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The Cataract Experience: Gradual Vision Loss and Its Effects

Your eyes contain natural lenses that enable light to pass through and facilitate vision. These lenses are ideally transparent, but they may become cloudy over time, a condition known as cataracts. Cataracts can lead to gradual and painless vision loss, causing objects to appear blurry, hazy, and less colorful as if you are peering through a foggy or dusty window. Fortunately, Brooklyn cataract surgery at New York Laser Vision can effectively address this issue and restore normal vision.


The exact causes of cataracts at different life stages remain uncertain. In younger individuals, cataracts may be linked to factors such as injury, specific medications, or conditions like diabetes. Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light is also believed to contribute to cataract formation. Furthermore, research indicates that individuals who smoke are at a higher risk of developing cataracts compared to non-smokers.

Typically, the most common cause of cataracts is aging, as the expected changes in the eye that occur after age 40 lead to the breakdown of normal proteins in the lens, resulting in its clouding.

Other reasons you may develop cataracts include the following:

  • Having parents, brothers, sisters, or other family members who have cataracts
  • Having certain medical problems, such as diabetes
  • Sustaining an eye injury, having eye surgery, or radiation treatments on your upper body
  • Spending a lot of time in the sun without sunglasses that protect your eyes from damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays
smiling man

Who do cataracts typically affect?

As the eye undergoes natural changes, individuals aged 55 and above typically experience a gradual decline in vision due to the development of clouding in their natural lens. While most age-related cataracts progress slowly, others may develop more rapidly, particularly in younger individuals or those with diabetes. Doctors can't predict the speed at which a person's cataract will progress.

Cataract Symptoms

Although cataracts usually develop without apparent pain, some indications that a cataract may be forming are:

  • Blurred or hazy vision
  • Double vision
  • Poor vision in bright light
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Yellowish tinged vision
  • Night vision difficulty

What are the different types of cataracts?

  • Cataracts that impact the center of the lens lead to a gradual increase in yellow or brown density, further clouding your vision
  • Cataracts that impact the edges of the lens initially manifest as whitish, wedge-shaped streaks on the outer edge of the lens cortex
  • Cataracts that impact the back of the lens progress more rapidly than other types of cataracts
  • Congenital cataracts can be genetic or linked to intrauterine infection or trauma. Additionally, these cataracts may be associated with specific conditions such as myotonic dystrophy, galactosemia, neurofibromatosis type 2, or rubella. 

How Can I Prevent Cataracts?

Since cataracts are typically a natural, age-related occurrence, there may not be a foolproof method to prevent cataracts completely. Nevertheless, safeguarding your eyes from sunlight is the most effective approach to slowing the progression of cataracts. Utilize sunglasses that protect against ultraviolet (UV) light rays or sunglasses with a clear, anti-UV coating. Consult your eye doctor for further information.

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Ophthalmologists recommend considering cataract surgery when cataracts significantly impact your quality of life or hinder your ability to carry out everyday tasks, such as reading or driving at night.

If your cataracts obstruct your vision and you are in generally good health, you are probably eligible for cataract surgery in Brooklyn with our ophthalmologists. An ideal candidate for cataract surgery has no medical condition that could impede proper wound healing. Individuals with poorly managed diabetes and advanced retinopathy, as well as those with glaucoma, are not suitable candidates for cataract surgery.


Your ophthalmologist will provide specific instructions to adhere to in the days preceding, the day of, and the days following your surgery. Certain medications may need to be discontinued leading up to the surgery date.

Usually, eye drops will be prescribed and sent to your pharmacy a few days before the surgery for you to start using. These drops are medications to prevent infection and reduce swelling during and after the surgery.

The surgery will not occur in our office; it will be scheduled at an outpatient surgical center. On the day of the surgery, you will be instructed to refrain from consuming solid food for at least 6 hours before the cataract surgery.


Following cataract surgery at New York Laser Vision in Brooklyn, you will receive eye drops to aid in the healing process and may be required to wear a special eye shield or glasses. You will probably need to refrain from certain activities for a few weeks, such as touching your eye, bending over, and lifting heavy objects.

Your eye may experience itchiness, discomfort, and sensitivity to light and touch during the initial two days after your cataract surgery. Typically, individuals are fully healed within eight weeks post-surgery.


Cataract surgery is not mandatory if you are content with your vision and your symptoms have not worsened. However, when visual impairment begins to impede your ability to read, work, or engage in activities you enjoy, it may be appropriate to contemplate cataract surgery in Brooklyn.

Cataract surgery is generally painless and is among the most commonly performed surgical procedures in the United States. It boasts a very high success rate, with over 98 percent of patients achieving improved vision.


Intraocular lenses, or IOLs, are artificial lenses that replace the eye's natural lens following its removal during cataract surgery. Although IOLs have existed since the mid-1960s, they were not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration until 1981. Before this approval, individuals who underwent cataract removal had to rely on very thick eyeglasses or special contact lenses for post-surgery vision, as the removed natural lens was not replaced with anything.

Until recently, every lens implant functioned as a fixed-focus lens, enabling individuals to see clearly either at a distance or up close, but not both—individuals who received these primary implants often required reading glasses for close-up tasks.

Newer premium lens implants, such as multifocal lenses, trifocal lenses, and extended range of vision lenses, offer the potential for clear vision at various distances without needing glasses for individuals undergoing cataract or refractive lens implant surgery. Furthermore, advancements in modern premium lenses have made them accessible to individuals with astigmatism.

Each type of implant operates in slightly different ways, and not all implants are suitable for every patient. Your eye surgeon will assist you in making an informed decision about the most appropriate implant to ensure a lifetime of clear vision for you. Contact us at (718)-395-5338 to arrange a consultation in Brooklyn today!

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Cataract Surgery FAQ

Can cataracts be prevented or reversed?

No, however, wearing high-quality sunglasses with UV protection can help delay the advancement of a cataract.

When is the best time to have cataract surgery?

If a cataract affects your vision or lifestyle, it should be considered for removal. However, surgery may not be immediately required if the cataract remains stable.

Can cataracts return after surgery?

No, as the lens where the cataract developed has been extracted and substituted.

Is cataract surgery painful?

A local anesthetic will prevent you from feeling pain during the procedure, and you will be given a mild sedative to aid relaxation.

Do I need glasses after cataract surgery?

With standard IOL implants, vision becomes clear, but individuals may still require reading eyeglasses if they use them before the onset of cataracts.

Will my cataract grow back?

No, cataracts do not reappear after they have been surgically removed.

What are the risks associated with delaying cataract surgery?

Postponing cataract surgery can result in deteriorating vision, heightened challenges in carrying out daily tasks, and an increased risk of surgical complications.

Can cataract surgery correct other vision problems, such as astigmatism?

Yes, cataract surgery can frequently address astigmatism by utilizing specialized intraocular lenses or additional surgical methods.

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