Cataracts - When is it Time to Seek Treatment?

By Jeffrey Schultz on September 25, 2013

Cleveland CataractsCataracts can negatively affect a person’s daily life, making routine tasks difficult to nearly impossible to perform. Blurry, cloudy vision can make it difficult and dangerous for a person to drive, especially at night. Sensitivity to light and dim vision can make it difficult for a person to read or work at the computer. Most patients decide to undergo cataract surgery when the symptoms of the condition begin to negatively affect their quality of life.

In the beginning stages of cataracts, many patients do not experience symptoms. It is common for a patient to become aware of a developing cataract only after undergoing a routine examination with our optometrist in Cleveland. In fact, a patient can unknowingly live with a developing cataract for years before experiencing symptoms of the condition.

Cataract surgery is among the safest and most successful procedures performed today. It is the only effective treatment for cataracts. There is no right or wrong time to undergo cataract surgery. If a patient is not experiencing negative side effects or symptoms of a cataract, the patient may choose to delay surgery. Surgery is strongly recommended once a patient experiences difficulty seeing clearly. The decision as to when to undergo cataract surgery must be made by the patient. With the help of a qualified surgeon, a patient can make an educated decision as to when to undergo cataract surgery.

Signs and Symptoms of Cataracts

Cataracts are among the most common eye diseases affecting patients over the age of 40. Younger patients may also develop cataracts, but it is far less common. When a cataract develops, it causes the clear lens of the eye to become cloudy and opaque. The cloudiness of the lens causes the clarity of a patient’s vision to decrease significantly. Symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Colors that seem faded or yellowing of colors
  • Eye prescription frequently changing
  • Difficultly seeing in periods of low light such as at night
  • Cloudy vision
  • Blurry vision
  • Vision that appears dim
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Double vision
  • Halos
  • Glare

Considering Surgery

Advances in cataract surgery have made it a safer and more effective treatment, even in earlier stages of the condition. Some patients may opt to wear glasses in the earlier stages of cataracts or utilize other temporary treatments, while others may find that the symptoms of cataracts interfere with their daily activities, choosing instead to undergo surgery. If a patient finds a cataract to be disruptive to his or her life, surgery may be performed earlier rather than later. Cataract surgery may also be recommended when the condition interferes with the treatment or correction of another condition affecting the eye.

Is It Time to Seek Treatment?

If your day-to-day life is being affected by symptoms of cataracts, you may benefit from cataract surgery. Improvements in lens options have enabled patients to achieve crisper, clearer vision than ever before. During the cataract consultation, Dr. Jeffrey E. Schultz of Lifetime Eye Care in Cleveland discusses symptoms, causes, and treatments of the disease in detail. The team at Lifetime Eye Care welcomes any and all questions you may have about cataract surgery. For more information, or to schedule a consultation, please call or email our office today.

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