A cataract reduces quality of vision due to the "clouding up" of the eye's lens. Normally, light passes through the eye's lens and pupil, hitting the retina at the back of the eye. But, when the lens becomes cloudy, the image that reaches the retina is dull and blurred, which results in poor vision.

The cloudiness that is a cataract is caused by a chemical change in the lens itself. Cataracts are usually the result of the natural aging process but can also result from injury or eye infections. The onset of vision loss is gradual and may be hard to notice at first-cataracts can take months or years to fully form. If left untreated, cataracts can lead to blindness.

Cataracts typically cause no symptoms until they become large enough to blur light coming through the eye's lens. Once symptoms do develop, they may include:

  • Cloudy or blurry vision
  • Double vision (diplopia)
  • Seeing dull or faded colors
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Sensitivity to glare from the sun and car headlights
  • Trouble judging distances
  • Trouble reading, especially fine print
  • Difficulty seeing or driving at night

Surgical Treatment

Cataracts are one of the most common causes of vision loss, especially as we age, but they are treatable with cataract surgery.

PanOptix Trifocal IOL

Advances in lens technology allow this multifocal IOL to focus images clearly onto the back of your eye to allow clear vision at multiple distances. The AcrySof® IQ PanOptix® Trifocal IOL allows for better near (reading) vision, intermediate (computer work) vision and distance vision.


Toric IOL

This lens corrects the abnormal curves in the cornea that cause blurry vision, also known as astigmatism. It is indicated to correct pre-existing corneal astigmatism at the time of cataract surgery. This can help reduce your need for distance glasses following surgery but you would still need reading glasses.

Monofocal IOL

This IOL has one focus point that is usually for distance. A cataract doctor may select monofocal IOLs that are for near focus, for mid-distance focus, or for distant focus. Only one of these three can be selected and the focus will not change after surgery. Your IOL will contain the appropriate prescription to give you the best vision possible but glasses may still be needed.