No Reason to Wait: Benefits of Early Cataract Surgery

If you have a developing cataract, you may not have to wait until you’re a senior to have it removed. Cataract surgery is being performed on younger patients for several reasons: increased safety, better outcomes, and better awareness of the procedure.

How Does Cataract Surgery Work?

Cataracts are a leading cause of vision loss; however, they are treatable with surgery. Through a small corneal incision, a surgeon removes your clouded lens and replaces it with a prescription intraocular lens (IOL) that remains within your eye.

Cataract Surgery: A Safe Procedure

Once you begin experiencing symptoms like blurred vision, double vision, light sensitivity or difficulty seeing at night, there is no reason to delay cataract removal. Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed procedures in the world, and it typically takes only about 15 minutes. In most cases, surgeons can use local anesthesia which leads to faster recovery time.

In the Review of Opthalmology, Stephen Slade, M.D., FACS, of Slade & Baker Vision Center in Houston, recalls when cataract surgery required a two or three-day hospitalization. He says, “Today, the surgery has gotten much easier; there are far fewer complications and much less fear, and the technology has improved dramatically. The surgery has become much more of a procedure and less of an operation.”

Successful Outcomes for Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is extremely successful, with 98 percent favorable outcomes. The high success rate of cataract surgery can be attributed to:

  1. Measuring technology — Laser-assisted cataract surgery that allows the surgeon to use optical coherence tomography (OCT) to create a 3-D map of the eye. From an OCT map, the laser can create an incision with the exact location, depth and length to treat conditions like astigmatism.
  2. Improved surgical techniques — Some cataract surgeries can be done in conjunction with other procedures like glaucoma surgery and usually require an incision of just a few millimeters.
  3. Customized IOLs — Monofocal, toric or multifocal IOLs can be customized to meet specific vision needs.

Good News About Cataract Surgery Spreads Fast

Early cataract surgery is gaining popularity because satisfied patients are spreading the word. The internet and social media allow people to share testimonials globally about the benefits of cataract surgery, and this has increased the volume of procedures among younger individuals.

Dr. Slade says patients are having cataracts removed earlier because the information is readily available.  “People go on the Internet now and learn more about cataract surgery in 20 minutes than most first-year ophthalmology residents learned in six months 20 years ago,” he observes.  “And, the surgery is now able to address problems like high myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and even presbyopia. The improvements in cataract surgery fit very well with the baby boomers’ desire to get things fixed as soon as they become an issue.”

Make an Appointment for a Comprehensive Eye Exam

Are you interested in cataract surgery? Click here and enter your zip code in the top right corner to find a physician in your area. Our eye doctors perform comprehensive eye exams and help patients decide on the right timing for cataract surgery. Put your eye care in the hands of a skilled professional and make your appointment today.

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