When is the Best Time to Have Cataract Surgery?
Is your vision cloudy? Does it feel like you have difficulty seeing well at night due to halos or glare around street lights and headlights?
These are some of the symptoms of cataracts. Cataracts occur when the natural lens of the eye becomes cloudy, making it more challenging to see.
Most people will eventually get cataracts as a result of aging and getting older. You may not realize you have cataracts at first, as they can take years or even decades to finish developing.
As they continue developing, their symptoms will only worsen and make it harder to see well. Having cataract surgery is the only way to regain your clear vision and effectively treat cataracts.
The problem is you may not know when you should have the procedure. Keep reading to find out if there is a best time to have cataract surgery.
Do I Need to Have My Cataracts Removed Right Away?
A common misconception that many cataract patients have is needing surgery once they learn they have cataracts. But most cataract surgeons recommend waiting for the following:
Your Cataracts Interfere with Your Daily Routine
Cataracts start small, and it is not uncommon if you don’t realize you have them at first. If they are not affecting your vision, there is no need to have them removed.
But as cataracts progress, they can get in the way of your everyday routine. If it is become harder to read, write, or complete your favorite hobbies like sewing, hiking, or watching your favorite football team during Sunday games, it may be time to consider having cataract surgery.
Your Cataracts are Progressing Quite Quickly
Often, age-related cataracts develop gradually. But other cataracts, especially in people with diabetes and traumatic cataracts, can advance at a much faster pace.
Taking specific medications like steroids can cause cataracts to develop rapidly. If you have cataracts that have been progressing more quickly, the best solution is prompt treatment.
You Have Poor Vision at Night
Some of the more concerning and dangerous symptoms of cataracts that you can experience are glare from oncoming headlights and halos around lights. Until you can have your cataracts removed, driving at night may be dangerous for yourself and others on the road.
Find a friend or family member who can drive you where you need to go until you can safely drive again.
You’re Unable to Enjoy Outdoor Activities
Increased light sensitivity, blurry vision, and colors appearing dull or faded are some of the common symptoms of cataracts. As a result, participating in outdoor sports like golfing can become incredibly challenging if you have blurry vision.
Trying to enjoy your favorite hobbies with discolored and cloudy vision can be frustrating and may prevent you from participating in the things you love. If you feel like cataracts are keeping you stuck on the sidelines watching everyone else around you, you may want to think about if it’s time to have cataract surgery.
Alternative Ways of Managing Cataracts No Longer Work
Having cataracts in the early stages means you can easily manage them by wearing prescription glasses or contacts for reading. If you’re more sensitive to bright light, wearing wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses can help minimize the effects while outside.
However, when your alternative methods of managing cataracts no longer work, the only solution is to have cataract surgery.
You’re No Longer as Safe
Experiencing worsening vision due to cataracts can compromise your safety. You may not be able to read road signs or see clearly.
This raises your chances of causing accidents while driving. You may also increase the possibility of injuring yourself from falling or bumping into something because of your impeded vision.
Cataracts will eventually impair your vision, which may lead to partial or total vision loss. The good news is that vision loss from cataracts is temporary and reversible after having cataract surgery.
For the highest quality of life, you should have cataract surgery when your eye doctor recommends it. If you notice your eyesight beginning to deteriorate, let your eye doctor know so that you can have your vision checked.
Benefits of Removing Cataracts
The advantages of having your cataracts removed when your eye doctor recommends it include:
Reducing the Risk of Accidents and Falls
Dealing with vision loss due to cataracts increases your risk of falls, injuries, and accidents. Once you’ve had your clear vision restored after cataract surgery, you’ll be more visually alert and no longer be as prone to avoidable accidents and falls.
It’s important to realize that you need to heal and recover after the procedure first, but you’ll be much safer after you do.
Improve Your Quality of Life
As cataracts grow, they limit what you can do, including easy everyday tasks like reading, driving, cooking, and even things like putting on makeup or looking at a menu in a restaurant. Having your cataracts removed will give you back your vision, enabling you to do the things you want while improving your quality of life.
Experience More Vivid, Beautiful Colors
Since cataracts typically develop slowly, many people don’t realize how much their vision has been impacted. In many cases, patients with cataracts say that it feels like looking at the world through a dirty window.
But once you’ve had your cataracts removed, you’ll be able to see how vivid and beautiful everything is around you. Seeing every detail and moment with crisp clarity is like viewing the world with new eyes.
Have Greater Independence
When your visual acuity is impaired, it robs you of your ability to be independent. Being unable to move around safely, cook for yourself, run errands, or complete routine chores means you’ll need help performing even the most essential things.
Removing your cataracts will allow you to accomplish daily tasks with ease and regain your independence.
Boost Your Mood
Many patients with cataracts may suffer from depression because of their limited vision. They may also avoid going out in public because of feeling ashamed about their inability to see. Once you have your cloudy natural lens replaced with an artificial lens, called an intraocular lens (IOL), you can confidently get back to socializing and living life to the fullest.
Cataract Treatment Specialists
If cataracts have affected your vision, Desert Vision Center is here to help. After a thorough evaluation, Dr. Tokuhara from Desert Vision Center can help you determine if it’s time to have cataract surgery.
Schedule a cataract consultation at Desert Vision Center in Rancho Mirage, CA, today, and say goodbye to your cataracts.