Cataracts Portland, Maine

By Robert Daly, M.D.

Cataract Eye Diagram

Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide. About 24 million Americans age 40 and older have cataracts and more than half of all Americans develop cataracts by age 80. A cataract is a clouding of the crystalline lens of the eye preventing light rays from passing through it easily. Symptoms of cataracts may include a clouding or blurring of vision, sensitivity to light and glare, double vision or shadowing in one eye, fading or yellowing of colors and poor night vision, sometimes with haloes around lights.

In order to have a good understanding of cataracts, it is important to learn a little about the way your eyes function. Seeing “normally” and having clear vision requires that light be free to pass through the optical structures of your eyes and focus an image on your retina.

Vision affected by cataracts 

In particular there are two structures that are responsible for refracting, or bending, light so that it can focus properly. The first important structure is the cornea, which is the outermost clear curved “lens” that is visible when looking at your eye from a side view. The second structure is called the crystalline lens, which is located behind the colored part of the eye, or the iris, and is not directly visible.

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The crystalline lens will be examined during your eye examination by using specialized instruments to look through the pupil, or the dark center of the iris. Both the cornea and the crystalline lens need to be perfectly clear in order for you to have good vision. If you are in good health and have not had chronic eye infections, inflammation or had any trauma to your eyes, the cornea is likely to maintain its clarity throughout your life. The crystalline lens however undergoes a number of changes that progress as we age. These aging changes can affect your vision.

Cataract DiagramUsually by about the time we reach the age of 40 years old, most of us begin to experience some of the visual effects that result from changes in the crystalline lens. Even if you have had “good eyes” and “normal vision” all your life, your vision is likely to begin to change in a number of ways. When we are younger, the crystalline lens is usually soft, flexible and “crystal” clear so that it has excellent transparency and optical clarity. As we progress through our 50’s and 60’s, the normally “crystal” clear lens may gradually become yellow and cloudy.

When this occurs, you may initially experience a mild blurring of your vision and feel like you may need a change of eyeglasses. As the crystalline lens continues to lose its transparency and its optical clarity, you may notice that it is not as easy to see well and comfortably in dim illumination, such as for night driving. You may notice that colors look faded. The cloudiness may also create glare, haloes, light sensitivity and a continuing decrease in your vision. If the crystalline lens becomes too cloudy it may cause a significant decrease in both your day and night vision. These are the visual symptoms you may notice when the crystalline lens has clouded and formed a Cataract.

Cataract Symptoms & Eye Problems

  • Blurring or Clouding of Vision
  • Glare, or Light Sensitivity
  • Poor Night Vision
  • Double Vision in One Eye or a Shadowy Image
  • Needing Brighter Light to Read
  • Fading or Yellowing of Colors
If you, a family member or friend are experiencing blurry or clouded vision, haloes around lights, double or shadowy vision and fading of colors or difficulty with night driving, you may wish to be checked for cataracts. Please contact us to arrange a cataract eye exam and evaluation by calling Eyecare Medical group in Portland, Maine at 207-828-2020.

Fortunately today, we can treat cataracts with advanced cataract surgery & lens implants at the Eyecare Medical Group outpatient eye surgery center in order to correct your vision and allow you to return to your daily activities safely and comfortably.

Eyecare Medical Group is conveniently located for patients seeking a cataract exam and evaluation and is conveniently located for Maine cataract patients from Auburn, Augusta, Bangor, Bath, Berwick, Biddeford, Bridgton, Brunswick, Cape Neddick, Casco Bay, Cumberland Center, Eliot, Freeport, Gardiner, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Kittery, Lewiston, Old Orchard Beach, Portland, Sanford, Scarborough, South Portland, Springvale, Topsham, Waterville, Westbrook, Winslow, Wiscasset, Yarmouth, Portland, Skowhegan and York Maine.

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