What Age Should I Have Cataract Surgery?
In the United States, almost half of Americans will experience cataracts by the time they are 75 years old. Also, an average of 1 in 6 Americans who are over 40 years old has already started developing cataracts.
Cataract surgery is available at any stage but it’s usually best to have the procedure when you can no longer take part in everyday activities. Keep reading to learn more about what age you should have cataract surgery!
What Are Cataracts?
Cataracts are proteins that clump together and stick together in the lens of your eye. Light passes through the lens to the cornea before landing on the retina.
The clumps are usually small at the start but become bigger with time. The larger they get, the more they will compromise your vision.
When protein particles clump together on the lens, light cannot pass through properly. This results in cloudy vision.
At birth, the lens is normally clear, but at some point in midlife, it will begin to discolor. This may cause you to have a brownish tint in your vision.
That makes it difficult to tell the difference between colors, especially purple and blue. As the lens ages, it becomes cloudy, making your vision blurrier and duller.
When to Seek Treatment for Cataracts
The right age to have cataract surgery varies since every person has a different visual impairment tolerance level. It all comes down to function.
If cataracts have not impaired your day to day activities, there is no need for rushing into a surgery. But if you have symptoms that interfere with your ability to perform essential activities like reading and driving, you may want to consider surgery.
Once a cataract becomes severe, the only way to treat it is with cataract surgery. During cataract surgery, you’ll have the natural lens removed and replaced with an artificial lens.
When cataracts first start to form, you can get away with easy fixes like adequate lighting, prescription glasses, and bifocals. But when cataracts progress, become bothersome and impair your way of life, it’s time to consider cataract surgery. The procedure is simple and painless and will give your clear vision back.
Common Age for Cataract Surgery
It can take years or decades from cataract development before you need cataract surgery. For many people, this means needing cataract surgery in their sixties.
Some of the first signs of the development of cataracts include:
- Prescription glasses not helping you see any more
- Having difficulty seeing street lights while driving
- Seeing halos or glare around lights at night
But that doesn’t mean you may not develop cataracts at a younger age. For instance, you can have a trauma-induced cataract.
Some babies are also born with cataracts, a condition known as congenital cataracts. People with diabetes can also develop cataracts.
The best way to determine if you need cataract surgery is by going to your eye doctor. They will perform a series of tests, including a dilated eye examination.
These tests will check whether your cataracts have gotten bigger and need to be removed. Before, eye surgeons would wait until a cataract was completely ripe before removing it.
But today, many surgeons prefer removing the cataract once it begins affecting the patient’s vision.
Short Hills’s Top Cataract Surgeon Dr. Farbowitz
Has your vision worsened due to cataracts? Dr. Farbowitz at Short Hills Ophthalmology has helped thousands of patients regain their sight and he can help you too.
Using cutting-edge technology, you can be sure that your treatment plan will be tailored to your unique needs.
Concerned that you may need to have cataract surgery? Schedule a cataract screening with Dr. Farbowitz at Short Hills Ophthalmology in Short Hills and Clifton, NJ now!