About Cataracts.

One of the leading causes of vision loss in adults 55 and older is a cataract. Though cataracts are a natural aspect of aging and they can really impact your vision poorly, the good news is they are highly treatable. In fact, our surgeons are cataract specialists who have helped thousands of patients achieve dramatic improvement in vision from cataract surgery with excellent success.

What is a cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the eye's natural lens, which lies behind the iris and the pupil. The lens works much like a camera lens, focusing light onto the retina at the back of the eye to see clearly both up close and far away.

The lens is mostly made of water and protein. The protein is arranged in a precise way that keeps the lens clear and lets light pass through it. But as we age, some of the protein clumps together and starts to cloud a small area of the lens. This is a cataract, and over time it may grow larger and cloud more of the lens, making it harder to see.

Cataracts are a normal part of growing older. Last year over two million Americans underwent cataract surgery. The cloudiness keeps light from entering the eye properly which reduces the quality of vision. Besides age, cigarette smoking and UV exposure from sunlight may increase the risk for cataracts.

How does a cataract affect my vision?

Cataracts can start with subtle loss of color vibrancy and contrast sensitivity or they can cause blurring of vision. Left untreated, cataracts can develop further, becoming more severe and leading ultimately to significantly impaired vision which can make it difficult to perform daily activities safely or comfortably. Nowadays, with excellent technology and techniques, most patients enjoy clear and improved vision following cataract surgery.

Cataracts cause different symptoms, depending on how advanced they are. Common symptoms include:

  • Change in eyeglass prescription
  • Glare, especially at night
  • Halos or flares around bright lights
  • Trouble reading
  • A sense that your glasses are never clean enough.
  • A sense that everything is dimmer or darker than it should be
  • Loss of color vibrancy, a sense that your rooms need to repainted
  • Poor overall vision
  • Unsafe vision, especially for driving

How will my eye doctor diagnose cataracts?

Early detection through an exam by your eye doctor will determine the presence and the extent of a cataract. Using the equipment in our office, especially the microscope, the cataracts can be seen by your eye doctor. Often the doctors will want to dilate the pupil with eyedrops to get a better sense of how much vision loss the cataract is likely to cause, and to evaluate other possible conditions in the eye.

How is the cause of my vision loss determined?

When your eye doctor compares the density of the cataract to the amount of vision loss, they usually match up. The doctor also checks the various structures of the eye for other possible causes of vision loss. When the cataract is very dense, a "PAM" test is performed, which stands for "Potential Acuity Measurement". This test is used to determine how well a person might see if the cataract were not there.

When is a cataract considered "ripe" for surgery?

A "ripe" cataract is one that is dense enough to substantially interfere with vision. Cataract surgery is performed when your quality of vision affects your quality of life. When you are unable to enjoy daily routine activities such as working, driving, reading, hobbies, etc., because of cataracts, one should consider cataract surgery.

When symptoms first appear, your doctor may be able to temporarily alleviate the effects of cataracts and improve your vision by prescribing glasses, strong bifocals, or other visual aids. However, cataracts may continue to advance leaving surgery as the only option to restore your good vision. Your surgeon will help you make that decision.

What if I don't get cataract surgery?

While a cataract that is left in place does interfere with a person’s ability to see clearly, that person may choose to let a cataract stay in their eye without worry about damaging it. For the most part, a cataract is not dangerous, nor does it cause harm to the eye. Your eye doctor may recommend regular follow-up visits to check for glaucoma or other eye diseases, which occasionally occur related to the cataract staying in place. A very dense cataract (one that allows little or no light to pass through) may interfere with your doctor being able to see into and check on the back portion of your eye.

Once I decide to get cataract surgery, then what?

First, we will examine your eye carefully and explain what you may expect from cataract surgery, about possible risks, how well you might see afterwards, what to do before and after surgery, and about the various lens implants options available to you.

CLICK HERE: About Cataract Surgery.


  Cataract Surgeon New Jersey

(856) 667-3937

Kindermann Eye Associates
3001 Chapel Avenue, Suite 200
Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08002

Eye Doctor South Jersey

Kindermann Eye Associates - 3001 Chapel Avenue, Suite 200, Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08002

Excellence in eye care for patients seeking a quality caring eye doctor in South Jersey. Dr. W Reed Kinderman is a premier ophthalmologist, New Jersey eye surgeon, specializing in cataract surgery, refractive surgery, laser guided cataract surgery, Tecnis multifocal lens implant, ReStor intraocular lens, Crystalens, Toric intraocular lens, glaucoma, strabismic eye muscle disorders, ophthalmology, and the full spectrum of eye care in New Jersey, Delaware Valley, Philadelphia, Mullica Hill, Ashland, Echelon, Thorofare, Riverton and surrounding areas.

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