As your sight begins to grow cloudy, you have been handed the news by your optometrist that you have cataracts. The typical treatment for cataracts is surgery, something which most people would prefer to avoid. However, you may want to rethink any decision about not having cataract surgery. Here is what happens to your eyes and your sight if you do not have the surgery, why surgery is the only real treatment option, and how the surgical procedure that can restore your sight is now done with minimal pain.
What Happens When You Avoid the Surgery
Cataracts are a progressive disease, meaning that the problem progressively gets worse until you are legally blind and may only be able to see shadows or shifting, colorless shapes. You lose the ability to drive and the ability to do most things that require a reasonable amount of sight. Glasses will not fix this problem either because cataracts affect the lenses of the eye and glasses can only correct vision problems when the lenses are clear and work in conjunction with the glasses to direct images and light onto the retinas.
When only one eye is affected (which is rare, since cataracts often develop in both eyes) you may experience problems with depth perception. Additionally, the side of your head and face that surrounds the affected eye may frequently run into objects because the good eye cannot communicate to the bad eye that there is an object coming right at it. Ergo, more injuries may occur on that side of your body, face and head than on the other side where the good eye alerts you to things in your path.
Why Surgery Is the Only Option to Treat Cataracts
Currently there is no medication that can stop, slow or cure cataracts. Surgery is the only viable treatment because it removes the damaged, opaque lenses from your eyes and replaces them with new lenses to help you see. Thankfully, technology has advanced enough that optometrists can use lasers on the eyes and perform cataract surgery very quickly. (That reduces the possibility of injury to your eyes if a doctor's hands shake or the scalpel mis-cuts.)
How It Is Done
The precision of lasers in this type of surgery means that the modernized procedure is not really anything to be worried about, nor should you be that afraid. Within a few short minutes after the numbing drops have taken effect on your eyes, your cataracts are removed, replaced with clear lenses and you can walk out of the clinic on your own. Within a few days, your eyes have almost fully healed and you can return to all of the things you did before your cataracts developed.
For more information, talk to a professional like Thomas L. Lawrence, M.D., P.A.