Cataract Myths – Optometry Blog
To continue from our previous blog, we will continue to talk about common misunderstandings when it comes to cataracts.
Myth: Cataract surgery is dangerous.
As with any surgery, there are risks involved that the surgeon will go over during the consultation process. However, cataract surgery is one of the safest procedures now due to all the advancements in technology involved in the procedure. It will take roughly 30 minutes for the surgeon to complete and you do not have to go under. Certain medications can increase the risk of specific complications, but this will all be discussed prior.
Myth: The recovery time for cataract surgery is months.
In actuality, the full recovery time is approximately a month – pending there are no complications and you are compliant with the drops prescribed. No heavy lifting or bending over is allowed during the first 3 weeks, but after that you can resume regular activities. Vision will improve immediately after the patch is removed (usually day after surgery) and will stabilize after about a month – which is when you can go back to see your optometrist and get your prescription checked to see if there is a residual prescription.
Myth: Glasses aren’t needed after cataract surgery.
Although this may be true for some individuals, it is highly dependent on the type of lens implant selected. There are now multifocal implants that allow patients to see both distance and near without glasses. These are not perfect and patients with these lenses will often still need glasses to see perfectly clear for either. However, for the most part, these patients can function on a day-to-day basis without needing glasses. For the most part, if you opt out of premium lens implants, the surgeon will try to minimize any sort of distance prescription you have with the basic implant so you only need glasses for near. Everyone’s situation is different and thus the outcomes are also not 100% guaranteed.
Myth: You can reverse cataracts once you get them.
This is completely false. Cataracts cannot be avoided. We all develop them eventually. It’s a natural part of the aging process. How fast they grow can be altered, but completely avoiding them is impossible. As we get older, the lens within our eye begins to cloud over. This causes us to need more light to see clearly, glare and on-coming head lights might bother us more, our prescriptions will change, and our vision will decline. To slow the growth of cataracts, eat a balanced diet, wear sunglasses when you spend time outside (ensure the lenses have 100% UVA/UVB protection), and if you smoke – consider quitting.