When Should I have Cataract Surgery?
Cataracts are the most common cause of loss of vision, especially among the older population. Cataract onset is typically gradual, with most patients first experiencing blurred vision. As cataracts develop, vision becomes cloudy and more impaired. The eye will also become sensitive to light and change the way color is experienced.
Cataract surgery involves replacing the cloudy lens with an artificial lens. The procedure is effective and highly successful. According to the Canadian Ophthalmology Society, “one and a half million people have [cataract surgery] every year in North America, and 95% have a successful result.”
The choice whether and when to have cataract surgery involves weighing an array of medical variables with your ophthalmologist. However, there are also practical and lifestyle considerations. The American Academy of Ophthalmology proposes the following questions to assist in the decision-making process:
- Are your cataracts impacting daily or occupational activities?
- Are your cataracts affecting your ability to drive safely at night?
- Are your cataracts interfering with the outdoor activities you enjoy?
- Can you manage your cataracts in other ways?
Each of these questions help potential patients consider ways in which low vision from cataracts is affecting their quality of life. The answers to these questions will play an important role both in the decision to have cataract surgery, and whether now is the time.
Serving the Greater Vancouver area, including Surrey and Langley, the ophthalmologists at Fraser Valley Cataract & Laser can help you make an informed decision, including what to expect prior to, during, and after surgery. They will also help select the type of lens best suited for your lifestyle, based in part on responses to the types of questions we have identified. Depending the stage of vision loss, the goal of cataract surgery is to maintain or even dramatically improve site and eye health – and thereby, a patient’s quality of life.