Cataracts affect almost 24.5 million U.S. citizens over the age of 40.
Cataracts affect the natural lens inside our eyes. This clear lens refracts light entering the eye to help us see. A cataract causes this normally clear lens to darken and become cloudy, hazy, or blurry, which impairs vision.
At your next eye exam, your ophthalmologist can suggest some lifestyle changes to make daily tasks easier if you think you may have cataracts. However, eventually, the impairment may require stronger action. Read on if you need help figuring out when to have cataract surgery.
Cataracts, although inconvenient, do not threaten a patient’s life. The decision about when to get cataract surgery relies more on how much the cataract(s) impede your daily life. Most people delay their cataracts treatment until they cannot see clearly rather than preemptively having the surgery.
Ask yourself the following four questions to see if you may need to consider having cataract surgery sooner rather than later:
Cataracts cause blurry, yellowed, or dim vision and can even cause double vision in one of your eyes. This lack of sight makes performing daily tasks very difficult. The missing clarity and contrast makes work and driving much harder as well as simple tasks like cleaning, cooking, or reading.
If you can no longer perform your daily routine without assistance, you may want to consider cataract surgery.
Cataracts make you very sensitive to bright lights and glare. Outdoor sports enthusiasts who cannot wait to hit the slopes or get out on the water may encounter issues trying to do these things with cataracts. Cataracts also cause a difference in vision between your two eyes, which negatively affects your depth perception.
If you cannot participate in the outdoor activities you normally enjoy because the brightness hurts your eyes, you may want to consider cataract surgery.
Driving at night comes with many more challenges than driving during the day since everyone must use headlights. The headlights reflect off your windshield and into your eyes from all directions. Cataracts cause halos to appear around bright lights, especially in low-light settings, which can cause night blindness.
The worse cataracts can cause significant vision loss resulting in you failing your driver’s license test. If you failed a driving test or fear driving at night, you may want to consider cataract surgery.
Sometimes patients with cataracts can manage their symptoms without surgery. Adding contrasting colors and increasing the brightness in your home can make a big difference. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat and polarized sunglasses can cut down on glare while out of the house and magnifying glasses make reading easier.
If you try all these methods and still find you cannot see as you should, it is time for cataract surgery.
Luckily, if you do notice your vision blurring and find out that is due to cataracts, you do not need to worry. Doctors perform around 3.6 million cataract surgeries every year and it is a fairly common procedure.
Worry even less when you choose a qualified ophthalmologist to perform your cataract surgery. If you live in California, that means working with one of the brilliant doctors at Antelope Valley Eye Care. Contact AV Eye Care today to schedule a consultation for help deciding when to have cataract surgery.