A few years ago, my dear maternal grandmother visited an optometrist. After thoroughly examining my grandmother’s eyes, this medical professional informed her that she had cataracts in both of them. Concerned, my grandmother immediately made an appointment with a surgeon. The two surgeries to remove the cataracts from my grandmother’s eyes were successful. Scheduling annual eye exams is crucial. During these appointments, your optometrist will check for potentially harmful conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment, nearsightedness, and farsightedness. On this blog, I hope you will discover the most important reasons you should visit your eye doctor every year. Enjoy!
Cataract surgery is the most commonly-performed eye surgery in the United States. More than 3.3 million Americans opt for this type of procedure each year. Cataracts are a natural part of the aging process and cause a opaque film to form on the exterior of the eye lens, hampering and blurring vision. Untreated cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the United States and are particularly prevalent in people over the age of 65.
The procedure to remove this opaque layer and replace it with a new lens was first attempted in the 1960s and has been perfected over the last 20 years. Originally requiring an overnight hospital stay, today this common procedure is generally done on an outpatient basis in an ophthalmologist's office.
Benefits of having cataract surgery
1. Being able to see better. Of course, the chief benefit to cataract surgery for those with age-related blurry vision is the ability to see more clearly. Many patients find that colors are more vivid and images are sharper. It's kind of like turning back the hands of time. Many people can stop wearing their eyeglasses entirely after the procedure.
2. Reducing glare issues. A common complaint of older drivers is not being able to see well at night because of the glare from streetlamps and the headlights of oncoming traffic. This is often due to the halo effect that cataracts cause around bright lights. Cataract surgery eliminates this issue and allows patients to see more clearly around bright lights, both indoors and outdoors.
3. Enhanced independence. For older people looking to keep as much independence as possible as they age, being able to see clearly is essential. Clearer vision allows individuals to keep their driver's license longer, be able to do chores around the house more easily and thus stay in their homes as they grow older.
4. Increased safety. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related trips to the emergency room in people over age 65. Enhanced vision can help to prevent such incidences and the resulting broken bones and incapacity.
5. Better overall health. Improved vision has also been associated with better overall health and emotional well-being, according to the National Institute of Health.
While cataract surgery isn't necessarily the right choice for everyone with age-related vision issues, this type of surgery can dramatically improve vision, help alleviate problems with glare and night driving, and even allow patients to stop wearing their eyeglasses.