During normal vision, light passes through the cornea, which is the clear covering of the eye, and then through the pupil, which is actually a hole in the colored part of the eye, or the iris.
Light then passes through the lens where the image is focused onto the retina at the back of the eye. The image is then converted to electrical signals that are sent to the brain. Cataracts can cause the lenses to become cloudy or opaque, preventing light from passing clearly to the retina.
A surgical procedure can restore vision that has been compromised by cataracts. During this procedure, an ultrasound probe is used to soften the natural lens, which is then suctioned from the eye. Next, a plastic lens is inserted into the capsule that previously contained the natural lens.
The new lens is secured via two flexible plastic struts that curve out from the central plastic lens. An implanted lens functions similar to a natural one, focusing light on the back of the retina and restoring vision for those with cataracts. There are several potential complications associated with this procedure that should be discussed with a doctor prior to surgery.