Busting Myths About Cataract Surgery

Dec 8, 2021

In the past, cataract surgery required large incisions, general anesthesia, and a long recovery period. Since then, cataract surgery has advanced significantly to become one of the most commonly performed and successful surgeries in the world. But outdated ideas about the procedure remain. Here are six myths explained to get you the truth about cataract surgery.

Myth: Cataracts are reversible

Factors may increase your risk for developing cataracts early, such as smoking or diabetes. Managing preexisting conditions and cutting back on risky behaviors can help prevent the accelerated development of cataracts but cannot reverse or prevent them altogether. The only way to treat cataracts is through surgery that removes and replaces the eye’s clouded lens.

Myth: Surgery is painful and time-consuming

Modern cataract surgery is advanced, quick, and relatively comfortable. Your surgeon will administer sedatives and local anesthesia to prevent you from feeling pain. The procedure itself lasts only about 10 minutes per eye. Most patients can resume regular activity, such as driving and working within a day or two, but strenuous activity should be avoided for a few weeks following surgery. 

Myth: Cataracts grow over your eye

Some people believe that cataract surgery removes an opaque top layer that grows over the eye. However, a cataract is the cloudiness of a lens within the eye. 

Myth: Cataracts can grow back

Cataracts cannot grow back. In cataract surgery, the natural eye’s lens is replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL). Amazingly, IOLs can help correct vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. Since the natural lens is removed, no further clouding of the lens is possible. However, in some cases, the natural capsule left behind after cataract surgery can opacify. If this occurs, a secondary procedure may be performed called a YAG capsulotomy. This surgery is low risk, painless, and often shorter than your initial cataract surgery. 

Myth: Cataracts must be “ripe” for surgery

In cataract surgery’s early forms, the lens could not be safely removed from the eye unless it had matured substantially. However, advancements in modern cataract surgery make it safe to extract a clouded lens at a much earlier stage than ever before. If cataracts affect your daily vision, you may be a candidate for surgery without having to wait for your cataract to become more advanced.

Myth: Cataract surgery is only for seniors

Most cataract surgery patients are in their 70s and older, but cataracts develop over many years. With advancements in medicine making cataract surgery safer and more effective than ever, younger patients are now more likely to receive surgery than before. Some people may develop cataracts at a young age due to eye injury or an inherited genetic disorder. If cataracts are impacting your vision, there is no right or wrong age to consider surgery.

Ready to schedule a consultation to see if cataract surgery could benefit you? Call our office today at (614) 939-1600 to book an appointment. We can’t wait to help you improve your life by improving your vision!