How Do I Know If I Should Consider Cataract Surgery?
Did you know that cataract surgery is the most commonly performed medical procedure in the country? Why is this procedure so common?
Because cataracts are prevalent, and cataract surgery is also the only effective way to treat cataracts. Cataracts form in the natural lens of the eye.
They usually develop as a result of aging. The lens becomes cloudy, and as the cataract develops, your vision becomes more impaired. Cataract surgery removes the cataract in the lens by removing the entire lens itself and replacing it with an artificial one.
But if you have cataracts, you may not necessarily need cataract surgery right away. Cataracts can form slowly over a long time, often years.
In the early stages, the symptoms may not even be noticeable. Some people develop cataracts so slowly that they never get to a point where they significantly impact their vision.
For that reason, cataract surgeons only recommend having cataract surgery when your cataracts begin to affect your quality of life. Keep reading to find out when you should start considering having cataract surgery!
Cataract symptoms include:
- Blurry vision
- Glare and halos
- Light sensitivity
- Trouble seeing in low light
- Difficulty seeing contrast
These symptoms may be hard to spot at first, especially because they often appear very gradually. You may not even notice your eyesight getting worse because it degrades so slowly.
But eventually, your cataracts can make it a lot harder to go about your daily life. They can even cause total vision loss until you undergo cataract surgery.
You want to have your cataracts treated before it becomes nearly impossible to see. Waiting until this point for cataract surgery may result in injuries due to an inability to see.
If you’re having trouble figuring out how much your cataracts are affecting your life, ask yourself if you’re struggling with any of the following:
Reading and Up-Close Tasks
Because cataracts make it harder to see in low light, reading and completing other fine-focus tasks can be difficult. It’s not due to an inability to focus but instead inadequate lighting.
However, many people with cataracts also have presbyopia. Presbyopia is another age-related condition that does make it harder to focus.
It occurs when the lens loses flexibility with age. But when your cataracts are the primary issue, using stronger reading glasses eventually won’t help you see any better.
In the short term, using a direct light on whatever you’re reading or working on might provide some relief. If you have a more challenging time doing simple tasks without a direct light source, it’s a sure sign you should consider cataract surgery.
Driving at Night
One of the most common issues people with advanced cataracts have is driving at night. Cataracts make it hard to see at night.
You may experience light sensitivity, which can be quite problematic. If you have cataracts, they also give lights halos and intense glare, making car headlights, traffic lights, and even stop signs blinding.
When driving at night becomes dangerous, you should stop and seriously think about having cataract surgery. If you feel unsafe driving at night, find a friend or trusted family member that can take you where you need to go.
You can get back on the road after you’ve had cataract surgery, making it safer for you and other drivers until that time.
Injury due to Poor Vision
If you’ve started injuring yourself more frequently due to your diminishing vision, this is one of the most glaring signs that you need to consider having cataract surgery. Feeling unsafe or unable to leave the house because of your cataracts is nothing less than debilitating.
You can’t live your life normally when you can’t see well enough to keep yourself safe. Whether you injure yourself due to a car accident, fall, or bumping into something in your home, you should see an eye doctor and have them assess your vision and discuss the possibility of cataract surgery.
Reaching this point means that you’ve lost your autonomy. There’s no reason to continue living this way when it’s as easy as choosing to have cataract surgery.
Having Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery is an elective procedure. It’s up to you to decide when to have it.
But it’s also deemed medically necessary to save your vision, which is why most medical insurance plans cover the procedure. While it’s ultimately up to you to decide when to have cataract surgery, waiting too long can make your life not only more challenging but also more dangerous.
Your eye doctor can help you by examining your cataracts and testing your visual acuity. But it’s hard to assess everything you’ll encounter in your daily life in a doctor’s office.
The Benefits of Choosing to Have Cataract Surgery
You’re the only one who knows how your vision affects your life. Your eye doctor can certainly tell when your cataracts have become advanced and making it almost impossible to see, but you don’t want to wait that long to have cataract surgery.
In the end, it’s better to have cataract surgery earlier rather than too late. Cataract surgery can completely restore any vision loss due to cataracts.
After getting cataract surgery, patients often wish they had undergone the procedure sooner. Once you can see clearly again, you may finally realize how much having cataracts affected your vision and ability to see.
More than that, you may also understand that cataracts were holding you back from living your best life. The good news is that you don’t have to live with regret.
If you’re unsure whether it’s time for cataract surgery, look at your symptoms and think about how they affect your sight. Even if your vision makes your everyday life a little more complicated, you should consider if it may be time to have cataract surgery.
Are you ready to take back your life? Schedule a cataract consultation at the Nielsen Eye Center in Boston, MA!
Our Patient Advocates are here for you and waiting by the phone to answer any questions you may have about cataracts and cataract surgery. Give us a call at 617-471-5665 now!