You're not quite ready for cataract surgery yet? Take a look at these suggestions.
The lenses of your eyes begin to fog around the age of 40, a condition known as cataracts. Cataracts can get so dense in many people's eyes that their vision becomes fuzzy or distorted. More than half of all Americans will have had a cataract or had cataract surgery by the age of 80.
This operation, which includes replacing the clouded lens with a clear plastic one and is rapid and safe, provides a very successful treatment. You may not require surgery right immediately unless your eye doctor suggests differently.
Dr. Laura Fine, a cataract expert and clinical lecturer in ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, says, "Most cataracts advance very slowly and can be safely studied until you feel you need better vision — for example, if you have difficulties reading or seeing street signs." Poor night vision is one of the most prevalent early signs of cataracts, especially in the rain or when driving. When driving at night, she says, people frequently complain about glare or starbursts from headlights.
Suggestions for dealing with mild or early cataracts
You may notice a minor decrease in your vision in the early stages of cataract formation, but not to the point where it interferes with your daily activities. In some circumstances, rather than becoming opaque, the lens just thickens, creating nearsightedness. If that's the case, the following advice may be useful.
• Visit your eye doctor to get a new prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses.
• Replace the lightbulbs in your lamps, especially the ones you use to read or conduct other close work, with brighter ones.
• To reduce glare, place lights immediately behind you, aimed at the task (for example, the book you're reading).
• When reading or working, use magnifying lenses.
• Use contrasting colors in your home to help you see better, such as a dark blanket on a light chair.
Many people can safely postpone cataract surgery for years using these methods. Some people never require surgery. Architects, dentists, and jewelers, for example, who rely on their eyes for detailed work, may require surgery sooner than others.
Are you thinking about having cataract surgery? What you should know before you go.
Typically, the eye with the denser cataract undergoes surgery first. A second eye operation may not be required for years if the other eye just has a minor cataract. Most persons with age-related cataracts, on the other hand, have similar illness in both eyes, therefore the second eye is routinely done a few weeks after the first, after it has had a chance to heal.
According to a medical expert the entire process takes around two months because there are follow-up visits one day and one week after each surgery. Cataract surgeries are frequently scheduled around other medical treatments, travel, or family obligations.
According to a medical expert it's a good idea to plan out logistics ahead of time. Consider the following scenario:
• In addition to a trip home after surgery, some older patients may require drivers or caretakers to accompany them to follow-up appointments and maybe aid with the administration of eye drops.
• It's critical to take specific measures in the weeks following cataract surgery. People should avoid lifting anything heavier than 10 to 15 pounds during the first week. People should avoid wearing eye makeup for the first two weeks, as well as swimming, bathing, and hot tubs.
The vision may be impaired for a few days following surgery, but it will gradually improve. "Most people report things are brighter and clearer," the expert says.
Acuity of 20/40 or better is achieved in more than 95% of persons who have cataract surgery. Even yet, most people will almost certainly require glasses for reading or driving.