Once I have a cataract diagnosis, what should I do?
• Have an eye exam by your Today’s Vision eye doctor every year.
• Protect your eyes from UV light by wearing sunglasses that block at least 99 percent UV and a hat.
• If you smoke, quit. Smoking is a key risk factor for cataracts.
• Use brighter lights for reading and other activities. A magnifying glass may be useful, too.
• Limit driving at night once night vision, halos or glare become problems.
• Take care of any other health problems, especially diabetes.
• Get the right eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct your vision.
• When it becomes difficult to complete your regular activities, consider cataract surgery.
• Make an informed decision about cataract surgery. Have a discussion with your eye doctor about:
o the surgery,
o preparation for and recovery after surgery,
o benefits and possible complications of cataract surgery,
o cataract surgery costs,
o other questions you have.
Cataract Treatment
Cataracts can be removed only with surgery. When you and your eye doctor decide that it is time for you to have surgery, he or she will refer you to an eye surgeon, who will perform the surgery (see below).
If your cataract symptoms are not bothering you very much, you don’t have to remove a cataract. You might just need a new eyeglass prescription to help you see better. You should consider surgery when cataracts keep you from doing things you want or need to do.
How does cataract surgery work?
During cataract surgery, the eye surgeon will remove your eye’s cloudy natural lens. Then he or she will replace it with an artificial lens. This new lens is called an intraocular lens (or IOL). When you decide to have cataract surgery, your doctor will talk with you about IOLs and how they work.
People who have had cataract surgery may have their vision become hazy again years later. This is usually because the eye’s capsule has become cloudy. The capsule is the part of your eye that holds the IOL in place. Your surgeon can use a laser to open the cloudy capsule and restore clear vision. This is called a capsulotomy.
Cataracts are a very common reason people lose vision, but they can be treated. You and your Today’s Vision eye doctor should discuss your cataract symptoms. Together you can decide whether you are ready for cataract surgery.