It is frightening to find out that you have a cataract because “surgery” tends to be the first word that comes to mind. However, a cataract shouldn’t be removed just because it exists. Many people have cataracts who don’t have blurred vision or a vision impairment that interferes with their daily activities. They lead productive and active lives.
When an individual experiences blurred vision, his or her quality of life can be compromised. It can be difficult to read road signs while driving or read the morning paper. The interference can be disabling. Hobbies like card games or knitting can become nearly impossible. This can be frustrating and lead to depression. When that’s the case, surgery is most likely necessary.
When is Surgery Necessary?
So far, it may sound as if a cataract must ripen significantly before cataract surgery is needed. In the past, this was true because the lens couldn’t be safely extracted from the eye unless the cataract was advanced. Because of modern advances in cataract surgery, a lens can be removed from the eye before the cataract advances so much that the quality of life is affected.
The fact a cataract can be removed at an earlier stage is good news. When cataracts needed to be more developed before they could be removed, they were still difficult to remove because they harden as they progress. From a safety standpoint, is is better to remove the cataract sooner rather than later. However, sooner is not when the cataract is noticed. Instead, it is when blurred vision starts to be experienced.
What all of this means is that a cataract can hang around for a while before anything is done. By letting it progress too long, however, quality of life can be affected greatly. Complete blindness can occur. If any reason is a good reason to remove a cataract, regardless of whether your vision is blurred, it is the potential for blindness.
Your Personal Choice
Now that you know when surgery on a cataract is needed and not needed, it is up to you to make the decision rather than the cataract surgeon. It is your doctor’s responsibility to educate you on the surgery so that you can make a well-informed decision. No one can force you to go through it, but it is imperative for you to know the risks of waiting. It is also important for you to understand the method that the surgeon will use, how long the surgery typically takes and the expected recovery time. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and express your concerns.
At Pinke Eye Center, we can assure you that you are in good hands. Dr. Pinke is a cataract surgery expert and has changed the lives of many patients over the years. Be sure to contact us today for your cataract evaluation!