Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy, causing vision changes such as fogginess. While they’re a common issue, there’s a fair amount of misinformation that circulates about the condition. Here, we debunk some of the most common myths about cataracts.
1. Only Older Adults Get Them
Cataracts are indeed an age-related condition, as they’re caused by structural changes to the eye that happen over time. Most adults either have them or have had surgery to treat them by the age of 80. But because these changes begin around the age of 40, it is possible for younger adults to develop the condition, as well. Moreover, certain factors such as spending a lot of time in the sun, smoking, excessive alcohol use, diabetes, and taking steroids can also increase your risk of developing cataracts earlier in life.
2. Eye Drops Can Treat Cataracts
It would certainly be convenient if eye drops could treat cataracts. Though there have been some promising developments throughout the history of cataract treatment, and we’ve certainly come a long way from the earliest treatment methods, instant-fix drops are not yet available. In 2015, researchers did discover a chemical compound that could help to reverse cataracts, but more research is still needed. For now, surgery remains the primary method for treating cataracts.
3. Cataract Surgery Is Risky & Has a Long Recovery
Not all cataracts require surgical intervention. If your cataracts aren’t affecting your vision or quality of life, they may not need treatment. However, if you’re finding that your vision is significantly blurred or cloudy, have difficulty reading, have difficulty driving at night, see haloes around lights, or have double vision, you may be ready for cataract surgery.
Like any eye procedure, cataract surgery is delicate. But it’s also considered one of the safest operations performed today, and has a success rate of over 98%. Additionally, most patients begin to see well within days after the procedure, and vision only continues to improve thereafter. Most people have excellent distance vision after the procedure, even without glasses. Moreover, advanced technology lens implants offer an even greater range of glasses- free vision.
4. Cataracts Can Grow Back
Cataracts can’t grow back because the cataract is removed at the time of surgery. There’s a thin support membrane that’s purposely left in place to hold the new lens implant, and this membrane can cloud over time.
Clouding of this membrane is called a posterior capsular opacification (PCO), or the formation of scar tissue behind the lens implant. While PCO is somewhat common after cataract surgery, it’s easily treated by a permanent, rapid, painless, and safe procedure.
If you have cataracts that are affecting your vision, turn to Eye Consultants of Atlanta for treatment. Our expert surgeons use standard implants as well as the latest advanced technology lens implants to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses and contact lenses. We have hundreds of years of combined surgical experience and utilize the most technologically advanced equipment to give you the best outcome available anywhere. We’ll customize your surgery in a highly dedicated, hands-on approach.