Concerned that you may be developing cataracts? You may have questions about cataract surgery and what age they occur at.
The age to have cataract surgery depends on the individual patient. Keep reading to find out more!
Who Can Develop Cataracts?
Cataracts are often found in the elderly as a part of the natural aging process of the eye. But there are many other factors that can cause cataracts.
Some examples of common risk factors are the use of certain medications, smoking, or diseases like diabetes. These can all increase your risk for cataracts.
Although it is more uncommon, children can develop cataracts or be born with them. It’s not so much about the best age to have cataract surgery but when symptoms get in the way of daily life.
For most people, if symptoms make it hard to complete daily activities, it’s time for surgery.
When to Get Cataract Surgery
Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness around the world. The good news? The blindness that occurs because of cataracts isn’t permanent.
Cataracts develop for a long time before vision loss or other debilitating symptoms occur. While cataract surgery is a quick and successful surgery, it is still a surgery with risks.
For these reasons, you should wait to have cataract surgery for as long as possible. This is usually until a decrease in vision has caused a drop in quality of life before getting surgery.
One of our doctors at Premier Eye Care of Idaho can give you a good idea of when you should get cataract surgery.
What is Cataract Surgery?
During cataract surgery, your surgeon will remove the clouded natural lens of the eye. It is then replaced with a new artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL).
To do this, the lens is broken up into small pieces using ultrasonic soundwaves in a process called phacoemulsification. After this, the small pieces of the lens are removed using suction through a small incision in the eye made at the beginning of cataract surgery. The IOL is then put into its place.
The whole process only takes about 15 minutes to complete. Your surgeon will check to make sure there are no complications and then you can go home.
You will need to come back for a check-in appointment within 48 hours. You’ll need to come back for several of these appointments during your recovery.
Recovering From Cataract Surgery
Any surgery requires a recovery period, cataract surgery included. It is during this stage that you will be most vulnerable to problems that could damage your vision.
The best way to protect your eyes during this period is to follow all instructions from your doctor. These instructions will include:
- Avoiding high risk or strenuous activities.
- Avoiding contact with water in your eyes as much as possible.
- Using your eye drops several times a day.
- Getting plenty of rest, especially during the beginning of your recovery.
As you recover, you will be able to add more and more of your daily life back into your routine. Don’t worry that you won’t be able to leave the house for months because it’s not true!
Ready to find out if it’s time to have cataract surgery? Schedule a cataract screening at Premier Eye Care of Eastern Idaho in Idaho Falls now!