Is It Better to Treat Cataracts Early?

In the past, people with cataracts opted to wait until they were in their senior years before having them removed. Now, more people choose to have cataract surgery earlier. Improvements in technology and increased safety in surgical procedures have made early treatment an attractive option. 


There are more successful outcomes and more awareness about cataract surgery. Indeed, cataracts usually affect people in their senior years, but they can affect anyone. 



What Causes Cataracts?


Cataracts develop when proteins in the eye lens change, causing the lens to become clouded. This prevents light from entering or passing through the eye. This results in light sensitivity, blurry vision, glare, reduced night vision, and seeing halos surrounding lights. Doctors diagnose cataracts during eye exams. Scheduling regular comprehensive eye exams will help determine if you have cataracts. 


Getting Cataract Surgery


The only way to treat cataracts is by removing the clouded lens. Cataract surgery involves lens removal and the replacement of the lens with an IOL (prescription intraocular lens). The eye surgeon uses a laser to make a tiny incision in the cornea before taking out the damaged lens. 

The surgery is quick and effective since the entire process takes about 15 minutes. Today, there is not much reason to delay cataract removal. 


Treating Cataracts Early 


There are benefits to treating cataracts early. The surgery can help you get rid of your glasses sooner. Delaying the procedure means you must depend on glasses to ensure clear vision. Getting an IOL after the surgery will give you clear vision without corrective eyeglasses. 


Cataract surgery can also help treat glaucoma. This condition results from increased intraocular pressure damaging the optic nerve. Cataract surgery can help lower the pressure. This will help reduce your dependence on medications for glaucoma.


Improved Quality of Life


Treating cataracts early can help improve your quality of life. Having cataracts can interfere with your daily activities such as reading, using the computer, and driving. They can interfere with your independence and your ability to enjoy the life around you. 


You do not have to wait until you are older when you can get what you need right now. Some studies have even linked cataract surgery to a reduced mortality rate for patients.


Regular Eye Examinations


It is vital to schedule regular eye examinations. Eye exams help diagnose cataracts and other eye conditions early. Early diagnosis will help ensure that you benefit from early treatment. Advanced technology diagnoses cataracts long before you notice any symptoms. Early diagnosis helps with treatment. 


Cataract surgery is increasingly common among younger patients. Better awareness, increased safety, and better outcomes have increased interest in the procedure. 


To find out if it is better to treat your cataracts early, visit Shepard Eye Center at our offices in Santa Maria, Lompoc, Solvang, or Orcutt, California. You can also call our Santa Maria Center at (805) 667-0100 to book an appointment today.