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Is Surgery Inevitable With Cataracts?

Is Surgery Inevitable With Cataracts?

Your once-clear vision is starting to become a little cloudier, and you’re having trouble with glare and night vision. These are some of the telltale signs of cataracts, which affect about 17% of the global population.

Closer to home, more than half of Americans age 80 and older have cataracts, many of whom have turned to surgery to see more clearly.

If you’re in the early stages of cataracts and you’re wondering what the future holds — will you need surgery or not — you’ve come to the right place. In this month’s blog post, Dr. Curtis Frank and the team here at Vision and Ortho-K Center want to touch on whether surgery is an inevitability when you develop cataracts.

Cataracts — an age-related and progressive issue

Cataracts aren't really an eye disease, but more of a natural aging process in your eyes. Starting at the age of about 40, the proteins in the lenses of your eyes begin to break down and clump together. In the early stages, you’re likely not aware of the issue. In fact, most people don’t start to have vision problems until after the age of 60.

When these problems start to crop up, they include:

Again, these symptoms are progressive and gradually rob you of your clear vision.

Your treatment options for cataracts

Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do once cataracts start to develop. We can manage the symptoms as they arise and use corrective lenses to help preserve your vision. We can also turn to anti-glare lenses to help with night vision and bright lights.

You can do your part to slow the progression by protecting your eyes by wearing sunglasses and seeing us regularly for your eye exams so that we can track the health of your lenses.

If your cataracts start to really interfere with your vision and you want to regain the ability to see clearly, the best step forward is, in fact, cataract surgery.

During this surgery, the ophthalmologist replaces your cloudy lenses with intraocular lenses that can hit the reset button on your vision.

Cataract surgery has been around for decades and is considered to be highly effective and safe. Success rates afterwards are quite high, as 9 out of 10 people experience an improvement in their vision.

In most cases, this surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and recovery isn’t all that long — typically a few days to a few weeks. During this time, your eyes will slowly adjust to the new lenses, so be patient as your vision improves.

Ultimately, the decision to undergo surgery is one that only you can make. If you don’t feel comfortable with the idea of surgery, we can do what we can to preserve your vision. If you do want cataract surgery, we will point you toward a good surgeon and provide complementary services, such as handling your postoperative care and follow-up exams.

If you have more questions about cataracts and cataract surgery, please contact us at one of our offices in Boston or Newton Upper Falls, Massachusetts, to schedule a consultation.

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