When is the Right Time to get Cataract Surgery?

When is the Right Time to get Cataract Surgery?

When is the Right Time to get Cataract Surgery?

When is the Right Time to get Cataract Surgery?

Cataracts are one of the most common eye conditions in the world, affected to estimate around 24.4 million Americans over the age of 40. By the age of 75, approximately 50% of U.S. adults will have suffered from cataracts.



A cataract is the clouding of the natural lens of the eye, which is usually clear. This happens when the proteins that are found in the lens start to clump together as a part of the aging process, causing misty, cloudy patches that many patients with the condition compare to looking through frosted glass. The condition is progressive, meaning that cataracts will get worse over time. The rate at which they develop can vary, and you can have a cataract in just one eye, or both.



Symptoms of cataracts

  • Clouded/blurred vision
  • Finding it harder than usual to see at night
  • Sensitivity to bright light
  • Seeing halos around lights and experiencing glare
  • Needing to use a brighter light for reading and other activities requiring concentration
  • Regular changes in your eyeglass/contact lens prescription
  • Colors look faded or have a yellow tint


Unfortunately, there isn’t currently a cure for cataracts. Instead, patients must undergo cataract surgery when they feel that their vision is affected enough. This is where the clouded lens is removed and replaced with an artificial alternative. Although there is no specific time that is considered the ‘right’ time to have cataract surgery, there are several things to consider when planning on getting this procedure.



You don’t need to wait for your sight to get really severely affected

One of the biggest misconceptions about cataract surgery is that you have to wait for your eyesight to be extremely compromised before you have the procedure. This isn’t the case at all. The rate at which your cataract may develop may vary from other people, so while someone you know may have found that their sight was severely affected after a year, it could be that it takes a lot longer for you to reach that stage. Nevertheless, you can choose to have the procedure when your condition is still quite mild or later on.



Cataracts can become more difficult to remove once they become mature

That said, it’s advisable not to wait too long, since research shows that cataracts that are mature can be harder to remove. There is also a slightly higher risk of experiencing complications. Your eye doctor will be able to advise you when it’s time to undergo the procedure.



Both eyes affected? You will need two separate procedures!

Although it’s not unheard of for someone to have cataracts removed in both eyes in one surgery, it’s generally not recommended. This is because it can take some time to adjust to the intraocular lenses that will replace the lenses you had removed, and during this time your vision will be adversely affected. In fact, most cataract surgeons will recommend that you wait for at least six weeks between appointments to give your eyes adequate time to heal and your vision to recover.




If you would like more information about cataracts or have questions about when is the right time to get cataract surgery, please contact our experienced eyecare team at (888) 501-4496.

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