Due to many advances in medical technology and expertise, cataract surgery is more successful and easier to recover from than ever. But it may surprise you to learn that surgery is not typically your first treatment option for this common eye condition, and you may, in fact, never need cataract surgery.
Mitchell C. Latter, MD, is a board-certified ophthalmologist with offices in Bellflower and South Pasadena, California. He is widely respected and appreciated for his medical skill as a physician who specializes in providing top-rated eye care using the most advanced technology available for conditions such as cataracts.
Dr. Latter is happy to offer a few practical tips about living with cataracts and when he might recommend surgery.
The National Eye Institute notes that more than half of Americans over 80 currently have cataracts or have elected to undergo cataract surgery.
Younger individuals may develop cataracts after an eye injury. However, they’re typically caused by changes that begin at about age 40, when the normally clear lens in the affected eye starts to cloud over due to a buildup of proteins.
You may develop cataracts of varying degrees in both eyes, but for many individuals, only one eye is affected.
Rushing into cataract surgery is rarely necessary since the disease usually progresses slowly. Many individuals with cataracts don’t experience severe vision loss and are able to see comfortably with prescription changes in your glasses or contact lens strength.
Cataract symptoms may include:
When treating you for cataracts, Dr. Latter’s goal is to monitor your symptoms carefully via routine eye exams to gauge the progression of the cataract(s) and the effect on your quality of vision.
Surgery is not typically recommended until the cataracts cause visual concerns that are no longer adequately correctible with prescription lenses.
There are steps you can take to help decrease your risk of developing cataracts and protect your eye health once they develop.
These steps include:
When deciding on sunglasses, choose lenses that are 100% effective against both UVA and UVB light, which the label may also describe as UV 400.
Comprehensive eye exams are painless and imperative for early detection of sight-threatening conditions such as cataracts. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends adults have comprehensive eye exams once in their 20s and twice in their 30s, even if you’re not having problems with your vision.
If you do develop cataracts, Dr. Latter will recommend more frequent eye exams based on your circumstance and may eventually recommend surgery to restore your vision.
For a better understanding of your current eye health and more information about living with cataracts, schedule a visit with Dr. Latter today.