Is Cataract Surgery the Only Way to Treat Cataracts?
Do you have cataracts? You may wonder if cataract surgery is the only way to treat them.
Cataracts occur when proteins in your eye break down and build up on your lens. These proteins usually cloud your lens gradually, causing your vision to become foggy.
Most cataracts develop due to the natural aging process. But certain risk factors like diabetes, excessive sun exposure, high blood pressure, and smoking increase your chances of developing cataracts earlier in life.
Keep reading to learn more about cataracts and whether cataract surgery is the only way to treat them effectively and regain your ability to see clearly.
What are the Symptoms of Cataracts?
Often, cataracts progress slowly. They can go unnoticed for many years until they begin to block light and impair your vision.
Then, you may experience signs and symptoms like:
- Cloudy, foggy, or blurred vision
- Halos and glare
- Poor night vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Double vision in one eye
- Colors appearing faded
- Frequent prescription changes
- Need for brighter lighting for up-close activities
Temporary Non-Surgical Options if You Have Cataracts
Although the best way to treat cataracts is with cataract surgery, most cataract surgeons only recommend the procedure if your cataracts affect your ability to do ordinary, everyday tasks, like cooking dinner, cleaning your home, or laundry. Cataract surgery is usually not necessary if you have mild or early cataracts.
Instead, there may be non-surgical options you can try to help you manage your symptoms until it’s time for cataract surgery.
Prescription Glasses or Contacts
Visit your eye doctor if cataracts are making it increasingly difficult to see far or near. Your ophthalmologist can give you a stronger prescription for your glasses or contact lenses.
Updating your prescription may compensate for the visual changes caused by cataracts, allowing you to see better.
Do you need help to read smaller print? A magnifying lens or glass can make it easier to see clearly if you’re reading the newspaper or performing other activities requiring close-up vision. Magnifying lenses work by enlarging objects and words, making it easier to see them despite the effects of cataracts.
You can minimize increased sensitivity to light and glare by wearing polarized sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat whenever you go out. Anti-glare sunglasses will help reduce glare, making it easier to be out and about if you’re dealing with the effects of cataracts on your vision.
With cataracts, you may require brighter light to perform previously completed activities without thinking about how much light you would need. Seeing at night and in low light could also become more challenging.
Using brighter lighting around your home, particularly in areas where you perform activities that need detailed vision, can make it easier to see. Another way to reduce glare is by repositioning any lamps so that they are right behind you and aimed at the task you’re completing.
You may experience reduced contrast sensitivity because of cataracts. Contrast sensitivity is the ability to distinguish between dark and light areas.
If you have low vision, placing light objects against darker backgrounds and vice versa can increase the contrast between an object and its environment. For instance, select a rug that contrasts in color with your coffee table.
That way, the table’s edges will stand out and become less of a hazard. You can also place a light throw blanket on a dark couch to make it more visible and help you see better.
These simple modifications can maximize the use of your vision and make your home more functional and safe.
It usually takes many years before mild cataracts develop into the stage where cataract surgery becomes necessary. If your cataracts do not considerably affect your vision, your ophthalmologist will have you wait before undergoing the procedure.
They can monitor their progression and stay on top of any visual changes with eye exams. Your ophthalmologist will let you know when you should start considering cataract surgery.
But if you cannot complete routine tasks because of poor eyesight between visits, inform your eye doctor as soon as possible. While these measures may help manage cataracts, they’re only temporary.
They can’t reverse cataracts. Cataract surgery is the only way to restore any vision lost to cataracts. Fortunately, cataract surgery is an effective and safe procedure with little downtime that will allow you to return to what you love.
Why Cataract Surgery is the Only Way to Treat Cataracts
Cataracts cannot go away on their own. They usually worsen as they continue developing.
Cataracts can significantly affect your vision to the point where they lower your quality of life. It’s best to have cataracts at this point because waiting longer can increase your chances of complications occurring during cataract surgery due to a cataract becoming hypermature.
Hypermature cataracts may also lead to complications like lens-induced uveitis and secondary glaucoma. For the best results, cataract surgeons recommend having cataract surgery before cataracts can cause blindness.
What to Expect During Cataract Surgery
At Desert Vision Center, cataract surgery can be performed with or without laser technology. During laser cataract surgery, Dr. Tokuhara uses a laser to break apart and fragment the cataract into tiny pieces for easy removal.
Dr. Tokuhara will then remove all the fragments through gentle suction and insert an artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL) in the capsule that once held your natural lens. The intraocular lens takes over the job that the once clear natural lens can no longer perform and ensures you can see clearly.
Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure that only takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete. It’s that fast.
Restore Lost Vision with Cataract Surgery
Dr. Tokuhara from Desert Vision Center combines advanced technology and years of experience in cataract surgery to provide patients with the best possible outcomes. Have you noticed a decline in your vision?
It may be time for cataract surgery. Schedule your cataract screening at Desert Vision Center in Rancho Mirage, CA, today to find out if you could be a good candidate for cataract surgery!