Cataracts in Olympia


Cataract is when the lens inside of your eye becomes cloudy due to proteins in the lens breaking down. There are various causes for this condition, but the most common is age. Cataract is very common for those aged 60 and older. Approximately half of the American population age 80 or above have cataracts or have had it removed surgically. 

Cataract usually begins as a very mild, and sometimes unnoticeable, condition. It is not usually considered an emergency, however over time, cataract begins to affect daily functions and lifestyle and that is usually the indication that it is time to be treated. Thankfully, there is a very safe and effective surgery that removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with an artificial lens which provides clear vision. If you notice any decrease in the quality of your vision, especially if you are age 60 or older, please schedule an appointment so that your eye doctor can check the health of your eye and if you have developed cataract.

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At first, you may not notice any disturbances in your vision, but with time various symptoms can develop, including:

  • Blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Glare
  • Dull appearance of colors
  • Double vision

If you notice any of these symptoms or if daily tasks become difficult due to impaired vision, please schedule an eye exam with our eye doctor in Olympia.

Types of Cataract

There are many types of cataract due to various causes such as age, systemic diseases or trauma to the eye. Also, the specific location of the cataract inside of your lens can determine which kind of cataract you may have. Some common kinds of this eye disease include:

Subcapsular Cataract: This type occurs in senior citizens and in people who take steroids for a long period of time. It is located at the back outer layer of the lens. It typically develops more quickly and causes complaints of glare.

Nuclear Cataract: This cataract is common amongst the older population. It is located in the center of the lens and causes a yellow hue which can turn more brown over time. Nuclear cataract can cause an interesting phenomenon which allows you to be able to have clearer near vision for a temporary period of time.

Cortical Cataract: The layer surrounding the nucleus is damaged in this type of cataract which causes a spoke-like appearance. This kind of cataract also typically causes glare and is found in senior citizens.

Congenital Cataract: Some people are born with cataracts or develop the condition in childhood. It could be caused for a number of reasons varying from genetics to trauma. Sometimes it does not affect vision but if it does, it is usually removed soon after being diagnosed.

Types of Cataract


When cataract begins affecting your lifestyle or daily tasks, it is recommended to remove the cataract surgically. Cataract surgery is very safe and allows people to regain clear vision by removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens. Please discuss this option with your eye doctor so you can be guided through the process and receive professional advice to decide if surgery is the right step for you.



There isn’t a clear method in avoiding cataract as it is considered to be a natural part of the aging process. There are certain recommendation that could be helpful though:

  • Regular eye exams for early detection
  • Quit smoking and decrease alcohol use - both smoking and/ or excessive alcohol intake can be correlated with an increased risk of developing cataract
  • Wear sunglasses - ultraviolet rays from the sun can be associated with developing cataract
  • Mange your other health conditions - follow your treatment plan for diabetes or any other diseases that can increase the risk for cataract

Common Questions

After the diagnosis, your eye doctor will discuss the effective treatment option of cataract surgery. It might not be the right time yet to go through with the surgery. The main indication to get the operation is if the cataract is affecting your daily tasks. You could live a long time before cataract is taking that kind of toll on your lifestyle. Therefore, before getting surgery, it is recommended that you do a number of things to protect your eye health. This includes going for an annual eye exam if you are aged 65 or older. Wear sunglasses and a hat to protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays. Using brighter lights for tasks such as reading and possibly using a magnifying glass could help you see better. Also, smoking is a risk factor so it is highly recommended to quit smoking. There are a number of methods that are available to help you stop this habit.
Cataract is very common in those aged 60 and older. There are other factors that can increase your risk of getting cataracts, such as: Other eye conditions Previous eye surgery Health conditions such as diabetes Long term use of steroid medication Smoking If you are concerned that you might have cataract, please schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.
Cataracts cause irreparable damage to the lens, so there is no way to fix it with just eye drops, medications, eye exercises, glasses or contact lenses. Therefore, you might want to steer clear of anyone who claims to be able to remove the cataract in your eye without surgery. Cataract surgery is the best way to remove the cataract by replacing the damaged lens with an intraocular lens also known as an IOL. The intraocular lens is an artificial, synthetic lens that is permanently inserted in the eye to restore near and far vision. If you are considering cataract surgery we recommend scheduling an appointment with our eye doctors who can give you unbiased guidance and answer any questions that you may have about the procedure, call our office at (360) 491-2121 to schedule an appointment.
Dr. Zurcher cartoon


Cataract is a common eye condition which causes the transparent lens inside of your eye to turn cloudy, preventing clear vision. It is the leading cause for blindness worldwide, however there is a very safe and effective surgery which removes the cataract and replaces it with a clear artificial lens that restores your eyesight. Patients searching for advanced medical eye care visit our clinic from all over Washington, and we are proud to be a leading provider of medical eye care services for patients from Olympia, Lakewood, Tacoma, and Lacey.


Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.

Anna P.

I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.

June S.

Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.

Christine R.

Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.

Lars Wulff

Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.

Justin E.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.

Amy Fagerness
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