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Definition of

A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which is located behind the iris and pupil. It causes blurry or hazy vision and can lead to visual impairment if left untreated. 

risk factors for


Glare Sensitivity

Cataracts can cause increased sensitivity to glare from headlights, sunlight, or other bright lights. Glare can be particularly bothersome during nighttime driving.

One of the most common early signs of cataracts is a gradual clouding or blurring of vision. Objects may appear hazy, as if you are looking through a foggy or frosted glass.

When you look at lights, such as streetlights or headlights, you may notice halos or rings of light around them. This can contribute to glare and reduced night vision.

Cataracts can cause double vision, where you see two images of the same object. This can occur in one or both eyes.

Cataracts can make it difficult to see clearly in low-light conditions or at night, leading to increased difficulty with night driving.

Cataracts can reduce your ability to distinguish between objects with similar colors or shades, making it difficult to see details clearly.

While initially, you might notice that brighter lighting helps you see better, this effect may diminish as the cataract progresses.

treatment types

Standard Cataract Surgery

Can be billed to insurance, this procedure involves manual removal of the cataract and the insertion of a monofocal lens IOL. However, near or intermediate vision may still require additional correction.

We provide various options, including Presbyopic, Multifocal, Trifocal, and full depth of focus lens IOLs, addressing your specific vision requirements. Astigmatic correction with Toric IOL lenses is also available. These procedures are not covered by insurance, but they significantly reduce the need for glasses or post-surgery correction.

This intraoperative aberrometer ensures accurate lens power and astigmatism correction during cataract surgery. Insurance does not cover this procedure.

In some cases, a clouding of the lens capsule (posterior capsule opacification) can occur months or years after cataract surgery. This can be treated with a painless, outpatient laser procedure called YAG laser capsulotomy, which clears the cloudiness and restores clear vision.

Following cataract surgery, some patients may still require glasses or contact lenses for reading or other specific visual tasks, depending on the choice of IOL and individual visual needs.

There are various types of IOLs that can be used during cataract surgery, including monofocal, multifocal, and toric lenses. The choice of IOL depends on the patient’s vision needs and any existing refractive errors (e.g., nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism).

  • Monofocal IOLs provide clear vision at one distance (usually distance vision), and patients may still require glasses for other distances.
  • Multifocal IOLs provide clear vision at multiple distances (near, intermediate, and distance), reducing the need for glasses.
  • Toric IOLs correct astigmatism in addition to cataracts.

The treatment of cataracts is vital for improving vision, enhancing quality of life, preventing blindness, ensuring safety, and maintaining overall health. Timely intervention through cataract surgery or other appropriate treatments is essential to preserve and restore eyesight.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Cataracts?

A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which is located behind the iris and pupil. It causes blurry or hazy vision and can lead to visual impairment if left untreated.

Common symptoms include blurry or cloudy vision, sensitivity to glare, difficulty with night vision, seeing halos around lights, and frequent changes in eyeglass prescription.

Cataracts are most commonly associated with aging, so older adults are at higher risk. However, other risk factors include exposure to UV radiation, smoking, diabetes, and a family history of cataracts.

While cataracts cannot be prevented entirely, you can reduce your risk by protecting your eyes from UV radiation with sunglasses, avoiding smoking, managing chronic health conditions like diabetes, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

An eye care specialist, such as an ophthalmologist or optometrist, can diagnose cataracts through a comprehensive eye examination, which includes visual acuity tests, pupil dilation, and evaluation of the eye’s lens.

Cataracts cannot be treated with medication or eye drops. The most effective treatment is cataract surgery, which involves removing the clouded lens and replacing it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL).

Cataract surgery involves the removal of the clouded natural lens and the insertion of an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). The surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure and takes about 15-20 minutes.

No, cataracts cannot return after cataract surgery. The clouded natural lens is permanently removed, and the artificial IOL remains in place.


Contact Santa Monica Eye Medical Group today to schedule your consultation. Our skilled team is committed to helping you achieve your aesthetic goals with personalized care and exceptional results