When is the Right Time for Cataract Surgery?
Being told you have cataracts isn’t something anyone wants to hear. Thankfully, there are some wonderfully advanced treatments for the condition. This means that, when the time is right, you can undergo a simple surgical procedure that can permanently resolve the problem.
The vast majority of cataracts evolve over many years. They’re generally associated with advancing age (with the exception of traumatic or childhood cataracts) and your eye doctor will be checking for the condition at every routine eye check. If you are diagnosed, then it will likely be many years before any action will need to be taken.
The following looks at how your ophthalmologist will determine when the time is right for cataract surgery.
Cataract Surgery: A timeline
- The evolution of a cataract
- How cataract surgery works
- The best time for cataract surgery
The evolution of a cataract
Cataracts grow very slowly. They’re caused by small amounts of protein clumping together on the lens, gradually causing a cloudy film. This prevents light from traveling through the eye as it should. The vision will gradually deteriorate, with sufferers noticing that their eyesight has become worse in poor light, colors fade, seeing halos around light sources, and generally suffering from poorer eyesight.
Once diagnosed, your ophthalmologist will monitor the progression over the years. When the time is right, surgery will be carried out.
How cataract surgery works
The procedure removes the clouded lens within the eye and replaces it with an artificial one. This is called an Intraocular Lens, or IOL. The procedure takes around 20 minutes and is carried out within the doctor’s office. You’ll be able to return home afterward and full recovery takes a few weeks.
The best time for cataract surgery
The ultimate time for cataract surgery is when symptoms become more pronounced but haven’t gone so far that they massively impact your life. This differs for everyone and is the reason that careful monitoring is needed to determine the right time.
Signs that you might be getting close to the time where surgery is recommended include:
- You’re having more and more frequent prescription changes
- You’re struggling to read or see detail in low light
- Nighttime vision has become more difficult
- Your overall eyesight has become foggy
The decision will be a joint one between you and your ophthalmologist. Together, you’ll discuss the different options. The biggest decision is whether or not you’ll undergo a traditional cataract surgery procedure or laser surgery. They both remove the diseased lens and replace it with an IOL, but laser cataract surgery offers some advantages. The two main ones are:
The ability to insert more advanced IOLs, including those that can focus on both near and far distance
Astigmatism can be treated at the same time
Both traditional and laser cataract surgery take around the same length of time to carry out and have similar recovery times. One aspect that’s important to discuss is if you intend to use an insurance policy or Medicare to pay for the surgery. In some cases, laser cataract surgery or the more advanced lenses may not be covered, meaning that you’ll need to pay any deficit. Every policy is different, so be sure to confirm with your provider what will and won’t be included.
The WBEC is a Center of Excellence for Cataract Surgery
The West Boca Eye Center is headed by one of the world’s leading clinicians in the treatment of cataracts—Brent Bellotte MD. He’s dedicated his professional career to advancing the methods used to treat the condition and his purpose-built clinic is one of the best facilities in the world.
Bellotte heads a team that’s dedicated to providing the ultimate in all aspects of eye care. Whether you’re concerned about cataracts, need laser vision correction, have glaucoma, or simply want to partner with the best ophthalmologists possible, the WBEC is here for you.
Visit https://westbocaeyecenter.com/services/cataract-surgery/ to find out about the latest surgeries and get in contact to book a consultation.