Cataracts, or clouded lenses, can create a great deal of frustration as eyesight progressively declines. An interesting aspect of cataracts is that, while the accumulation of proteins on the eye’s lens degrades vision, it does not cause blindness. As such, patients with cataracts are largely in control of the timing of cataract removal surgery. It is even possible to choose not to have cataracts removed, though this would not be advisable.
There are a few very good reasons to consider having cataracts removed before the severe deterioration of eyesight. We can think of three that may be of particular interest:
- Healthy eyes mean fewer accident risks. It is understood that physical agility dwindles as we grow old. The risk of falling increases. Furthermore, the consequences of falling are far greater in the older adult than in a young person. Because the outcome of a “simple” fall could be grave, there is a reason to take measures to increase safety. Attending to eyesight is one that may be overlooked. According to one study, we can surmise that removing cataracts can decrease the risk of falling by 16 to 23%. The more severe clouding is, the greater the benefit of lens replacement.
- Better eyesight can support a longer life. Mortality risk diminishes by 40% when badly clouded lenses are replaced with appropriate intraocular lenses, according to research. This finding came from a 15-year study of several thousand patients, some who underwent cataract removal, and some who did not.
- Seeing is a factor in quality living. It doesn’t matter if you’re 50 or 85, you want to be able to enjoy your life to the fullest. Cataracts don’t just get in the way of major life experiences like driving and engaging in physical exercise, the clouding of the lens affects everyday living. Men and women whose eyesight gradually worsens due to clouding may stop doing things they love, such as reading or writing or working with their hands.
When a simple surgery can improve vision and subsequently improve safety, longevity, and quality of life, it makes sense to consider it as an option. Learn more about cataract surgery at Central Florida Eye Institute by calling (352) 237-8400.