Can cataracts be prevented?
Most cataracts are unavoidable due to the effects of the aging process. There is some evidence that suggests early onset cataracts form due to factors such as traumatic eye injury, prolonged use of corticosteroid medications, smoking and excessive exposure to ultraviolet light. Protecting your eyes from the sun, not smoking and not taking corticosteroid medications long term may reduce your chances of early onset cataracts.
Another risk factor that experts believe may accelerate the onset of cataracts is the effects of diabetes on the eyes. If you have diabetes, work with your medical team to keep it well-controlled and reduce your risk of early onset cataracts.
At what stage do cataracts need to be removed?
A cataract needs to be removed only if it causes visual impairment that interferes with the ability to perform daily activities (such as driving, reading or working).
An immature cataract that does not noticeably impede vision usually does not need to be treated.
Can cataracts be treated without surgery?
There is currently no medical solution for cataracts. The only way to treat cataracts is to surgically remove the eye’s natural lens and replace it with an artificial lens implant. Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most routine procedures performed around the world today. It has an extremely high success rate.
Does cataract surgery hurt?
Your eyes will be completely numb during surgery, and you will not feel any discomfort. You will also be given an oral medication to help you relax. A special device gently holds your eyelids open in case you are worried about blinking.
Are both eyes treated at the same time?
If both of your eyes have cataracts, one eye will be treated at a time. The second eye will be treated several weeks after the first. This ensures normal or near-to-normal vision in one of your eyes as the other heals.
Will I need glasses after cataract surgery?
Whether you need to wear glasses depends on the type of intraocular lens (IOL) you have implanted during cataract surgery. If you select a standard IOL, you will likely need to wear glasses for reading and other close-up work. If you select a multifocal IOL, you are less likely to need reading glasses.
Can cataracts return after surgery?
No. IOLs cannot develop cataracts like normal lenses can. A small percentage of patients experience cataract-like symptoms after surgery due to a clouding of the membrane that holds the IOL in place. Fortunately, this can be treated during a short office procedure.