August is cataract awareness month - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

August is cataract awareness month

By Colleen Donovan - bio | email | Twitter

HATTIESBURG, MS. (WDAM)- Durwood Blackwell visited Southern Eye Center on Thursday to have a cataract in his right eye fixed.

Last week he had his left eye repaired. Blackwell's regular eye doctor told him he had cataracts and referred him to Southern Eye Center. Blackwell noticed his vision was not as good as it could be.

"Well I couldn't see street signs very well and in church I couldn't see the preacher's face. I always thought he was preaching to the guy behind me. So I guess the downside is now that I can see is that I will know he is speaking to me!," said Blackwell.

Blackwell said his left eyesight has improved. The symptoms he described are common for cataract patents, like blurred vision and trouble seeing at night. Kiper Nelson is the cataract specialist at Southern Eye Center. He says a cataract is the natural lens in the eye that has become cloudy.

"When you are born that lens is crystal clear and every year that goes by the lens is less clear and more cloudy until eventually it actually interferes with the vision instead of helping you see better, " said Nelson.

Nelson said it takes a surgical procedure to remove a cataract.

"Thankfully with the advancements we have in modern technology it's about a 5 to 10 minute procedure, it's not a long deal. We take the cloudy cataract out, we put a clear lens implant in it's place and it is very successful," said Nelson.

Kiper Nelson said even advanced cataracts can be treated. He said people who are experiencing the symptoms of cataracts should contact their eye doctor and find out what's going on.

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