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What is a cataract?

Cataracts are changes that occur with age in the natural lens in our eye.  Much like a  camera, the human eye possesses a lens that helps us focus.  As a child the lens is crystal clear, but as we get older the lens changes from clear to cloudy.  This cloudiness is the cataract.

Who can get a Cataract?

Everyone gets cataracts if they live long enough.  They are not a disease but simply a natural consequence of the aging of the eye.  Some patients get cataracts earlier due to health conditions, genetics, trauma, or medications.

What are the Symptoms and Causes of a Cataract ?


The symptoms of cataracts all revolve around your vision.  Blurred vision, difficulty night driving, difficulty with fine print reading or computer use and glare are all common presenting symptoms.


The most important causes of cataracts are age and genetics.  Some health conditions including poorly controlled diabetes can lead to cataracts at a younger age.  Trauma and a smoking history are also risk factors for early cataract growth.

Cataract Treatments

Early in the progression of cataracts, glasses or contact lenses can be adjusted to improve a person’s sight.  Eventually however, the cataracts become too dense for glasses to solve the patient’s symptoms.  When this time occurs, cataract surgery is the only option to improve a patient’s sight and visual quality of life.  There is no proven medication or vitamin supplement that can be taken to eliminate cataracts.

Tradition Intraocular Lens Surgery

Cataract eye surgery involves removing the cloudy human lens and replacing it with a clear, artificial, intraocular lens (IOL). The IOL is inserted through an incision in the eye. The surgery is performed under local anesthesia and takes less than 20 minutes

Premium Intraocular Lens Surgery

For decades there was really only one type of Intraocular lens implant.  Technology has advanced greatly over the last several decades though, and now there exist wonderful options for the treatment of astigmatism (irregular curvature of the cornea), and presbyopia (the need for reading glasses or a bifocal after 40 years old).  Dr David Westfall has been among the pioneers of these technologies in upstate New York and has been offering these options for more than a decade.  If you have cataracts and would like to reduce your dependance on glasses or contact lenses after your surgery make sure to ask about these exciting new options at your surgical consultation.