Cataract surgery is a life-changing surgery. At the same time, it is a procedure that many people put off, possibly for far longer than they should. Because cataracts can significantly impair vision, but do not threaten it entirely, patients who are looking through clouded lenses have the option of scheduling cataract removal at their preferred time. Here, we want to point out a few of the benefits of restoring clear vision, so you do not put off your cataract treatment any longer than necessary.
- Cataract removal improves quality of life. When cataracts cloud vision to such an extent that you can no longer drive safely, or drive at all; when you cannot read your favorite books or draw or do crossword or crochet blankets, your quality of life has diminished. According to a 2013 study, quality of life improved almost 40% for cataract removal patients compared to patients who postponed surgery.
- Clearer vision means decreased risk of falls. Falling is a dangerous prospect for any older individual, and vision plays a clear role in this risk. According to a 2013 study, individuals with severe cataracts reduced their risk of hip fracture by 23% by having cataracts removed. The overall decrease among all degrees of clouding due to cataracts was measured at 16%.
- Longevity is improved by managing vision. We are living longer than previous generations, but cataracts have been identified as one factor in shorter life span among older individuals. One long-term study revealed a 40% decrease in mortality risk among patients who had cataracts removed as opposed to those who lived with cataracts.
Cataracts are the result of protein buildup on the lens of one or both eyes. This accumulation is not “contagious” from one eye to the other. Some patients lose a degree of vision in only one eye, while others develop cataracts in both. The more protein that collects on the lens, the more clouding occurs, and the less light passes through to the retina. In addition to clouding, cataracts may cause halos or glare around lights, decreased night vision, blurred vision, and light sensitivity.
Protect your Vision
Routine eye exams are important to long-term vision. These regular checkups for your eyes ensure that you are wearing the right prescription lenses and that the structures throughout the eyes are healthy. To schedule your visit at Aloha Eye Clinic, call our Wailuku or Kihei office.