As our eyes age, they can and will develop cataracts. This is simply an age-progressive condition where the eyes become opaque and glassy, resulting in blurred vision. Eventually, this can become debilitating and serious enough to require surgery. During cataract surgery, the cloudy lens of the eye is removed and an artificial one is put in its place.
4 Talking Points about Dealing with Cataracts
To help you better deal with your cataracts, here are four things that you should know right now:
1. Cataracts Require Surgery if You want them Removed. Because cataracts develop with age—not through any fault of your actions—there is simply no real way to safely avoid them. If your body is going to develop cataracts, there is little you can do aside from live with them or have cataracts surgery. Despite what many products out there claim, cataracts can not be delayed or cured with eye drops. The FDA has not approved any such item since they do not work. Cataracts must be treated through surgery and they can not be dissolved since they are not a substance. Eye drops that claim to do so are only robbing you of your money.
2. Cataracts Cannot Be Reversed or Worsened by Your Actions. A common myth that cataract sufferers might hear is that doing close-up, detailed work such as sewing, needlepoint or reading will make their cataracts worse. This is completely false. While it is true that you will notice the effects of your cataracts more when you are doing close-up detailed work, this will not worsen your eyesight. You will, however, likely require more light to do these activities. In the same vein,it is also noteworthy to mention that while you cannot reverse your cataracts, you can slow down the process by eating a well-balanced diet, wearing 100% UVA sunglasses with UVB protection and quit smoking right away. While these won’t turn back the time on your cataracts, it will halt their progress just a little bit. Still, surgery is the only way to deal with your cataracts.
3. Cataract Surgery is Safe and Recovery is Rapid. While every surgical procedure has its risks, one of the safest is cataract surgery which enjoys a 95% success rate. The surgery has been performed for a very long time, ensuring that it is highly perfected. It is one of the safest surgical procedures out there. Afterward, recovery is extremely quick and you will be able to resume your every day non-stressful activities the day following your cataract surgery. This is when the eye patch will be removed. Of course, you should refrain from bending or lifting heavy objects for three weeks as this puts undue strain on the eye (think: wincing and squinting from effort). You will also not want to rub or press on your eye, even if it itches. Your doctor will likely prescribe you eye drops to help alleviate any discomfort including itchiness or pressure. Your eyesight will be immediately improved and as a few months pass, you will gradually notice that your eyesight continues to sharpen as the eye becomes accustomed to the new lens. This is great news for anyone who thinks that cataracts are the end of their “good vision days.” On the contrary: after cataract surgery, you will be seeing much better than you had been before.
4. Cataracts Don’t Grow Back Once Removed. Since cataracts are a result of the cellular death of your ocular lens (most times due to old age), they will not grow back. A common misconception is that cataracts are “growths” on the eye and that the surgery removes these growths. In fact, the medical procedure for cataract treatment actually involves removing the lens where the cataract is, replacing it with a new one. This means the second lens would have to experience cellular death as well for a cataract to reappear. This is not a re-growth, but it can occasionally happen. The new lens that is implanted can become cloudy, just like with the original cataract. But since the new lens is an implant, it can be replaced in 15 minutes by your doctor in a painless laser procedure that will have you walking out with a new look on life in the time it takes to eat breakfast.
The bottom line is that while annoying, cataracts are nothing to really be afraid of. The medical procedure is safe and you can have the vision you had 20 years ago in just a day or two. While cataract surgery isn’t necessary until the vision gets so bad that it is debilitating, you might want to inquire about speeding up the process if the quality of life you are experiencing is less than you’d hoped for.
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