When to operate on cataracts

A cataract is the loss of transparency of the crystalline lens, the eye’s natural lens behind the pupil. The clouding of the lens is a natural process that occurs over time and occurs in everyone at one time or another, usually after the age of 60.

Cataract symptoms

Cataracts are manifested by:

  • Changes in the lens prescription
  • Increasingly blurred vision
  • Glare
  • Color fading
  • If the cataract is very advanced, it can lead to blindness.

In spite of this, cataracts can improve near vision due to changes in prescription. There may also be cases in which patients with eyestrain “recover” near vision. This is usually an indication that a cataract has formed.

When to operate on cataracts

There are two cases in which cataract surgery is indicated:

  • When there is a beginning of visual impairment.
  • When there is a defect that we can correct by means of cataract surgery: myopia, astigmatism, hyperopia, presbyopia. In these cases, patients can forget about glasses by means of cataract surgery.

Current technology has made it possible to operate on cataracts as soon as they appear, without having to wait for them to mature. This is an advantage, since allowing cataracts to progress increases the risk of complications and delays in the recovery of vision.

What does cataract surgery consist of?

The intervention is based on the dilution of the cataract by ultrasound and it is replaced by an intraocular lens, which if it is multifocal will allow correcting other refractive defects such as myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and presbyopia.

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This procedure is fast and safe, it only takes a few minutes. In addition, it is painless; anesthesia is applied by means of a few drops of anesthetic eye drops. It does not require hospitalization and the results are excellent. As the patient recovers his vision immediately, he can resume his normal activity in a few hours.

These interventions have a high safety margin, since high-tech instruments are used in the study and intervention process.

Advantages of cataract surgery

Until recently, cataract surgery required the correction of near vision and residual astigmatism with glasses. Nowadays, it is possible to achieve maximum visual quality without glasses by using the latest generation of intraocular lenses, which means that glasses can be dispensed with after surgery.

After the operation, the patient can return to normal life but without taking weight or making great efforts the first days after the operation.

Who can benefit from cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery is normally associated with older people, but from the age of 50 onwards the crystalline lens begins to age and when the patient is over 65, more than half of the patients have some degree of cataract.

This surgery can also benefit those people who use glasses on a regular basis and want to do without them, improving their quality of vision and their quality of life.