When Should you Consider Having Cataract Surgery - SightMD Skip to main content

February 24, 2023

By: Solomon Luo, MD

When Should you Consider Having Cataract Surgery

close up image of a womens eye

It may seem like a tough reality to face, but many people will develop cataracts at some point in their lives. Most people will either get cataracts or have had cataract surgery by the age of 80. With that fact in mind, if you have been diagnosed with cataracts, you may be asking yourself (and us)…

When is cataract surgery necessary?

You may adapt to living with cataracts through different options, such as installing brighter lights at home and in the office, wearing anti-glare sunglasses, and reading with a magnifying glass. If this condition worsens over time, however, and you find yourself unable to carry out everyday tasks, you should definitely undergo cataract surgery. This specialized operation is the only guaranteed method whereby you will be able to see clearly again. (And the staff at SightMD will tell you that some people don’t wait that long. They got frustrated from trying to read with magnifying glasses under extra bright light bulbs and went for the surgery instead.)

Is there anything I can do to prevent cataracts?

While nothing can be done to prevent cataracts, you may be able to slow their progression by protecting your eyes from sunlight and managing underlying conditions like diabetes. Cataracts cannot be reversed, so when they interfere with everyday activities, surgery will be required to restore your vision.

What happens if cataracts are left untreated?

Untreated cataracts will eventually block light from entering the eye and result in a loss of vision. Worldwide, they are the leading cause of blindness.

Is it common to have cataracts in both eyes?

In most cases, cataracts occur in both eyes, although vision in one eye may be worse than in the other. If injury or disease has affected just one eye, then a cataract can develop in that eye only.

Can you have cataracts removed in both eyes at the same time?

If you have cataracts in both eyes, surgery is performed on the most severely affected eye first. One to two weeks later, you can have surgery on your other eye. This allows the first eye to recover and your vision in that eye to stabilize before surgery on your other eye. 

Is Cataract Surgery Risky?

Cataract surgery is a very safe and secure operation, and statistics show that 9 out of every 10 people who opt for this procedure ultimately see much better than they did.

So, if you are concerned about cataracts and the surgery to remove them, put your mind at ease. Do you have any other questions? If so, check out our page: “What are Cataracts?” If you have already been diagnosed with cataracts, and feel ready to take the step of pursuing surgery, contact one of the SightMD offices closest to you to make an appointment. (Oh yes, the entire procedure of cataract surgery takes only between 30 and 45 minutes to perform. We hope that gives you more comfort and confidence.)