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Dr. Dan B.
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3144
Experience:  Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
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What does an eye that requires cataract surgery look like and

Customer Question

What does an eye that requires cataract surgery look like and I need a chart that shows the various stages and what the person might experience with the various degrees of the cataract. My mom won't get surgery or see the opthomologist and I'm trying to determine how severe it is.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Dan B. replied 11 months ago.

Dr. Dan B. :

Hello and thanks for your question. While I am unable to find a chart that shows the appearance of the lens in various different stages of cataract formation, I have found a very well done cataract surgery slideshow that shows what the cataract is and then how it affects the vision. It is very well done and clearly demonstrates the symptoms and their affect on vision. It is located here: http://www.medicinenet.com/cataracts_pictures_slideshow/article.htm

Dr. Dan B. :

I will keep searching for a chart as you've discussed, but I've not seen one to date. If this is acceptable to you and you don't have any other questions I can help you with...

Dr. Dan B. :

It appears as though you are not in the chat room currently. I am happy to be able to help you today. I will also be happy to answer any other questions until you have the information you need. If you would like to ask further questions or clarification regarding anything I've said, please let me know and I will be happy to address your concerns.

Your feedback is important to me and will help me improve my encounter with future customers. Please rate your encounter with me by providing positive feedback (by pressing the smiley face); any bonus you may feel prompted to provide would be welcomed and is appreciated. If you feel like your concerns are not resolved or you have a problem or issue with anything I have said or haven’t said, please don’t issue a negative feedback rating—My goal is your satisfaction and I would rather work together to solve your concerns, until you are satisfied, than have you leave our encounter unhappy and unsatisfied.

My opinion is solely informative and does not constitute a formal medical opinion or recommendation. For a formal medical opinion and/or recommendation you must see an eye doctor. Thanks for your inquiry!

Customer :

Hi sir... that was very informative.....thank you...But i am looking for the stages.....Here is a link that shows images of some key words i searched for.. perhaps you can skim throug the images to see which would offer me more of what i am looking for? My moms eyes don't look anything like clouding in the center... They appear to have a whitish line around the outside edges of the brown part of the eye..not the center..

Dr. Dan B. : This picture does a good job of showing the progression of cataracts though none of these pictures correlates the progression of symptoms with the progression of the actual cataract. http://www.oculist.net/downaton502/prof/ebook/duanes/pages/v1/v1c073b.html
Dr. Dan B. : Cataracts are known for the following symptoms: 1. Difficulty seeing small things, either up close, far away or both; 2. Difficulty with vision in glare conditions (such as on-coming headlights at night or bright sunlight); 3. Needing more light to see what you're reading; and 4. causing a generalized worsening of the vision. There is usually a gradual, slow worsening in these symptoms but the symptoms can also worsen in a seemingly quick fashion sometimes. The barometer I use is: when one or more of these cataract symptoms make it more difficult to do what you want to do on a regular basis, then you should consider cataract surgery. Everyone who meets this threshold at different stages of cataract progression depending on the level of our visual demands, which are usually very unique to ourselves. Is this the info you're looking for?
Customer : Well I was hoping to get a progression chart or something showing the same sample of how and what a person would see the same object and along side of the object, there wouod be a disgram showing the catract on the eye.the picture
Customer : Is the solid white residue around my mothers eyeball typical of cataracts?
Dr. Dan B. : I understand what you were hoping for. Unfortunately, after looking over the weekend, I have not found such a chart. The whitish ring around the colored part of the eye is actually what is called arcus senilis. It is a deposition of lipids (cholesterol) in the cornea that is seen in higher frequency in an aging population. It has nothing to do with cataract formation.
Customer :

Well, my MOms eyes do not look like the eyes that have cataracts that appeared on the google images of eyes that have cataracts so i am a bit confused.

Customer :

....her pupils are not cloudy at all......

Dr. Dan B. : The reason you do not see a cloudy pupil is because her cataracts are not very advanced. Only when a cataract is VERY advanced will you see a cloudy pupil when looking at it straight on. Otherwise, the only way you can see a cataract behind the pupil is to use the slit-lamp microscope we ophthalmologists use on a daily basis.
Customer : Does cataracts at this stage makes it difficult to determine how to choose glasses? The eye doc said they weren't bad so I'm trying to determine if since 2 years ago, have they gotten so bad to cause problems with the new progressive lenses she got last year?
Customer : Maybe for people with upcoming cataracts; they should stay away from progressives and stick to seperate reading and seperate distance?
Dr. Dan B. : Usually, cataracta do not make it harder to prescribe glasses. However, as they advance, they can make it so the vision does not improve anymore at some point even with a change in the prescription glasses. They do not make it harder to adapt to or to tolerate progressive lenses either. Some people just cannot adjust or adapt to these progressive lenses, and I suspect your mother is just one of those people. As you said, she likely would just do better in either a pair of bifocals, trifocals, or a separate pair of distance and reading glasses.
Dr. Dan B. : I hope that this has been helpful. Your feedback is important to me and will help me improve my encounter with future customers. Please rate your encounter with me by providing positive feedback (by pressing the smiley face); any bonus you may feel prompted to provide would be welcomed and is appreciated. If you feel like your concerns are not resolved or you have a problem or issue with anything I have said or haven’t said, please don’t issue a negative feedback rating—My goal is your satisfaction and I would rather work together to solve your concerns, until you are satisfied, than have you leave our encounter unhappy and unsatisfied.
Customer : So are you saying that people that have cataracts can still use their progressive lenses.. But in most cases.... seperate lenses seem to work better for people that are dealing with cataracts. Or in my moms case, her headache or eye fatigue might be resolved by getting regular seperate glasses. She can't seem to describe a preference and can't even tell if she is thirsty so I'm trying to rule out what is causing the headaches. Her eyes, cataracts, dehydration, or just not eating enough
Dr. Dan B. : The eyes are the cause of headaches approximately 10% of the time. While it may be the progressive lenses are contributing to her headaches, I would not bet my money on it and I would talk to her primary care doctor.
Customer : Then would the word eye fatigue be best to use as a way to explain the fatigue.? Would an eye store be able to do some back and forth to determine if her prescription changed ?
Customer : Would the optometrist at the eyeglass shop be able to determine and rule out if its cataracts causing the eyes to get fatigue or that she simply needs straight glasses instead of progressives?
Customer :

In other words, would getting straight glasses for seperate visions make her see better right away and if that solves the problem than it shows that her cataracts are indeed minimal and not advanced?

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