Dr. Gong describes a cataract and discusses its causes, symptoms, and diagnosis.
A cataract is when the lens inside your eye becomes either clouded or discolored.
The symptoms of cataract is a decrease in vision. Patients usually come in saying that I have noticed either a gradual change in my vision or that things are more blurry and they are not sure if it’s because of a change in their prescription.
Glare around headlights, and people even say things just look a little hazy, like I am looking through a clouded window or soapy window.
The causes of cataract can be genetic. About the same age your parents had cataract is about the age you will get it. The UV rays of the sun and even smoking can speed up the progress of cataracts. It does get worse as you get older.
We diagnose cataracts by when you come in, we dilate you which means we make your pupils bigger so we can look inside the eye.
And we put you in an instrument called the slit lamp and we take a look at the lens inside your eye because it’s behind the iris, the colored part of your eye. If it looks discolored or hazy then we know that it’s a cataract.
It’s important that you get dilated so that the doctor can see the, more view of the lens. If you are not dilated and say it’s very dense, it is possible to see it.
Instead of looking clear between the iris, you will see a discoloration or a cloudiness but that would be only the cataract occluded or make cloudy the center of the lens.
About Dr. Aleta Gong, O.D., F.A.A.O., F.C.O.V.D.:
Dr. Aleta Gong, O.D., F.A.A.O., F.C.O.V.D., is a graduate of the University of California San Diego and the Southern California College of Optometry. She is a Board Certified Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. She has had extensive training at several hospitals and has been trained in specialty contacts, ocular disease, and vision therapy.
She is an active member of the American Optometric Association, and is past president of the Arizona Optometric Association. She also has been one of two state directors for the Special Olympics Opening Eyes Program since 2001.
Presently, she is the state liaison for the nurse’s vision screening program for Arizona. She was a state board proctor for the Arizona licensing board from 1993 to 2001. Dr. Gong has been chosen to be a C.O.P.E. reviewer for national lectures. Dr. Gong also started the InfantSEE® program for Arizona.