When Should I Get Cataract Surgery? | Complete Eye Care West

When Should I Get Cataract Surgery?

Are you wondering whether you may need cataract surgery? While millions of people have been diagnosed with cataracts, not everyone needs surgery right away. 

One of the most important facts to know about cataracts is that they often progress very slowly over a period of years. Because they develop gradually, it can leave many people unsure about when it may be time to consider surgery. 

Keep reading to find out when you should get cataract surgery!

What Is a Cataract?

A cataract occurs when the lens of your eye becomes cloudy. The lens is typically transparent and is located behind the iris, which is the colored part of your eye.

Cataracts are often a result of aging. Because they are typically caused by age, and everyone will get them eventually, cataracts are extremely common. 

They often begin developing in your forties. This happens because, as you age, proteins in your eyes degrade and stick together, forming a cloudy spot. 

Cataracts can have other causes, too, like diabetes and steroid medication. Other factors like ultraviolet light exposure, smoking, poor diet, obesity, high alcohol consumption, and hypertension can increase your risk as well. 

What Are the Symptoms of Cataracts?

A cataract may not have any symptoms at first. You may not even know you have one.

 As the cataract progresses, however, it can cause a range of symptoms that continue to worsen. These include:

  • Blurry or clouded vision
  • Trouble seeing at night
  • Glare and halos around light sources
  • Light sensitivity 
  • Double vision in one eye
  • Trouble perceiving contrast
  • Colors appearing dull or yellowed
  • Frequent need to update eyeglass or contact lens prescription 

Over time, a cataract grows, making it harder and harder for light to pass through your lens. This is why symptoms worsen as time goes on. 

When Is Cataract Surgery Typically Recommended? 

Being diagnosed with a cataract does not mean you need to get surgery right away. Due to the progressive nature of a cataract, surgery is recommended on a case-by-case basis.

When you are first diagnosed with cataracts, your symptoms may not be severe enough to warrant cataract surgery. The decision of whether or not to get cataract surgery depends on the extent to which it is impacting your daily life. 

Many people have cataracts but hardly notice them, because they do not cause any significant symptoms. Sometimes, a new glasses prescription is sufficient to compensate for the effects of a cataract. 

It can be years before you begin to experience significant symptoms. When symptoms become severe enough to interfere with daily activities, cataract surgery is typically recommended. 

What Are Some Signs That it Might Be Time for Cataract Surgery?

There are some things to look out for, which can help you figure out whether it is time for you to have cataract surgery. If you find that you have serious difficulty seeing at night, especially when driving, or tend to have falls and other accidents due to impaired vision, cataract surgery can be a good idea from a safety perspective. 

It can also allow you to reclaim your independence if you’ve had to rely on others because of vision problems. If ordinary activities like reading, cooking, and doing laundry have become difficult or even impossible because of a cataract, surgery can stop a cataract from interfering. 

A cataract does not mean you have no choice but to deal with bothersome symptoms. Cataract surgery is a straightforward solution. 

It’s worth noting that a cataract will not go away on its own. Once symptoms begin to bother you, this will only increase over time. 

So, there is no reason to keep living with cataract symptoms when such an effective treatment is available. Ultimately, your eye doctor will help you decide whether it’s time for cataract surgery. 

How Does Cataract Surgery Work?

Fortunately, if a cataract is bothering you, a highly effective procedure can restore clear vision. Every year, three million Americans undergo cataract surgery to return to a pre-cataract quality of life, and you can too!

The only way to remove a cataract is surgically. Once a cataract forms on the lens, there is no way to reverse it. 

Cataract surgery works by removing the clouded lens of your eye and replacing it with a new artificial lens. This new lens is called an intraocular lens, or IOL.

You or someone else cannot see it, and it will simply feel like a natural part of your eye. 

At Complete EyeCare West, our cataract surgeons offer a range of IOLs that can allow you to see even better than you could before your cataracts formed. Many patients choose to get rid of their cataract and the need for glasses with a single procedure! 

Your eye doctor will be happy to discuss your lens options with you in detail. Cataract surgery is a simple outpatient procedure. 

It is very safe, and no stitches are needed. The recovery period is brief. Most patients are able to begin enjoying their cataract-free vision within a day or two. 

Is a cataract making it harder to live the life you want to live? Schedule a cataract surgery consultation at Complete EyeCare West in Columbus, OH, today!

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