A Clearer View

Latest treatment options and news about cataracts, dry eye syndrome and other eye care topics.

When is Cataract Surgery Necessary?

by Damion Wasylow 8 June 2021 12:41 PM

senior couple posing in front yard

Nearly four million cataract surgeries are performed in the U.S. each year. While cataracts aren’t fatal, they can rob you of your vision completely, making cataract surgery necessary in order to maintain or regain your eyesight.

Progressive Symptoms

Cataracts typically develop as a natural result of aging. While it’s possible to develop a cataract in just one eye, the condition generally affects both eyes around the same time. Common cataract symptoms include cloudy or blurred vision, difficulty seeing in low light, glare, light sensitivity, halos and faded colors. Double vision in one eye, or “ghosting” around objects are also fairly common. In early stages, cataract symptoms may be light enough not to impact your quality of life, but they inevitably get worse. 

The Right Time for Surgery

Hopefully, you visited your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam as soon as you started noticing any of the symptoms listed above. Even if you were diagnosed with cataracts at the time, your doctor may not have recommended surgery. Typically, an ophthalmologist won’t recommend surgery until cataract symptoms negatively impact your quality of life. As cataract symptoms get worse, however, you’ll lose the ability to read, drive, watch TV or see people’s faces. Those losses are usually more than enough to lead most people to opt for surgery.

Cataract Surgery Procedure

Surgically replacing the damaged lens with an artificial intraocular lens implant is the only effective treatment for cataracts. Whether you choose traditional or laser-assisted cataract surgery, the fundamental procedure is the same. A small probe is passed through a tiny incision in the eye. That probe uses ultrasonic energy to break up the affected lens. A second probe then suctions out the pieces. Finally, the lens implant is inserted, and the procedure is completed. Laser-assisted cataract surgery is often preferred, as it is more precise, pain-free, stitch-free and allows for easier recovery.

Post-Procedure Recovery and Vision

Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure, and many people report improved vision while still in the recovery room. Still, you will at least need someone to drive you home from the surgery center. Some patients may also need minor assistance with daily activities for a day or two following the surgery. Soon after, any minor recovery side effects should clear. And the great news is your cataracts cannot come back. Cataract surgery is a permanent fix.

If you or someone you love is considering cataract surgery, the physicians of North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care would be honored to help. Our eye surgeons have conducted tens of thousands of successful cataract surgeries and they’re here to serve you, too.

Contact our practice today at 352.373-4300.



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