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Saint Michael's Medical Center Urges Cataract Awareness: Know the Signs, Get Checked

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Newark, NJ—Cataracts affect more than half of Americans age 65 and older. The leading cause of blindness in the world, cataracts cloud the lens of the eye resulting in vision impairment. Saint Michael’s Medical Center advises community members to take control of their eye health and know the signs and symptoms of cataracts during Cataract Awareness Month, August.

“Cataracts are most often caused by our normal aging process,” said Matthew Marano, M.D., chief of Ophthalmology, SMMC. “Other contributing factors may include too much exposure to sunlight, trauma, certain medications, or genetics.”

A cataract may not affect your vision noticeably at first, but as it continues to grow your vision may become affected in any of the following ways:

  • Fading or dimness of colors
  • Cloudy or blurry vision
  • Difficulty reading small print
  • Difficulty seeing while driving—especially at night
  • Seeing halos or auras around lights
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass prescriptions

“Cataracts tend to develop slowly, but will start to interfere with one’s vision over time,” added Dr. Marano. “Patients often describe their vision as looking through a fogged-up window. This impaired sight can become frustrating, as it begins to affect people’s daily activities, in which case surgery is needed.”

Since the only effective treatment for cataracts is surgery, those with cataracts usually wait to seek treatment when their daily activities become limited, affecting their quality of life. “Each case is different,” said Dr. Marano. “It is important that each individual speaks with his or her eye doctor to weight the benefits and risks of cataract surgery and determine if and when to intervene.”

At SMMC, Board-certified eye-care physicians and surgeons treat patients with cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and other conditions. For more information about ophthalmology services at SMMC or to schedule an appointment, please call 973.877.5000.

Established by the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor in 1867, Saint Michael’s Medical Center is a 357-bed regional tertiary-care, teaching, and research center in the heart of Newark’s business and educational district. Saint Michael’s Medical Center is currently a member of CHE- Trinity Health. More information is available at


Cathy Toscano Director of Communications
Marketing and Public Relations
Saint Michael’s Medical Center
(O): 973.596.3804 / (C): 973.803.2055