Many people tend to think of cataracts and worsening vision as a natural sign of getting older, without even realizing treatment is an option. But as technology has continued to advance, cataract surgery has become safer and more effective than ever before – and is one of the most common outpatient procedures in the US.2
Whether done through manual or laser-assisted surgery, the only effective solution for restoring vision loss due to cataracts is to have the cloudy lens removed and replaced with an IOL (intraocular lens). The procedure usually takes about 15 minutes per eye, and each eye is likely to undergo surgery on a different day.
Talking to your doctor
If you’re over 40 and are experiencing the signs and symptoms of cataracts, you should talk to your eye doctor to understand if you fit the criteria for cataract surgery. He or she can determine if cataracts are actually the issue or if something else may be impacting your vision.
Once you’ve been diagnosed and have discussed your medical history, your eye doctor can decide if cataract surgery is an option for you. Sometimes, even when cataracts are found, a doctor may wait to perform surgery until the cataract is mature enough that glasses or contact lenses no longer help. However, once cataracts start impacting day-to-day activities, like reading or driving, the next step is often surgery.
Being your own advocate
Your vision is extremely valuable. Whether you have cataracts or another eye condition, be sure you communicate with your doctor. You’re the only one who knows how and what you see. You don’t have to suffer from unclear vision; if your vision is impacting your everyday life, let your eye doctor know.
To see what you can do to help prepare for surgery, click here.
1 American Academy of Ophthalmology. Eye health statistics at a glance. Updated April 2011. http://aao.org/newsroom/upload/Eye-Health-Statistics-April-2011.pdf. Accessed June 13, 2013. REF2014MLT0033.
2 University of Michigan - Kellogg Eye Center - Cataract. REF2014MLT0034.
3 National Eye Institute. Facts About Cataracts. National Eye Institute (NEI) Web site: https://nei.nih.gov/health/cataract/cataract_facts. Updated September 2015. Accessed October 28, 2017.REF2016OTH0006.