What is a cataract?

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What is a Cataract?

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A cataract is the clouding of the eye’s naturally clear lens. Your lens is in charge of focusing light rays on your retina, which then transfers images to your brain through your optic nerve. When a cataract is present, it inhibits the ability of light rays to pass through your lens, and your vision is blurred. It can be compared to a frosted or yellowed window.



Cataract Myths:

  • A cataract is not a film over the eye.
  • A cataract is not caused by overusing the eye.
  • A cataract does not spread from one eye to the other. (Each eye works as an individual organ and the condition of one eye does not determine the condition of the other. However, if you have a cataract in one eye, it is likely that you may develop a cataract in the other eye.)
  • A cataract is not a cause of irreversible blindness.
  • A cataract does not need to be “ripe” for it to be removed.
  • A cataract does not need to be removed immediately after detection. (see below)


What causes Cataracts?

The most common type of cataract is directly related to the natural aging process of the eye. Other environmental and biological contributors to developing cataracts include, but are not limited to:
  • Age
  • Your family history
  • Predisposition based on other underlying medical conditions (i.e. diabetes)
  • Previous injury to the eye
  • Long term use of certain medications, especially steroids
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Long term, unprotected exposure to sunlight
  • Previous eye surgeries

What are cataract symptoms?

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An annual visit to Green Apple Eye Care is, of course, the best way to keep your eyes healthy and track any changes in your vision. However, if you have always had healthy eyes but start to experience some of the following symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with Dr. Memmen:

  • A painless blurring of your vision
  • Glare or sensitivity to light
  • Poor night vision
  • Double vision in one eye
  • Needing brighter light to read, or experiencing blurriness when reading even with your glasses
  • Fading or yellowing of colors

Is there cataract treatment?

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Yes! Our eye doctor, Dr. Memmen, can perform surgery to restore your vision! Surgery is the only way to remove a cataract. Unfortunately, no medications, eye drops, dietary supplements, exercises or glasses have been shown to prevent or cure cataracts.

The good news is that a cataract in its early stages may not affect your eyesight to a point of restricting your normal activity. The bad news is that a cataract will worsen with time. Surgery is necessary when your cataract causes enough vision loss to interfere with your normal activities (reading, driving, hobbies, etc). After an examination and discussion with Dr. Memmen, the two of you will decide that surgery is appropriate when your visual needs require it.


“How often do younger sisters take the advice of older brothers? I am happy to say that I did! He was very happy with his cataract surgery, and recommended Dr. Memmen. I made the call and was given a very convenient appointment. The associates were friendly and most informative of what was happening. Dr. Memmen, himself, was friendly and compassionate, and the surgery experiences at St. Vincent Hospital were very positive. One thing that really impressed me was the atmosphere in the surgery room – people seemed happy to be working together. I would definitely recommend this clinic to others. ”
– Dorothy, Green Bay, WI
“Dr. Memmen is direct, efficient and invites you to become involved in your eye care. I would recommend people see him as a second opinion. Too often people get poor care because they do not get good advice from their eye specialist. He delivers better care than other eye specialists, and his staff is efficient and friendly.
– Robert Vess, WI