Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive

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Question:
When are cataracts ready for surgery?     

Answer:
You should consider having a cataract operation when its removal will noticeably improve your vision. Cataracts progress at surprisingly different rates. Some cataracts hardly seem to change for years, and others progress quickly. It is virtually impossible for your doctor to predict how quickly an early cataract will progress. As cataracts inevitably worsen, the need for surgery becomes more obvious over time. Your lifestyle and occupational needs should be central to your decision. For example, if your job or hobby requires excellent eyesight, you might elect to have surgery much earlier than someone who doesn't have the same vision requirements. You'll also want to consider the rate at which your vision is declining. Most cataracts eventually advance to a point where the worsening accelerates more and more rapidly. Talk with your eye doctor about how your cataracts are affecting your vision and your life. Although your doctor cannot make the final decision for you, he or she can help you weigh the pros and cons.

Answered by: David F. Chang, MD Dr. David F. Chang

Categories: Cataracts, Eye Surgery

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Answered: Oct 26, 2012

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