What are Cataracts?
Dr. Croley’s office is conveniently located in Ocala, FL and in your eye exam he will let you know if cataracts are an issue for you. The lens you were born with is usually crystal clear; the natural aging process kicks in with each passing year and causes that lens to become hardened and discolored (yellowish or yellow-brown in color), even opaque. This change interferes with the light entering the eye which is necessary for seeing a clear image. The cataract diffuses the image, scattering the light rays and preventing the light from focusing on the retina so the image we see is not as good as it used to be. This is usually a gradual progression; usually different for each person and many people may not even notice a decrease in their vision.
• Cloudy, fuzzy, foggy, or filmy vision
• Changes in the way you see colors, ie. whites may look yellow
• Problems driving at night because headlights seem too bright
• Frequent changes in your eyeglass prescription
• Feeling that your glasses are always dirty
• Double vision
• Better near vision for awhile
These symptoms can also be signs of other eye problems.
What causes cataracts?
If you are between the ages of 52 & 64 years old, you have a 50% chance of developing cataracts. A cataract is the result of the aging of the natural clear lens in your eye.
A change in your glasses may temporarily improve vision. However, the only way to treat a cataract when glasses are no longer improving your vision is to surgically remove the cataract through a very small incision and replace it with an artificial intra-ocular lens (IOL). Dr. Croley performs this procedure at his onsite Accredited Ambulatory Surgical Center here in Ocala. The procedure usually takes around 10 minutes, although you should plan on being here approximately 2 hours.
How do I decide?
Just because you have a cataract does not necessarily mean it must be removed immediately. On occasion cataract surgery will need to be performed immediately; for example, Dr. Croley may need to see or treat an eye problem that is behind the cataract. Dr. Croley doesn’t make the decision for you but will present you with the facts and help you determine the best course of action. Cataract surgery can almost always be put off until your vision begins to interfere with your Ocala lifestyle. Here are some things to consider:
• I need to drive, but there is too much glare from the sun or lights.
• I do not see well enough to do the things I need to do.
• I’m afraid I will bump into something or fall.
• My glasses do not help me see well enough.
• My glasses seem dirty all the time.
• I don’t see well enough to do the things I like to do (read, watch TV, sew, hike, play cards, and go out).
• Because of my cataracts, I am not as independent as I would like to be.
What is the recovery like after cataract removal?
Dr. Croley and his staff at Central Florida Eye Institute in Ocala will discuss reasonable expectations with each patient prior to any procedure. Most patients do recover with no problems and have improved vision. In fact, serious complications are not common with modern cataract surgery.
• You may return to normal activities in just a few days.
• You will use eyedrops for a short period of time.
• Most patients function without any glasses for their distance activities (driving, golf, swimming).
• Glasses or OTC readers may be necessary for reading, sewing, or computer work unless you choose a Multifocal IOL/customized cataract surgery.