Understanding Cataract Disease

Cataract disease refers to the clumping of proteins in the crystalline lens of the eye, which results in cloudy and impaired vision. As a cataract specialist in Downriver Detroit, MI, Dr. Thomas Byrd can perform an accurate diagnosis and discuss your treatment options during a private consultation. If this disease is interfering with your everyday life, Dr. Byrd can also perform cataract surgery, which is the only current cure. To learn more about cataract disease, schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Byrd today.

Cataract Risk Factors

Graphic illustration of an eye with cataracts next to one without

Cataracts naturally begin to form with increasing age, and more than 50 percent of Americans over the age of 80 have this condition. Other factors that can put you at risk of developing cataracts include:

  • Long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation
  • The use of steroid medications
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Ocular trauma
  • Obesity

If you are at risk for developing cataracts, it is especially important that you attend regular appointments with Dr. Byrd so that he can monitor your ocular health and provide treatment as early as possible.

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Diagnosing Cataracts

Cataracts will often develop gradually, so many patients will not notice any changes in vision during the early stages of the disease. Fortunately, Dr. Byrd can draw upon decades of experience and use advanced technology to diagnose cataracts before the condition impacts your quality of life. To determine if you suffer from cataracts, Dr. Byrd may:

  • Dilate your eyes before shining a light over them and using a magnification tool to perform a thorough visual inspection
  • Have you read from a Snellen eye chart to test your visual acuity
  • Use our SPECTRALIS® OCT (optical coherence tomography) system to create high resolution images of your ocular structures

If Dr. Byrd diagnoses you with cataracts, you may be able to effectively manage the condition by changing the prescription of your contact lenses or glasses and using brighter lights in your home. However, cataract disease is not reversible, so your vision will continue to worsen with time. When this condition begins to interfere with your daily life, we typically recommend cataract surgery to restore clear eyesight.

An Introduction to Cataract Surgery

Currently, cataract surgery is the only effective cure for this condition. During this procedure, Dr. Byrd will create an incision in your eye before removing the damaged crystalline lens and replacing it with an intraocular lens (IOL)Dr. Byrd can perform traditional cataract surgery by using a standard, tiny, steel blade or he can perform this step using our precise, powerful Alcon LenSx™ femtosecond laser.

In order to meet the diverse needs of our patients, we offer both standard monofocal IOLs as well as premium multifocal and toric options. Monofocal IOLs only allow you to focus at a single distance, so you will still require corrective lenses. However, monofocal IOLs are the most affordable type and can typically be covered by insurance. Multifocal IOLs allow you to focus at a range of distances, while toric IOLs are designed for patients with astigmatism. Dr. Byrd can review the costs of our various IOL options during a personal consultation and help determine the type that is right for you.

Schedule an Appointment Today

To learn more about cataracts, contact our practice today and schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Byrd.

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