Rush Medical Center Home Page Information for healthcare Professionals Rush University
FIND A DOCTOR
PATIENT & VISTOR SERVICES
HEALTH INFORMATION
CLINICAL SERVICES
EVENTS & CLASSES
RUSH NEWS ROOM
CLINICAL TRIALS
RESEARCH AT RUSH
NURSING AT RUSH
WORK AT RUSH
GIVING TO RUSH

Bookmark This Page
Health Information Keeping an Eye on Cataracts

Let's get the bad news out of the way: Cataracts remain the top cause of blindness worldwide.

But thanks to recent advances in treatment, cataracts--clouding of the normally clear lens in the eye--usually don't lead to permanent vision loss. Or if there is impairment, the loss is reversible in most cases, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Cataracts are actually fairly common, affecting more than 20 million Americans age 40 and older. And cataract surgery is the most frequently performed surgical procedure in the United States, the AAO says.

So how do you know if you have a cataract? Symptoms can include cloudy or blurry vision, excessive glare, double vision, weak night vision and frequent eyeglass prescription changes, according to the National Eye Institute.

If you think you may have a cataract, you should see an eye doctor, who can diagnose it with a comprehensive eye exam. Your options for dealing with a cataract, particularly in the early stages, could be as simple as new eyeglasses or brighter lighting.

But sometimes the only solution is surgery, which is typically performed as an outpatient procedure and involves removing the lens and replacing it with an artificial one. The nearly painless surgery is usually covered by insurance, including Medicare, the AAO says.

(It's a misconception, by the way, that lasers are used in cataract surgery, although they may be used afterward to get rid of film that can grow on the new lens.)

Cataract surgery is considered one of the safest types of surgery, and about 90 percent of patients have better vision afterward.

Still, just because you have a cataract doesn't necessarily mean you need surgery, at least not right away. It only needs to be removed, the Eye Institute says, if it's getting in the way of daily activities like driving and reading.


More Information at Your Fingertips:

  • For more information about eye-related services at Rush, visit the Ophthalmology home page.
  • Looking for a doctor? Call toll free: 888 352-RUSH (888 352-7874)
  • Follow Rush on Twitter at http://twitter.com/RushMedical.

Please note: All physicians featured in Discover Rush Online are on the medical faculty of Rush University Medical Center. Some of the physicians featured are in private practice and, as independent practitioners, are not agents or employees of Rush University Medical Center.

If you enjoyed this article and are not already a subscriber, subscribe today to Discover Rush Online. You'll receive health information, breaking medical news and helpful tips for maintaining your health each month via e-mail.

Promotional Information

E-newsletter
E-newsletter archive
Keeping an Eye on Cataracts

   
Find a Doctor | Patient & Visitor Services | Health Information
Clinical Services | Events & Classes | Rush News Room | Clinical Trials
Research At Rush
Disclaimer | Privacy Statement | Site Map

© Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois