Deciding When to Have Cataract Surgery

As the eye’s lens becomes clouded due to cataracts, you may suffer a loss of visual acuity. At Broberg Eye Care, we first recommend the most conservative approaches to managing cataracts. We will only suggest cataract surgery after these methods have been exhausted. It is currently the only lasting way to correct the condition. Drs. Peter Broberg, Halsey Settle, and William McGlathery, and Dr. Ximena de Sabra can monitor your cataracts, and help you decide when to have cataract surgery to restore your sight. Contact our Austin, TX, practice today to learn more about our experience treating cataracts, or schedule your consultation.

Early Stages of Cataracts

Early symptoms of cataracts often include the development of glares and halos, or difficulty seeing at night. The initial symptoms are usually so slight and develop so slowly that people are not even aware of these changes. In fact, cataracts patients may seek treatment only after family members or close friends have pointed out that the patient seems to be having problems seeing. In some cases, patients may develop what is called "second sight." This means your near vision actually improves before your eyesight starts to decline overall. During the early stages, many patients can offset vision loss with changes to their prescription eyewear.

Advanced Cataracts

As cataracts progresses, it causes more severe changes to your eyesight. Blurred vision, poor night vision, difficulty detecting colors, and light sensitivity will become more pronounced. The rate at which your cataracts develop will depend on several factors, including age, the use of certain medications, and smoking tobacco. Without treatment, patients will lose visual acuity to the point that they may have difficulty completing daily tasks and distinguishing details, such as facial features.

Image compared clear vision to effects of cataracts

Considering Surgery

Doctors will typically recommend surgical treatment when your condition has started to affect your quality of life. If it becomes difficult to complete certain daily tasks, or you can no longer see faces or objects clearly, surgical intervention may be appropriate. Patients who put themselves or others at risk of injury when completing tasks that require good vision may be recommended for surgery. For example, patients who frequently drive at night should consider surgery sooner, since halos and glare can pose a serious risk for accidents.

Your eye doctor may also recommend the operation if you score poorly on one or more of your vision tests. Exams that measure your visual acuity, glare, contrast sensitivity, and ability to detect colors can shape the decision to undergo cataract surgery. Ultimately, the decision is entirely the patient’s. Your doctor is there to help you decide when surgical intervention would be most beneficial to your health and lifestyle, not to pressure you into treatment before you are ready.

Contact Us Today to Learn More

The team at Broberg Eye Care have the experience and compassion to help you achieve and maintain good eye health. Please reach out to our practice today to find out how we can help you determine if and when cataract surgery is right for you.

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