Cataracts are the most frequent cause of preventable blindness in the world, yet many people don’t know much about this eye condition. Staying informed about symptoms and surgery options is important, as cataracts are generally easy to identify and treat.
Here are the top 5 things you should know about cataracts:
1. Cataracts are very common
Approximately 25 million Americans have cataracts according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). Cataracts are part of the aging process, so most everyone who lives long enough will develop them.
“Throughout the aging process, the lens inside your eye starts losing water and becomes cloudy, making it more difficult to see clearly,” says Ophthalmologist Robert Reuther, MD of Carolina Eyecare Physicians. Having certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, can also predispose individuals to cataracts earlier in life, but the most common cause is aging.
2. There are several notable symptoms of cataracts
Cloudy vision, poor night vision and increased glare while driving are three of the most common symptoms of cataracts. Light sensitivity and faded or yellowing colors are also frequent indicators. While some of these symptoms only present minor inconveniences, when cataracts start to interfere with your quality of life, it may be time to seek treatment.
3. Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure
Cataract surgery is typically performed at an outpatient surgery center, and is a relatively simple procedure with minimal risks. The entire procedure generally takes no longer than 15 minutes, and patients are permitted to go home directly after the surgery is completed.
4. Cataract surgery doesn’t require shots or stitches
The most common form of cataract surgery today involves a process called phacoemulsification. This procedure can be combined with laser to replace the cloudy lens with a clear, artificial one. According to Dr. Reuther, “there are generally no shots or sutures involved in the procedure. Patients can expect their vision to recover by the next day in most cases.”
5. Cataract surgery is extremely effective
About 90 percent of the time, people who have cataract surgery experience improved vision. While infection is the biggest risk associated with the procedure, it is very rare, at less than 1.90 of cataract surgeries, according to the AAO.
If you suspect you may have cataracts or would like additional information about this eye condition, visit Dr. Reuther of Carolina Eyecare Physicians in Summerville, South Carolina. Dr. Reuther offers consultative Ophthalmology services and surgical treatment for cataracts, diabetic eye disease, glaucoma and macular degeneration.
To set up a consultation, call Carolina Eyecare Physicians today at 843-873-5577.