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A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens of the eye. The cloudiness most commonly occurs because of the aging process, but may be associated with certain diseases or trauma to the eye. Because of this clouding of the lens, the images that are seen through the eye are blurred, and patients can complain of several different symptoms. The most common complaint is blurred vision, and initially a stronger eyeglass prescription can help. But as the cataract becomes worse, patients will complain of not being able to read or watch television, or that they have trouble discerning colors. Other symptoms include seeing haloes around lights (especially when driving at night) or glare when the sun is shining. Because cataracts tend to grow very slowly, some patients do not realize that their vision has been gradually blurring. It is only after surgery that they are amazed at how bright colors are and how well they see.
In a procedure, called Phacoemulsification, we use an ultrasound device that enables us to remove the cataract through a very small incision. We replace the cloudy lens with a man made intraocular lens (called an implant). To restore good vision, the new lens functions like the natural lens of your eye to again focus light rays onto the retina.