Despite the fact that nearly half of all Americans eighty years old or older are diagnosed with cataracts, this common condition is the subject of many misconceptions. If you were diagnosed with cataracts, it's in your best interest to understand the truth about the condition and how it's treated. Here are some of the things that you should know about cataracts and cataract treatment.
Cataracts Aren't Age-Related
Since the majority of patients diagnosed with cataracts are seniors, many people believe that they can only affect those who are older. Cataracts don't discriminate by age, and can even affect children, though those are typically rare cases. Certain medical conditions, like diabetes, can even increase your risk of cataracts at any age.
Cataracts Aren't Worsened By Straining Your Eyes
Straining your eyes won't cause or worsen cataracts. You may find, though, that having cataracts makes close work harder to do. You might need more light in the room to be able to do things like readings, sewing and detailed artwork.
Eye Drops Are Not A Sufficient Treatment
You may believe that medicated or steroid drops are sufficient to get rid of cataracts. The only effective treatment for cataracts is surgery. They cannot be dissolved or treated in any other manner.
Cataract Surgery Is Safe
Although you may think that eye surgery is unsafe and puts your long-term vision at risk, cataract surgery is a routine procedure and is typically safe. In fact, there are even laser surgery options for cataracts, which can be easier for your recovery. Like any eye surgery, it's a procedure that relies on precision, but the incisions made are so small that they don't require sutures.
You'll Be Back On Your Feet Faster Than You Think
You might think that having cataract surgery will have you off your feet and in recovery for a long time. The truth is, you may actually be back in your normal routine with clearer vision within a few days of surgery. It may take several weeks to a month for your eyes to completely heal, but since your vision is likely to clear significantly within the first few days, you won't be out of commission during that entire healing period.
Glasses Aren't An Inevitability
If you believe that you're going to need glasses even if you have surgery, you'll probably put off the surgery. The good news is that you're not necessarily going to need glasses after your cataract surgery. Some patients won't need any corrective lenses after surgery. You can even opt for a multi-focal lens implant as part of the surgery instead of a mono-focal one, which can improve your chances of ditching the glasses altogether.
Cataracts Don't Grow Back
If you've ever heard a cataract patient say that their cataracts came back some time after surgery, you may be thinking that surgery isn't worth it. Cataracts don't actually grow back, though. What some people may mistakenly consider to be a returning cataract is often a disturbance caused by cloudy film on the membrane holding the new lens in place. This is easily fixed as an outpatient procedure.
With so many misconceptions about cataracts and such widespread misunderstandings, it's no surprise that you might be feeling apprehensive about dealing with the condition. Unfortunately, the longer you wait to deal with the condition, the worse the symptoms will get. Eventually, you may lose your vision almost entirely. By getting treatment right away, you can not only preserve your vision but potentially reduce your risk of other vision problems. Talk with your eye doctor, someone from a place like Country Hills Eye Center, about the severity of your condition and what your options are. With this information and the support of your eye doctor, you can restore your vision safely.