Cataracts

The eye care specialists at Nebraska Medicine are experts at treating cataracts, performing thousands of cataract surgeries every year. With the most innovation technologies and techniques, we can quickly and effectively remove the cataracts, with little or no discomfort, and minimal recovery time. The outpatient surgery may restore your vision to 20/20.

Patient Guides

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is a common eye conditions most often caused by aging. The lens of your eyes can become cloudy, preventing light rays from passing through the lens. In some cases, the transparency loss is minimal, and your vision may not be effected. The cloudiness can also be so severe that the only thing you see is light or dark. A cataract is diagnosed when the lens becomes so cloudy that it significantly obstructs your vision. While eyeglasses and contact lenses my correct slight refractive errors caused by early cataracts, but they cannot sharpen your vision if the cataracts are severe.

Other causes of cataracts include:

  • Trauma
  • Medications such as steroids
  • Systemic diseases such as diabetes
  • Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light

What Are the Symptoms?

Cataracts typically develop slowly and progressively, causing a gradual and painless decrease in vision. You might also experience:

  • Blurry vision
  • Glare, particularly at night
  • Frequent changes in your eyeglass prescription
  • Decrease in color intensity
  • Yellowing of images
  • In rare cases, double vision

As the eye's natural lens gets harder, farsighted (presbyopic) people who have difficulty focusing up close, can experience improved near vision and become less dependent on reading glasses. However, nearsighted (myopic) people become more nearsighted, causing a worsening in their distance vision. Some kinds of cataracts affect distance vision more than reading vision. Others affect reading vision more than distance vision.

Reducing your exposure to ultraviolet light by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses may reduce your risk for developing a cataract, but once one has developed, there is no cure except to have the cataract surgically removed.

Consider Nebraska Medicine for your cataract care

Cataract surgery at Nebraska Medicine is a very successful operation. One and a half million people have this procedure every year in the United States, and 95% have a successful result.

Cataract surgery at Nebraska Medicine is equally successful operation, and thousands of people across the region trust our eye care specialists to perform their surgeries and improve their quality of life. As with any surgical procedure complications can occur, but we take pride in our experience and safety record. In most cases, vision improves and you are quickly back to your normal daily routine.

The surgical procedure includes:

  • Removal of the cataract, making either a small incision (phacoemulsification) or a larger incision (extracapsular extraction).
  • Inserting a synthetic intraocular lens (IOL) at the time of cataract extraction to replace the focusing power of the natural lens. IOLs can be monovision (fixed-focus for a preset distance) or multifocal, which allows focused vision at many distances.