Cataract disease is one of the main causes of blindness. According to Davidson Eye, this condition accounts for over 50 percent of all cases of blindness and affects over 17,000,000 people. Many cataract patients think their only option is surgery. However, it depends on your degree of vision loss and whether it affects your ability to function. Read on to find out your treatment options.
Do You Need Cataract Surgery?
A cataract clouds the lens of your eye. Common symptoms include
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Yellowing or fading of colors
- Sensitivity to light
- Difficulty seeing at night
- Seeing halos around light
The size of your cataract plays a role in choosing treatment. In the beginning, the cataract may only affect a small portion of the lens of your eye. This means you may not be aware of any vision loss. As your cataract gets bigger, it takes over more of your lens. This results in making your vision more cloudy and distorting any light that passes through your eye. You should consider surgery when the size increases and you start to experience symptoms.
Stronger Prescription for Eyeglasses and Contacts
If your cataracts are small and exhibiting mild signs, then your condition may improve with eyeglasses or contact lenses. Your vision can improved with a stronger prescription. It is important to go to an ophthalmologist to get your eyes examine. An ophthalmologist can give you an accurate prescription for glasses or contacts to combat the symptoms of cataracts.
Most doctors recommend surgery when a patient becomes unable to perform normal daily activities. Example of daily activities are driving, watching TV, and reading. The two types of cataract surgeries are phacoemulsification and extracapsular.
Phacoemulsification makes a small incision to the side of your cornea. The cornea covers the front of your eye. During the procedure, the discoloration on your lens is broken up and suctioned out.
Extracapsular makes a longer incision on your cornea. This procedure takes out the core of your lens in a single piece. The rest of the lens left behind is suction out. The lens is replaced with an artificial lens, which becomes a part of your eye. If you have a cataract in each eye, then you will have to get one eye done at a time.
You should understand that having a cataract does not means it has to be removed. Some patients do not experience blurred vision or have a problem living a normal life. It helps to exhaust all treatment options before having cataract surgery.