What is a Cataract?

A cataract is a clouding that develops in the crystalline lens of the eye or in its envelope (lens capsule), varying in degree from slight to complete opacity and obstructing the passage of light. Early in the development of age-related cataract, the power of the lens may be increased, causing near-sightedness (myopia), and the gradual yellowing and opacification of the lens may reduce the perception of blue colors. Cataracts typically progress slowly to cause vision loss, and are potentially blinding if untreated. The condition usually affects both eyes, but almost always one eye is affected earlier than the other.

A senile cataract, occurring in the elderly, is characterized by an initial opacity in the lens, subsequent swelling of the lens and final shrinkage with complete loss of transparency. Moreover, with time the cataract cortex liquefies to form a milky white fluid in a Morgagnian cataract, which can cause severe inflammation if the lens capsule ruptures and leaks. Untreated, the cataract can cause phacomorphic glaucoma. Very advanced cataracts with weak zonules are liable to dislocation anteriorly or posteriorly. Such spontaneous posterior dislocations (akin to the historical surgical procedure of couching) in ancient times were regarded as a blessing from the heavens, because some perception of light was restored in the cataractous patients. Some children develop cataracts, called congenital cataracts, before or just after birth; these are usually dealt with differently from cataracts in adults.

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Cataract Treatment

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What can the Eye Clinic Surgicenter Do for you?

Cataracts are a common age-related vision problem. Although vision can be restored in most people with cataracts, age-related cataracts are still the most common cause of blindness in the world, primarily because many third-world nations lack appropriate surgical services.


About 22 million Americans age 40 and older have cataracts, and the older a person gets the greater the risk for developing cataracts. Cataracts never go away on their own, but some stop progressing after a certain point. If they continue to grow and progress, they can cause blindness if left untreated. Fortunately, cataracts can almost always be successfully treated with surgery. Millions of cataract operations are performed each year in the United States, and there is a very low risk for complications.

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Treatment for Cataracts

The Eye Clinic Surgicenter offers a full range of vision correction options in Billings & Red Lodge, MT as well as Lander, WY. We will work directly with you to choose the optimum vision correction procedure or to find a solution to suit your individual needs. To learn if you might be a good candidate for cataract surgery schedule a consultation.

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