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Not just blurry vision: Cataracts can cause glaucoma, falls

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Let’s review cataracts: What are they, and how can corrective surgery offer a significantly higher quality of life for the patient?

If we compare the eye to a camera, a cataract is comparable to a dirty lens, causing a picture to be hazy. This condition is basically a clouding of your eye’s lens.

Other symptoms like blurry vision, glare, halos and poor vision at night also come into play. When you are dealing with a cataract in one or both eyes and it’s adversely affecting your vision and interfering with your daily routine and sense of independence.

Thankfully, cataract treatment is available and can almost always solve these problems. In fact, it can greatly improve your life.

Cataract surgery can restore clear vision that is lost due to a cataract. During the procedure, your clouded natural lens is replaced with a clear artificial lens.

The artificial implant is called an intraocular lens (IOL). The IOL becomes a permanent part of your eye and you won’t feel or see this new lens.

How effective is it? Over 95% of those with healthy eyes who have this surgery experience better vision afterwards.

Even better, your eyesight may improve as early as one day after your operation. Colors will seem brighter and objects will be clearer. Your vision will continue to improve as your eye heals and your brain adjusts to your new lens.

Cataract surgery corrects the blurred vision that makes it harder to do day-to-day tasks. Why miss out from doing things you enjoy, like driving, hunting, knitting, playing cards, watching TV or reading? When you can’t do the things you love to do, you are not living your best possible life. This can negatively affect your mood and your mental health.

In severe cases, you may not be able to work or live independently. But when you see better, you are less likely to have accidents.

For instance, with better vision your chances of falling decrease. Research also shows that removing cataracts leads to fewer broken hips. That’s especially true for those with dense cataracts. It’s also safer to drive a vehicle when you don’t have cataracts. In fact, driving safety improves by 50% after cataract removal.

Thankfully, you can remove cataracts and get your eyesight back, allowing you to do many of the things you used to enjoy. A successful procedure can give you more freedom and boost your confidence.

Besides, cataracts often lead to the development of other eye problems. Untreated cataracts can cause eye inflammation and increase pressure inside your eye. This can lead to glaucoma and other serious eye issues.

Sometimes people with cataracts also have damaged retinas from diabetes. Cataracts might make it harder for your doctor to treat or prevent such eye problems.

The choice of your cataract replacement lenses can affect the quality and range of vision you’ll have after cataract surgery. A proper assessment is important to decide which IOL can work for you better.

If cataract surgery is the solution for you, most private insurance and Medicare cover manual cataract surgery and the cost of a monofocal lens.

Dr. Vinod K. Jindal is a board-certified ophthalmologist. His main practice, New Century Ophthalmology, is in Oxford. To learn more about his services or to schedule an appointment, call 919-693-6661.