At MaineHealth, we know just how important your vision is to you. Our providers and specialty doctors have the skill, experience and training to evaluate and treat cataracts.

What is a cataract?

A cataract is the clouding of your eye’s lens, which is normally clear. Cataracts are very common and mostly related to aging.

The clouded lens can make your vision seem blurry, dim or cloudy. Reading, driving and focusing become difficult.

What causes cataracts?

Cataracts are typically a normal result of aging and exposure to sunlight. They also can be related to an eye injury, genetic disorder or other health issues, like diabetes.

Cataracts can be found in both eyes, but do not spread from one to the other. Cataracts usually develop slowly and don’t affect your eyesight early on.

What are the symptoms of cataracts?

  • Blurred or cloudy vision

  • Colors seem faded

  • Trouble seeing at night

  • Lights seem too bright

  • Double vision in one eye

Screening for cataracts

When you go for your eye exam, your doctor will ask you some questions about your medical history. He or she may do screening tests that include:

  • Asking you to read a an eye chart

  • A silt light exam that lets your eye doctor look at the structures in the front of your eyes.

  • A retinal exam that involves drops in the eyes to enlarge the pupil so the doctor can see into the back of your eye

Cataract treatment

Early symptoms of cataracts can be improved with new eyeglasses, better lighting, wearing sunglasses that are anti-glare or using a magnifying glass.

Surgery should be considered when your loss of vision interferes with your daily activities, such as reading, driving or watching TV.

During surgery the clouded lens is removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens. You and your eye doctor should discuss the risks and benefits to make an informed decision.