Are Cataracts Painful? 

With cataracts being something that affects pretty much everyone in their later years, it’s a condition that we should familiarize ourselves with. The World Health Organization states that by the age of 80, virtually everybody will either have cataracts or have had an operation to remove them.

One question that many people want to know is whether or not the condition is painful. The simple answer is no, but it’s not quite as straightforward as that.

The following discusses the most important aspects of the condition that all US citizens should be aware of, plus talks briefly about the simple treatment that can be used to prevent sight loss from the condition.

All About Cataracts: treatment, progression, and risks

  • Symptoms of cataracts
  • The truth about cataracts and associated pain
  • Cataracts treatment

Symptoms of cataracts

For the vast majority of people, cataracts don’t cause any pain. The condition progresses very slowly over many years. While some rare conditions cause them to form earlier than expected, such as hereditary cataracts, childhood cataracts, and those that occur following eye trauma, they don’t tend to affect people much under the age of 45-50.

Because they take so long to worsen, they generally don’t cause any issues before the age of 65, hence the condition being something that we tend to associate with older people.

Cataracts don’t usually cause any symptoms during the first 10 plus years. As they worsen, vision begins to change and, while it’s not exactly pain, you may begin to experience some discomfort. 

Symptoms of cataracts include: 

  • Blurred vision
  • Fading or “yellowing” of colors
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Seeing halos around light sources
  • Headaches

The truth about cataracts and associated pain

While cataracts themselves aren’t normally painful, there are some situations where sufferers might experience pain or discomfort. 

Advanced cataracts can sometimes cause pain. To have been allowed to progress to this point they’ll also be significantly associated vision loss. If you also suffer from another eye condition, then it could be this that causes pain.

Cataracts treatment

The only definitive treatment for cataracts is surgery. This involves removing the diseased lens and replacing it with an artificial one, called an Intraocular lens (IOL). The procedure is incredibly common, with millions being carried out across the US and the world each year. 

There are two methods of cataract surgery—traditional and laser cataract surgery. The former involves the eye surgeon manually making a tiny incision in the cornea to access the lens. Sound waves or lasers are used to fracture the lens into tiny pieces before suctioning it out. An IOL is then put in its place.

Laser cataract surgery utilizes advanced technology to digitally map the anatomy of the eye. This information is transferred to a laser that carries out all aspects of the operation—making the incision, breaking down the lens, and placing the artificial one. In addition, the same laser can be used concurrently to treat astigmatism, if needed.

Worried About Your Eyesight or Cataracts Treatment? Contact the WBEC Today 

The key to great cataract treatment is early diagnosis, close monitoring, and cataract surgery at the optimal time. At the West Boca Eye Center, the treatment of the condition is a true specialty. Indeed, the clinic is one of the foremost locations in the world where the most advanced surgery is carried out.

Don’t leave your eyesight to chance. No matter what your age, monitoring the eyes for the condition is one of the most significant aspects of regular eye exams—and something that only gets more important post-40 years of age.

Visit to find out more about surgery options and get in touch to book an appointment with our experienced clinicians.