Cataract surgery is a procedure used to remove the natural lens in the eye when it becomes clouded, and replace it with an artificial lens in order to restore clear vision. Cataract surgery is indicated when the cataract impairs vision to the extent that it interferes with normal daily activities. Cataract extraction is one of the most frequently performed surgical procedures in the world.
A cataract is a cloudy or opaque area in the normally clear lens of the eye. Depending upon its size and location, it can interfere with normal vision. Most cataracts develop in persons over age 55, but they occasionally occur in infants and young children. Usually cataracts develop in both eyes, but one eye may have somewhat worse vision than the other. There is no way to prevent the development of cataracts and currently the only way to treat them is to surgically remove the natural lens in the eye.
Early symptoms of cataracts include blurred vision, glare, and difficulty reading. Cataracts generally progress very slowly, and surgery may not be needed for many years, if at all. In some cases, periodic changes in your eyeglass or contact lens prescription may be all that is needed to continue to provide you with good vision.
Waiting to have surgery usually won’t harm your eyes. The decision to proceed with surgery is primarily based on the amount of difficulty you have performing your usual daily activities.
When considering cataract surgery, you need to ask yourself:
- Can I see to perform my job and drive safely?
- Do I have problems reading or watching television?
- Do vision problems affect my level of independence?
When your vision has decreased to the point where you can no longer easily and safely perform daily activities, then it’s time to consider cataract surgery.
Dr. Pingree and/or Dr. Young can assist you in making that decision. They are most familiar with your current and past eye health and vision history and can answer specific questions you may have about cataract surgery. Following a comprehensive eye examination, they can advise you on your current level of visual abilities and the potential benefits and risks of cataract surgery.
(Above information from AOA.org)