Is Cataract Surgery Right For You?

Cataracts are one of the most common ailments in America. In fact, more than half of all Americans have either had a cataract or had cataract surgery by the age of 80. Despite the prevalence of this condition, nothing has been proven to definitively prevent cataracts. Wearing sunglasses, eating fruits and vegetables, and not smoking might help prevent cataracts from forming, but there's still a lot of research that needs to be done. The only way to cure cataracts is with surgery, so if you're suffering from them, you might be wondering if cataract surgery is right for you.

What Are The Risks?

One of the first questions anyone will ask if they're considering any type of surgery is what the risks are. While there are risks with all surgeries, cataract surgery is one of the safest, most effective surgeries out there. Complications resulting from cataract surgery are uncommon, and most of them can be treated successfully if they do occur. Some complications include retinal detachment, swelling, inflammation, and glaucoma. Your doctor will give you certain directions before the surgery, such as not taking certain medication, to decrease these complications from occurring.

How Does Surgery Cure Cataracts?

If cataracts go untreated, they can lead to more debilitating conditions, including vision loss, which is why treating them early is so important. A cataract is essentially a clouding of the lens on the eye, and surgery is recommended once the cataracts start interfering with your daily life. During surgery, the cloudy lens on your eye is removed and replaced with an artificial lens, which will give you clear vision; 90% of patients have improved vision after surgery. Cataract surgery doesn't require an overnight stay in the hospital because it's usually performed as an outpatient surgery.

What Is The Recovery Like?

Discomfort, sensitivity to light and touch, and mild itching are all common symptoms that occur after cataract surgery. Your doctor will most likely suggest using eye drops to speed up the healing process, decrease the discomfort, and decrease the risk of infection. These symptoms usually only last for a few days, and your vision will start to become clear in this time; your eyes should be fully healed within a few weeks.

Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world, but they don't have to be so debilitating if they're treated early. Knowing what's involved in cataract surgery and how it will benefit you in the future can help you and your doctor decide if surgery is right for you. For more information, contact a professional like Thomas L. Lawrence, M.D., P.A.