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As we age the lenses in our eyes can begin to cloud, resulting in blurry vision, faded colors, and halos or glare. This phenomenon is the results of cataracts, a type of irreversible damage that can only be corrected with surgery. Cataracts can negatively affect your ability to see clearly and perform everyday tasks, and impact your ability to drive safely. Cataracts may be caused by certain environmental factors, genetics, or as the result of an eye injury. The staff at the Waring Vision Institute understands your frustration and wants to help you restore your vision. Known for his accomplishments in developing newer, better vision correction treatments, Dr. George Waring in Charleston, SC is personally committed to improving your sight with safe and effective treatment., the Waring Eye Institute is a premier destination for advanced eye surgery and care.

What Causes Cataracts?

Inside the eye structure is a lens that focuses light onto your retina in the form of a clear image that is transmitted to your brain with electrical impulses. The lens is made of proteins and water, and as we age the proteins inside the lens begin to clump together, clouding vision and reducing the detail and clarity of images. The condition typically worsens with time, eventually leading to blindness if left untreated, as the hardened, thickened lens can result in dangerous inflammation within the eye structure.

There are three types of cataracts. Each type develops in a different area of the lens and is caused by specific risk factors. The three types are:

  • Subcapsular cataracts. This type of cataract forms at the back of the lens, and is usually caused by diabetes or the use of certain steroid medications.
  • Nuclear cataracts. The second type forms in the center or nucleus of the lens, and is caused by aging.
  • Cortical cataracts. The last type of cataracts starts at the outer edge of the lens and work their way toward the center. They occur in the lens cortex, and are also caused by age or metabolic disorders.

Regular eye exams by a highly-skilled, licensed ophthalmologist can be of great assistance in the identification of the early signs of cataracts and any other eyesight conditions or diseases before they become severe.

Who Is at Risk?

The most common cause of cataracts is simply aging. Once a person reaches forty, our eyes begin to change and the proteins in the lens can clump and harden, becoming opaque in the process. Beyond the normal aging process, some other common risk factors for cataracts are:

  • Previous eye injuries or other surgical procedures near the eyes
  • Medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, or obesity
  • Certain medications like corticosteroids or cholesterol drugs
  • Extended ultraviolet (UV) radiation or other radiation exposure
  • Prolonged smoking or alcohol consumption
  • Severe myopia (nearsightedness)

Even though cataracts are most frequently caused by age, it is still possible for younger people to develop the condition. The best way to identify early signs of cataracts is to get a yearly comprehensive eye exam from a licensed ophthalmologist who will perform a full evaluation of the health of the eye, and all structures within. As the symptoms of reduced vision appear gradually, and changes in eyesight can often go unnoticed until they have progressed to a more dangerous phase. Early detection of cataracts is vital to retaining clear vision.

Cataract Treatment

As cataracts are permanent and irreversible, the only treatment option is surgery. After your eye is numbed and stabilized, microscopic incisions are made near the cornea, or the outer layer surrounding the eye. The clouded lens is broken up, commonly with the use of a laser, and extracted using a with gentle aspiration. It is then replaced with a clear lens implant. Lenses of various types are available, including extended depth of focus and multifocal lenses, to reduce your need for glasses for distance and reading after cataract surgery.

After the lens implant is positioned, the procedure is complete. You will be observed for approximately 30 minutes before being released, with the treated eye covered. The entire procedure requires only about 15 minutes per eye, and most clients only report only mild discomfort, if any. With the new artificial lens, the cataracts are permanently resolved and cannot return. A secondary healing film called a posterior capsular opacification may occur as part of the natural healing process of the lens implant and can be readily polished in the office with a laser. This polishing procedure typically is only needed once, if at all, after a cataract procedure.

Surgery Risks & Recovery

As with any surgical procedure, cataract surgery has risks. During your initial consultation with our ophthalmologist, advise the surgeon of any medical conditions you have or medications you are currently taking. Certain medical conditions may inhibit the healing process or lead to complications. Inform us if you have had any other surgeries or other procedures on or near your eyes.

Your surgeon will provide aftercare instructions that are crucial to the healing process. The eyes will take up to two months to completely heal. Avoid rubbing or putting pressure near your eyes. Your surgeon may give you a special pair of glasses to protect your eyes from any dangerous bumps or scratches. Do not exercise or lift heavy objects as these can cause eyestrain. Keep your eyes clean and stay away from soap, dust, mold, mildew, or other contaminants. Apply all prescribed eye drops as Dr. Waring advises, as these drops aid in the healing process and help to ward off infection.

Treating Your Cataracts in Charleston, SC

Charleston and the surrounding communities of Columbia, Mount Pleasant, and Myrtle Beach have come to know and respect Dr. George Waring and his staff at the Waring Vision Institute. He focuses on providing the most advanced treatments, high quality care and modern surgical procedures, including laser cataract surgery and the most advanced lens implants to reduce your dependence on glasses for all distances, for every client. He is very knowledgeable has won numerous awards for his extensive work in ophthalmology. Schedule a consultation with our office for a thorough eye exam to check for early signs of cataracts, or to discuss cataract surgery.

Cataract Surgery Charleston SC

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