Cataract Surgery Honolulu, HI

Is there a Right Time for Cataract Removal?

Cataracts can cause vision to become excessively clouded. Next to glaucoma, cataracts account for many of the cases of vision loss that occur. The difference between cataracts and glaucoma, though, is that the clouded lens can be removed and replaced with an artificial lens to restore sight. To date, no non-surgical treatments have been found useful in the correction of cataracts. This leads many patients to question the right timing for cataract surgery.

Sooner or Later: The Matter of Timing

Just because a cataract has been found does not mean it should be removed immediately. If the lens of the eye is only slightly cloudy and this does not interfere with daily activities, surgical removal may not be indicated – yet.

People with cataracts who do not have coexisting conditions such as glaucoma may be monitored to observe how their cataracts progress. If the changes to the cornea become so great that visual disturbances occur, such as intense glare when driving at night, or cataracts pose a challenge to seeing street signs, the computer screen, or text in a book, surgery should be considered.

While there is no value in removing cataracts promptly after diagnosis, there is also no requirement for a specific degree of severity in order for the lens to be successfully replaced. During the early days of cataract surgery, it was believed that cataracts needed to be relatively advanced before they could be removed. Improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of cataracts have made it easier to address this problem at an earlier stage of development.

As cataracts continue to develop, the covered lens becomes more rigid. This could present a slight challenge for surgery. The advanced cataract may also cause inflammation that increases the overall pressure within the eye. For this reason, patients with both cataracts and glaucoma may be monitored more closely.

When cataracts are present in both eyes, surgical removal may occur in stages. Doctors often prefer to treat each eye individually, several weeks apart.

Patient Input

Ultimately, the choice to have cataracts removed is completely up to the patient who is able to make an informed decision about health care. It is our intent to provide the fullest extent of information to our patients so they can determine the timing of their cataract surgery with confidence.

Learn more about cataract surgery. Call our Mililani office at 808-625-5577.

Cataracts Affect more than Vision

cataractThe data regarding cataracts tell us a lot about the prevalence of this condition. If we look at the numbers, we see that 70% of us will develop cataracts in one or both eyes at some point. Generally, it is the “at some point” that we remember. This sounds like the distant future, and we like that; because who wants cataracts to threaten the longevity of their vision?

There are interesting aspects of the whole cataract conversation. On one hand, we hear that cataracts are the primary cause of vision loss in older adults. On the other hand, we hear that a person can have cataracts removed pretty much whenever they are ready. What is the best timing? Here are some ways to find out . . .

Your Lifestyle is Affected
The more we have learned about health and wellness, the better we care for ourselves. This is reflected in the recent increase in life span. It can also be seen in how older adults are maintaining their active lifestyle well into retirement age. As we age, we don’t want to have to cut back on our golf game, or our kayaking or skiing or whatever else we do to stay active! That being the case, there is good reason to attend to the issue of cataracts as early as possible.

Your Quality of Life is Affected
Not interested in running a 5K or riding your bicycle around town? That doesn’t mean you don’t want the highest quality of life you can live! Vision impairment from cataracts can make it difficult to fully see and enjoy the faces of the people you love. This condition could cause you to forego an outing, or to pass on a favorite activity such as gardening or even walking around your neighborhood. Life shouldn’t become constricted just because we get older. Managing eye health is one way to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Your Safety is Affected
The risk of falls is one of the most prevalent concerns older adults face. What studies show is that vision and the risk of falling are directly related. Research also indicates that individuals with cataracts may have a particularly difficult time driving at night, which increases and already-elevated risk for auto accidents.

Patients of Mililani ophthalmologist Dr. Carlos Omphroy receive one on one care for their eye health concerns. For an exam and consultation, call 808-625-5577.