According to statistics from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, about 25.7 million Americans, who are over the age of 40, have cataracts. This number is expected to increase to 45.6 million by 2050. Although cataract surgeons in Los Angeles inform us that the only way to remove cataracts is surgery, the right time to have surgery depends on the patient.
When Should I Get Cataract Surgery?
When cataracts begin to grow, this can lead to intense symptoms for the person who is affected. They will probably experience dimmed, blurred, or yellowed vision. Also, the individual may have double vision when they look at things through the eye affected by the cataract. These issues can make it difficult to read, work on a computer, and do any activities that require clear eyesight.
Furthermore, the person with cataracts may have poor night vision and find it a challenge to drive when it is dark. Normally, those with advanced cataracts fail the vision factor of a driver’s test.
Doctors at the refractive and LASIK eye center in Los Angeles like Excel Laser Vision Institute say that cataracts can make a person more sensitive to glare emitted from the sun. Additionally, people with cataracts may see a halo around bright lights, which prevents them from going outdoors. Also, it makes it a challenge to play certain sports, such as golf or skiing.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, cataract surgery could help. Eye surgeons at the refractive and LASIK Los Angeles center such as Excel Laser Vision Institute have some advice for individuals who have been diagnosed with cataracts and are considering whether or not to have the surgery.
What Are Cataracts?
Cataracts happen due to the body’s natural aging process. Just because you have been diagnosed with cataracts does not always mean that you must have the surgery right away. In the early stages of cataracts, it may not greatly affect your vision and small changes may be improved with prescription glasses. However, as cataracts continue to develop over time, they may cause vision loss that can interfere with daily life.
Although the idea of having cataract surgery may be daunting for some people, the procedure is the most common elective surgery between Medicare beneficiaries in the United States. Numerous studies have shown its link to a better quality of life, decreased risk of falling, and fewer car crashes. Moreover, one study found that individuals who had cataract surgery had a 40 percent lower long-term mortality risk than those who did not.
Eye surgeons at the Refractive and LASIK Los Angeles center i.e., Excel Laser Vision Institute have put together a list of four questions that people should ask themselves to help determine if they are ready for cataract surgery:
Are Your Cataracts Affecting Your Daily Or Occupational Activities?
The symptoms of cataracts can range from dim, blurry, or yellowed vision to even double vision in one eye. Since cataracts cause a lack of contrast and clarity, it can be hard for people who need clear vision for work, driving, or who enjoy hobbies such as cooking, reading or sewing.
Are Your Cataracts Impacting Your Abilities To Drive Safely At Night?
Cataracts can result in halos around lights and problems seeing in low-light settings, affecting the ability to safely drive at night. If your cataracts are advanced enough, it can cause enough vision loss to fail the vision test that is needed for a driver’s license.
Are Cataracts Interfering With Outdoor Activities You Enjoy?
You need to ask yourself whether your cataracts are interfering with the outdoor activities you like to do. Why? Because cataracts can increase a person’s sensitivity to glare, which can be particularly burdensome for individuals who enjoy skiing, surfing, and many other outdoor activities. Also, cataracts can cause visual differences from one eye compared to the other, which can affect the distance vision that golfers usually require.
Are There Other Ways To Manage Cataracts?
If you decided to put off your cataract surgery, you can make the most of your vision with a few resources; for instance, incorporating brighter lighting and contrasting colors in the home. While you are outside, polarized sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat can reduce glare, whereas magnifying lenses can make reading less difficult.
In general, if cataracts aren’t interfering with your life, you can most likely wait and have surgery when it really begins to annoy you. However, for those individuals who are feeling hindered by their blurry or dulled vision, a cataract procedure can make a great advantageous impact.
An eye surgeon will advise a patient to get cataract surgery when the results are expected to improve vision, unless the cataracts complicate treatments for other eye diseases. Individuals who are thinking about cataract surgery should talk to their eye doctor about how cataracts are affecting their daily lives.
What Does Cataracts Surgery in Los Angeles Involve?
Normally, the surgery is performed on an outpatient basis under a topical local anesthesia. Besides numbing the eye’s surface, the eye surgeon can also provide the patient with intravenous sedation or oral anti-anxiety medication. Most patients remain awake during the procedure.
Understandably, this sounds intimidating for a part of your body that is as sensitive as your eyes; however, the comforting measures that are taken have proven to be extremely effective. Patients usually say that they see rainbows or prisms during the procedure, but these images are temporary. Typically, patients do not experience any pain during or after the cataract procedure. A few patients experience a scratchy feeling afterward that can be easily managed with over the counter painkillers.
The surgery has a very short duration of 15 minutes, there is no blood loss and there is a fast recovery period. Many people return to work and their daily routines in a day or two.
The eye doctor implants an artificial lens that replaces the focusing power that natural lenses lose as we age. They are fixed in the eye, so they are good for a lifetime. Various types of replacement lenses are available for implantation, so it is necessary to discuss options with your eye surgeon and decide which lens is best for you.
Cataract surgery in Los Angeles can give you the visual freedom you need and improve your overall health. If you want further information about cataract surgery, give the Excel Laser Vision Institute a call at + (818) 907-8606 today.