A cataract refers to a condition where the natural lens of the eye becomes cloudy, making it difficult for light to penetrate to the retina at the back of the eye where images are “made.” The lens is located between the pupil and the iris, and its purpose is to focus light that enters the eye onto the retina at the back. Cataracts develop when proteins found naturally in the lenses begin to stick together, forming clumps that prevent light from penetrating. While cataracts occur most commonly in people as they get older, they can also occur as a result of injury or in response to certain diseases and, in very few cases, they may be present at birth. They're also more common among people with diabetes.
Cataract surgery is very common, but it does require preparation as well as a follow-up to ensure the best results. While an ophthalmologist will perform the surgery, your optometrist can work with the ophthalmologist to help ensure you're ready for the procedure and understand what to expect, as well as providing important follow-up care and guidance. An optometrist can also help you understand the steps that take place during the procedure and discuss the different lens options so you're fully informed. Many men and women have longstanding relationships with their optometrist, and being able to work with them throughout their care helps provide peace of mind.
During the follow-up after your surgery, your eyes will be examined to ensure healing is occurring properly and to learn about the steps you can take to ensure your eyes stay as healthy as possible. Exams will also enable the doctor to keep an eye on scar tissue development, which can have a bearing on how well you see over time.
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