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How to Know if You Need Cataract Surgery

Cataracts happen because new cells form on the exterior of an eye lens and compact the older cells into the center of the lens. An excessive buildup of protein is usually what causes this to happen. The result is a cloudiness in the eye that makes it difficult for a person to see. However, some people can have cataracts without their vision being affected at all. Over three million cataract surgeries are performed in the United States every year, but these are all for patients who truly need the surgery so they can see better. If you’re concerned about the way cataracts are affecting your vision, you can speak with your Miami Beach eye doctor about it.

Determining Factors for Cataract Surgery

If you have recently noticed cataracts in your eye, then you may be wondering what your optometrist can do to help you. Some people think that they can be prescribed eyeglasses in Miami Beach that will correct the vision problems caused by the cataract, but this is not true. Nothing except for surgery can get rid of the cataracts. The cataract surgery is only necessary if certain criteria are met, though. Here are some of the main things your doctor will ask you about before they recommend an operation:

● Do your cataracts affect the way you see? If your cataracts are not currently causing any vision loss, then there’s no need for an unnecessary operation. When they start to prevent you from being able to drive at night or play sports, then you may need to have an operation in the future.

● Is the cataract getting worse? Some cataracts will get worse over time, but others are simply there and don’t get any larger. If you notice that your vision is slowly becoming cloudier as time passes, then you may need cataract surgery.

● Is the cataract able to be treated with alternatives? Sometimes people can wear hats to reduce the glare in their eyes, or even polarized sunglasses will work. There are also special glasses that can be used to magnify text so reading is easier. If simple solutions like these are working, then there’s no need for surgery just yet.

● Are glares intensified or are you seeing halos? Cataracts often cause people to see halos around lighted objects (mostly at night) that can affect the way they drive. Another determining factor for the surgery is if glares are becoming more intense and causing you to squint frequently or have headaches.

The Cataract Surgery

Your Miami eye doctor is going to perform the surgery by first creating a small incision in the anterior capsule membrane that covers the eye’s natural lense. The lens is then broken into fragments with a laser so it can be removed through the small incision without causing any problems. An intraocular lens then replaces the natural one, which is going to replicate a natural, healthy lens without cataracts. This is the most common type of procedure performed in the US and there are very few people who experience complications from it. However, it’s still not necessary to put yourself through any procedure unless it’s absolutely necessary. Your Miami optometrist will be able to examine your eyes and evaluate your condition to determine if you are in need of surgery of if you can get by without it.

photo credit: Me, Myself, Eye – TROML – 1403 via photopin (license)