Is Early Cataract Surgery Better?
What is a cataract?
Cataracts occur when the natural lens in the eye becomes cloudy. They happen naturally over time as people age and cause vision to become hazy, blurry, and less colorful. A cataract will worsen with time and will gradually hamper vision in the eye until surgery is required.
Can cataracts be treated without surgery?
The only way to remove cataracts is through cataract surgery. Without cataract surgery, cataracts will deteriorate the lenses and will negatively impact vision. At first, cataracts can be managed without surgery. However, the only way to remove cataracts and their effects completely is with surgical intervention.
Treatment before cataract surgery
Cataracts can be managed without cataract surgery in their early stage when one’s vision and eyes aren’t as affected. Adjusting your glasses prescription can alleviate the impact of cataracts and give you more time before surgery is required. Other steps you can take prior to surgery are using polarized sunglasses or a brimmed hat to help reduce glare, bright lights, and contrasting colors and help your vision in low lighting. Even so, cataracts will eventually need to be removed.
What happens during cataract surgery?
During cataract surgery, the cloudy lenses will be removed and replaced with an intraocular lens (IOL). Before surgery, you and Dr. Beran or Dr. Weber will determine which IOL is right for your eye and your specific vision needs. During surgery, your eye will be numbed, and you will be awake. You won’t be able to see what is being done to your eye during surgery. After resting for about a half hour after surgery, you’ll be able to go home.
Is early cataract surgery better?
Early cataract surgery means removing a cataract with surgery shortly after being diagnosed. Some patients wonder if having cataract surgery sooner is better for several reasons, including not wanting to undergo medical procedures or surgery as they age, having eye health concerns, or wanting clear vision as soon as possible. When someone should get a cataract removed with surgery varies. Some people find cataracts quickly, and some don’t have a cataract diagnosed until their vision is severely impaired and surgery is necessary. Most of the time, cataracts caught early on don’t need to be removed immediately. However, early cataract surgery can make a difference in your quality of life or health goals.
When should I have cataract surgery?
There is no set time for when you should undergo surgery for your cataract. It depends on the person and the impact a cataract has on their vision. You should consider cataract surgery when you experience symptoms that interfere with your daily life. At that point, surgery is necessary for your health and safety.
Signs you may need cataract surgery
There are several symptoms that indicate that it’s time for cataract surgery. These can include blurry vision, seeing double out of the eye with a cataract, sensitivity to light, trouble seeing at night, and seeing bright colors as yellowed or faded. If any of these symptoms worsen, you should contact an expert.
What to know about cataract surgery
There are risks associated with cataract surgery that may determine if or when you should have surgery. This treatment remains one of the most common elective procedures people undergo, with many benefits, including reduced risk of falls and car crashes. This surgery also has a high success rate. Keep in mind that cataract surgery cannot repair the damage done to the eye by other conditions, such as glaucoma. For other eye conditions, different surgical approaches may be required.
Cost of cataract surgery
For many people, the cost of surgery is important when choosing a provider or IOL. Medicare, as well as most private insurance providers, cover cataract surgery. If you are unsure of your insurance coverage, schedule a consultation with us to discuss the costs in detail—including financing options. We know that cataract surgery is a potentially life-changing treatment, and we do everything possible to make healthy, clear vision accessible.
Preventing vision loss from deteriorating
Once you have a cataract diagnosis, take steps to protect your vision and eyes prior to having cataract surgery. If you smoke, you should quit. Smoking is a risk factor for cataracts and other eye conditions and can cause complications during surgery. Protect your eyes from UV light, limit reading in low light, and avoid driving at night, especially when night vision becomes a problem. Manage any other health conditions you may have, such as diabetes or dry eye, as they can factor into your surgery and outcome.
Check your vision often
Having a regular eye exam schedule is important for maintaining your eye health. A regular comprehensive eye exam can catch cataracts early on, as well as other eye diseases like glaucoma. If your regular eye doctor recommends cataract surgery, it’s time to visit our team!
Tips to maintain eye health
Taking preventative measures to preserve your eye health is always important. For healthier eyes, avoid smoking, alcohol, and steroids, and protect yourself with sunglasses.
At Columbus Laser & Cataract Center, we’re proud to house two eye and cataract surgery experts, Dr. Beran and Dr. Weber! If you would like to learn more about cataracts, surgery, or how we can help you get your best vision, don’t hesitate to call 614.939.1600 to schedule an appointment.