June is National Cataract Awareness Month. Millions of Americans are living with cataracts, more than 24 million, in fact. While there is not always something you can do to prevent cataracts, you can take steps to lower your risk (don't smoke, wear UVA/UVB sunglasses, and eat healthy). Cataract surgery effectively restores clear vision, when a cataract does develop.
1. Artificial Lenses are Permanent
Life with a cataract is like looking through a blurry lens. You can't see your loved ones as well as before, and it becomes difficult (and dangerous) to drive. You may not be able to read or see what you're doing. Life with cataracts is hazardous because it can increase your risk of slipping, tripping and falling.
Fortunately, cataract surgery is an effective, safe way to remove the clouded lens and replace it with an artificial intraocular lens, also called an IOL. The IOL itself is a permanent device, so it should last a lifetime. Unlike other medical devices, it doesn't have any moving parts susceptible to wear or deterioration.
2. Improve Your Quality of Life
The benefits of this procedure are many. For some people, especially those who have been living with a cataract for a long time, the procedure can be life-changing. Here are just three of the many benefits:
- Maintain your independence. Diminished vision means depending on loved ones because you can't see very well. Removing the cataract means you'll be better able to maintain your normal routine and activities independently.
- Stay active. With clear vision, you'll be able to enjoy all your same recreational activities without worrying about injuring yourself because you can't see. Tennis, golf, hiking, running, swimming – all of these things and more will still be possible when you restore your vision.
- May prevent social withdrawal associated with cataracts. Some research has found older adults living with cataracts become socially withdrawn. This could be because poor vision leads to feelings of low self-esteem or self-consciousness, or you simply don't want to try to get out in the world when everything looks blurry. Restoring your vision ensures you can stay active and stay out there.
In this way, cataract surgery can improve your quality of life. It essentially undoes some of the negative effects of vision loss.
3. The Procedure Has a Long-Standing Safety Profile
Cataract surgery is very commonplace. In fact, it is one of the most frequently performed surgeries in the United States. According to the National Eye Institute, more than 90 percent of cataract surgery patients have better vision after the procedure. Other estimates put the success rate at 95 percent. At our practice, our goal is to provide excellent, clear vision for 100 percent of our patients.
In addition to conventional cataract surgery, Dr. Chris Walton also offers a state-of-the-art, laser-guided procedure using LenSx®. This method offers optimal precision and efficiency, and is highly customizable to your eyes and vision. During your consultation, Dr. Walton will provide a diagnosis and discuss both of these options with you.
Learn More About Your Eye Health
Think you might be ready for cataract surgery? If you want to schedule a consultation in Mobile, Alabama, or if you have any questions about eye health or your vision, please call the practice of experienced ophthalmologist Dr. Chris Walton at 251-341-3385. We are happy to provide you with information about cataracts and all other aspects of your eyes and vision.