Cataracts are an eye condition that causes the lens of the eye to become clouded, reducing vision. Unlike glaucoma, which affects the optic nerve and cannot be reversed, cataracts can be treated with eye surgery by an ophthalmologist.
The advances in cataract surgery in recent decades have been amazing, and the patients are benefiting greatly. Still, many people are hesitant to undergo surgery, but it’s important to understand that cataract surgery is a safe and routine procedure.
So you can have a better idea of what to expect, here are five things you need to know about cataract surgery:
What are cataracts?
Before considering surgery, you must fully educate yourself about what cataracts are.
A cataract occurs when the natural lens of the eye becomes clouded. This can occur in one or both eyes, though it cannot be transferred or spread from one eye to the other. When a cataract obstructs the lens, it cannot focus properly on images, which results in objects appearing blurred or dull. This condition cannot be prevented or corrected by medication. In essence, the most effective way to treat a cataract is through surgery to completely replace the old, clouded lens with a new, artificial lens.
For most patients, this surgery completely transforms their vision and dramatically improves their quality of life. There are several common signs that a patient has developed a cataract, including:
- Cloudy or blurry vision.
- Poor night vision.
- Difficulty with glare — headlights, lamps, or sunlight may appear too bright, or a halo may appear around lights.
- Double vision or multiple images in one eye.
- Frequent prescription changes in your eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Cataracts are common.
Cataracts are very prevalent and are the number one cause of vision loss globally. According to an article in Consumer Reports, about 24.5 million people in the U.S. have cataracts. More than half of all Americans will have undergone cataract surgery by the age of 80, and more than 3.5 million cataract surgeries are performed annually. Because of the many operations, and hours of experience, cataract surgery is one of the safest and most effective types of operations.
Surgeries are rising, and the age of patients is dropping.
The annual number of cataract surgeries is increasing annually, and the average age of the surgery patient is dropping. Research indicates that the rate of cataract surgery had increased five times since 1980, and the average age of a patient undergoing cataract surgery has now decreased to 65.
The recovery time is short.
Immediately after surgery, vision can be very blurry, and you will need assistance in getting home. The results, of course, vary per person, but many patients state that their vision begins to improve within a few days of the surgery. You should be completely healed a month after your surgery.
You need to invest in yourself.
Some also believe that vision loss and its restrictive impact should be accepted as part of the aging process. However, research has shown that cataract surgery has a far-reaching impact on the quality of people’s lives. Now is the time to focus on yourself and make your health a priority. Think of cataract surgery as an investment in your future and your health. Check out our patient financing options here!
Cataract surgery can dramatically improve both your vision and quality of life. However, it is a decision that requires a lot of thought and research.
Contact our team at Cataract Consultants today for an evaluation to find out if you could be the right candidate for cataract surgery.