Our eye specialists are committed to restoring vision in patients with cataracts, from careful diagnosis to same-day surgery.
What Are Cataracts?
A cataract is the clouding—or “opacification”— of the clear natural lens of the eye, which rests just behind the pupil. Because light passes through and is focused by the natural lens onto the retina, lens clouding (cataract) causes diminished quality of the image that reaches the retina. You can compare what it’s like to have cataracts by imagining looking through a smudged camera lens — the picture will not appear sharp.
The longer your lifespan, the greater your chance of developing cataracts. For this reason, cataract surgery is the most commonly performed surgery worldwide. While certain medications, systemic conditions, and inherited conditions can cause cataracts, the most common cause is aging.
There are different types of cataracts, including congenital, inherited, trauma-related, medication-induced, and age-related. Symptoms of cataracts include:
- Clouded, blurred, or dimmed vision unresolved by eyeglasses prescription
- Eye glare (due to light scattering throughout the eye)
- Vision difficulties at nighttime
- Seeing “halos” around lights or headlights
- Double vision
- Sensitivity to lights
Cataract Treatments and Services
At the WVU Eye Institute, our specialists are trained in diagnosing and treating all types of cataracts. From diagnosis to correction, we are committed to meeting each patient’s needs and restoring vision affected by cataracts.
To diagnose cataracts, our trained eye specialists use state-of-the-art equipment to safely dilate the pupil and then carefully examine the eye with a device known as a slit lamp.
Cataract surgery may be necessary in some cases. Before the procedure, cataract specialists at WVU Eye Institute take pre-operative eye measurements to determine the strength of implant required for the eye affected by cataracts. These measurements are quick, painless, and typically obtained at the time of diagnosis in the clinic. Your provider will walk you through the types of lens options to choose from, discussing the difference between each, whether or not you’ll need to wear eyeglasses, and which option works with insurance preferences.
During cataract surgery, our trained eye specialists use the latest surgical technology to remove the clouded natural lens and replace it with a clear artificial lens (a lens implant). Most cataract surgeries are less than a 20-minute, outpatient procedure using mild sedation. Cataract surgery boasts more than a 95 percent success rate, improving vision dramatically in just a few days after the procedure.
Funding Visual Science Research
Making untreatable vision problems treatable: WVU receives $11M for visual sciences research center
A clinical trial conducted by the WVU Eye Institute for the use of EYELEA, an injection medication, has led to FDA approval for the treatment of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).
The experts at the WVU Eye Institute conduct ongoing clinical trials and research studies.
Learn more about the WVU School of Medicine Department of Opthalmology and Visual Sciences.