Did you know that cataracts affect nearly 22 million American aged 40 and up? By the time we reach 80, more than half of us will have cataracts, according to the National Eye Institute. Obviously it’s an important eye health issue that we may have to deal with at some point in our lives—either for ourselves or a loved one. So let’s separate fact from fiction when it comes to understanding cataracts.
First things first. cataracts is not a disease you contract. It’s a natural result of getting older. As we age, cells die and accumulate behind the eye lens, which can cause it to turn yellow and cloudy. The result is the telltale blurred vision and fuzziness. Illness such as diabetes, eye injuries and some medications also can lead to cataracts. At the beginning stages, eyeglasses and stronger lighting can help alleviate some of the symptoms but as the condition progresses, cataract surgery, a very common procedure, is necessary.
The Top Four Cataract Myths
MYTH 1: Activities like reading up close or detailed work like sewing can worsen cataracts. FACT: Cataracts are not caused by how you use your eyes. This is a misconception because often people need more light or the symptoms of cataracts are more pronounced when doing up-close work.
MYTH 2: Cataracts are reversible. FACT: Unfortunately, the cataract process is unavoidable. The only way to improve the condition is through cataract surgery. But you may be able to slow its progress by always wearing sunglasses, avoiding smoking and eating a balanced diet.
MYTH 3: Cataract surgery recovery takes a long time. FACT: Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most common surgical procedures you can have—with success rates of 95 percent. Of course risks exist and will be discussed by your surgeon before your cataract surgery. You can get back to normal activities the day after surgery when the eye patch is removed. Some of our patients notice immediate improvement and some notice a more gradual improvement weeks and up to a few months afterwards.
MYTH 4: Cataracts come back. FACT: Cataracts are not a “growth” that sits on top of your eye. They are the result of dead cells building up. Sometimes patients develop a secondary cataract over time. If this happens it can be treated easily with laser eye surgery.
Commonwealth Eyes was the first eye clinic in Kentucky to offer the new standard in precision cataract surgery with the CATALYS™ Precision Laser System. Using CATALYS, Dr. Lance Ferguson can provide a gentle, highly customized cataract procedure with precision not achievable with traditional manual techniques. If you’re experiencing symptoms caused by cataracts, you don’t have to suffer. Call us today to schedule a consultation and find out how we can help restore your vision.