the cataract. (Contrary to widespread belief, a laser cannot remove a cataract.) During surgery, an incision is made in the eye which allows an instrument to reach into the pupil and remove the foggy lens. Once the cataract is removed, the patient needs a substitute lens to focus the eye. Vision is restored by an intraocular lens (IOL) implanted during surgery.
Who can treat cataracts?
An ophthalmologist is the medical doctor (MD or osteopath) who is educated and trained to provide total eye care, including diagnosis and treatment of cataracts. Total eye care includes medical eye examinations prescribing corrective lenses, diagnosing eye diseases and disorders, and performing the appropriate medical and surgical procedures necessary for their treatment.