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Cataracts Co-Management

Scarbrough Family Eyecare

Optometry located in Traverse City, MI & Beulah, MI

Cataracts are a common cause of impaired vision in people 50 and older, causing blurry, cloudy vision. Our optometrists, Dr. Scarbrough and Dr. Reed can detect and assess your cataracts. We will review the latest techniques for cataract removal, including laser-assisted and dropless procedures and help make a referral to one of our region’s highly skilled cataract surgeons. We will discuss the complex options for implants following cataract surgery that may include multifocal correction to reduce the dependence on eyeglasses. Our doctors will continue in the co-management of care following surgery and throughout the recovery period.

Cataracts Q & A

How do cataracts affect vision?

Like a camera, your eyes have lenses that help focus light. When you have a cataract, the lenses become foggy, blurry, or cloudy. It’s as if your eyes have gone out of focus, and your vision is less sharp overall.

When you have a cataract that’s large enough to affect your vision, many everyday tasks and activities become more difficult. You may need more light to read, find it harder to see people’s facial expressions, or have trouble driving at night because of the glare from oncoming headlights. Other signs of a cataract include:

  • Needing to change your eyeglass prescription frequently
  • Seeing “halos” around lights
  • Increased sensitivity to light or glare
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Colors appearing dull or less vivid

Cataracts are common among people 50 and older. They usually affect both eyes but don’t develop at the exact same time, so you may have worse vision in one eye than the other.

What causes cataracts to form?

Cataracts are made up of protein. Proteins are an important part of your eyes’ structure and function, allowing you to see. Cataracts form when these proteins break down and clump together, stopping light from reaching your eyes.

When you have cloudy vision from a cataract, it’s because you’re looking straight at the proteins. You may not notice a cataract in its early stages because it covers only a small part of your eye, and you can adjust. Over time, cataracts get worse because the proteins continue to build up, causing problems with your vision.

Cataracts are usually age-related, but they can also form from injury. Doctors don’t know exactly what causes cataracts, but you’re more likely to develop them if you:

  • Are obese
  • Smoke
  • Spend a lot of time in the sun
  • Have diabetes or high blood pressure

Be sure to schedule an appointment at Scarbrough Family Eyecare if you’re concerned about changes to your vision.

How are cataracts treated?

The only way to get rid of a cataract is surgery, but you might not need surgery right away.

If your cataract is only causing minor vision problems, you may be able to manage with a stronger eyeglass prescription. The Optical Studio at Visions by the Bay offers anti-glare lenses, which can help you see better, including when you drive at night.

Our doctors may also recommend brighter lighting for your home. Specialized eyeglasses may also be helpful for reading and other tasks.

If your cataract is large enough to require surgery, Scarbrough Family Eyecare provides referrals to ophthalmologists. Cataract surgery is a common, quick, and effective procedure that restores your vision. It involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with a clear implant lens.