Cataracts are most often associated with aging. It’s unusual for young people to have cataracts. But how old is young and now that 60 is the new 40, where does that leave us? A comprehensive eye exam can determine if you have cataracts, how advanced they are, and when would be the best time for surgery.

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A 40-year-old may get cataracts but it’s more common in people 60 or older. When we’re very young our eyes are like newly washed windows. Bright and shiny. When you get older and if cataracts do start to set in, you’ll find your vision resembles a bit of a cloudy day instead of that glistening clear window. It doesn’t happen overnight and often people aren’t even aware the process is underway.

When your eyes develop cataracts they will be in small cloudy areas. There aren’t any medicines, exercises, or drops that will make cataracts go away.

Surgery is the only way. Your optometrist can make recommendations on when you should consider surgery. Often there is no sense of urgency. But, you may also decide you would rather enjoy fabulous eyesight sooner than later.

Some patients that still had time to wait went ahead and had the surgery. “I can see! So much better!” One exclaimed. A very happy patient.

When and if you decide to have surgery, your natural cloudy lens will be replaced with an artificial lens. You will be under light anesthesia, awake during the procedure, and will only have to wait less than an hour to leave the facility with a friend or family member driving you home. Once you arrive at your house you can be by yourself. Most patients report little or no pain at all. It’s good to have a light meal such as soup already waiting for you.

Often one eye is operated on first and the second one several weeks later. The surgery takes roughly 30-45 minutes.

There are some do’s and don’t post surgeries as you would expect. No heavy lifting. Don’t sleep on your face. Don’t rub your eyes. Lots of eye drops of varying kinds. Setting a timer and writing down your eye drop schedule is a good idea. Your doctor will give you a detailed list. Be sure and ask any questions about activities that are important to you and when you might be able to resume those hobbies.

There are different kinds of lenses you can have put in. Only for long-distance or just reading, in which case you’ll have to have glasses for the other. Most often you’ll need glasses anyway. Some people opt for monovision. They may have already had contacts and are used to one eye seeing close and the other eye seeing distance. It’s a very important conversation to have before you go to have your new lenses measured by a specialist.

Cataract surgery has a high success rate and the recovery time is only about 2-6 weeks.

You can see right away and it gets clearer nearly everyday. Sunglasses are a good idea especially while you adjust. For one, you’re not looking out of a “cloudy window.” Now it’s bright and shiny!

Our goal is to help every patient see the world through bright and shiny eyes.


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