When is the right time to do cataract surgery?

When is the right time to do cataract surgery?

It happens quite frequently that patients express shock when I tell them they have cataracts; patients often think these came out of the blue and need surgery. It gives me great pleasure to explain the concept of cataracts to patients and to reassure them.

Having a cataract simply means that the natural lens of our eye is starting to lose its clarity. This is generally a slow process which begins in middle-age and progresses over the course of our lives. Having cataracts does not mean you need surgery. Most patients with cataracts continue to have very good vision with or without glasses.

I tell my patients that the time to consider cataract surgery is when they interfere with their activities of daily living. If as a result of cataracts, you have increasing difficulty driving, reading, watching television, or pursuing other activities which rely on your vision, it becomes reasonable to consider cataract surgery. This is a discussion to be had after a thorough exam by your ophthalmologist.

David Paikal, MD

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