How young is too young for cataract surgery?
by Jessica White, COT
Cataracts are usually thought of as something that comes with age. In fact, when cataract surgery was first performed, it often took place when patients were well into their eighties. The risks were high and the benefits were not considered to be very great due to less sophisticated technology. Patients were left with the need for very thick glasses or hard contacts after surgery.
Today, the average age for cataract surgery is somewhere in the early seventies, and it is not uncommon to see patients much younger. Cataracts don’t just develop because of age, however; they can be brought on by injury, chronic steroid medication use, inflammation, or a number of other factors. Cataracts can be diagnosed with a dilated eye exam.
At first, when people realize they have cataracts they may feel this is a negative sign of aging. But, many soon discover that cataract surgery can be an opportunity to change dependency on glasses. Cataract surgery is now thought of as a refractive procedure, a surgery to become less dependent on glasses for most patients. There are different types of lenses that can be used to customize vision.
Many patients see well enough to be legal to drive without glasses following cataract surgery. Some even see better than they ever have before.
Due to great advances in technology and safety, cataract surgery can help improve vision for many patients regardless of age, and can help restore a more independent, active lifestyle. Here are some examples of cataract symptoms:Glare when driving at night or in bright sunlight
- Having to get closer to read street signs
- Difficulty reading fine print
- Needing more light to read by
- Trouble determining numbers (6’s look like 8’s)
- Difficulty seeing steps
If you would like more information regarding cataracts, follow the link below to a digital copy of our cataract patient workbook, or contact our office for a cataract consultation. You can schedule on-line through our website.
Jessica White, COT, works with the doctors and staff at The Harman Eye Clinic as a senior ophthalmic technician.