If you’re over 45, cataracts have likely crossed your mind. Nearly 90% of Americans have developed a cataract by age 65, and the probability increases the older we get. An estimated 20.5 million Americans age 40 and older have cataracts in one or both eyes.
Cataracts develop painlessly and gradually impair vision. While it is true that cataracts are much more common in people over age 50, they can develop in people of any age.
The early stages of cataracts can be counteracted with corrective lenses and visual aids. However, as the cataract progresses, eventually it will need to be removed surgically.
We will diagnose your cataracts during a comprehensive eye exam. The exam will use dilation, so if you are uncomfortable driving while dilated, but sure you have arranged transportation home.
A cataract forms when the lens in your eye changes color and becomes cloudy. This change can happen over the course of months and years and is generally painless.
Anyone can develop cataracts, including children. However, the vast majority of cataract cases occur in people over age 50. Instances of young people developing cataracts are rare; in most cases, children with cataracts have had cataracts since birth.
Like many eye diseases, cataracts are hard to detect during their initial development. Most people don’t notice a cataract until it has started to affect vision. However, a diagnosis from an optometrist may come weeks, months, and even years prior to you noticing symptoms.
Once corrective lenses and other techniques are no longer able to compensate for the visual impairment caused by cataracts, removal of the cataract is the only remaining option for treatment.
Modern surgical techniques for cataract removal are fast, generally painless, and quite successful. Every year, millions of Americans undergo cataract removal surgery. It is considered one of the safest surgical procedures you can have.
Prior to referring you for surgery, Dr. Baldwin will assess your eyes to ensure that you are a surgical candidate. Eye health is key, and certain eye conditions may prevent surgery from being an option. During this assessment, Dr. Baldwin will help you choose the appropriate intraocular lens (IOL), which will replace the natural lens being surgically removed.
During surgery, the IOL is inserted in place of the natural lens. Once healed, you will not see or feel the IOL just as you did not see or feel your natural lens.
Unfortunately, there are no other FDA-approved treatments for cataracts outside of removal. Promising treatments are under development but are still several years away from when these treatments will be released to the general public.
Dr. Baldwin has been wonderful to us. Her knowledge and thoroughness is very high and her staff are friendly, courteous and knowledgeable. We have been very pleased with the care and consideration we have received from them all.
I've never had FUN selecting glasses before. The Eye Gallery team is fantastic--who knew that getting new glasses is better than shoe shopping?
Dr. Baldwin and her team are amazing. Megan is a top notch optometrist and her team is well-trained and professional. You won't find a better eye doctor in the Wichita area.
What an amazing experience. From the beautiful office, to the knowledgeable staff. The best part was how Dr. Baldwin actually listened to me and cared about the things that I cared about. I've had a lot of bad experiences with doctors in the past, but she dispelled them all in my first visit. I highly recommend to anyone.
I've been going to the The Eye Gallery for 2 years now and find Dr. Baldwin and her staff to be top notch. They are very easy to communicate with and offer excellent service.