5 Cataract Facts and Myths

Normal vision (left) becomes blurred as a cataract forms (right).

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FACTS:

  1. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide.
  2. Cataracts affect nearly 22 million Americans age 40 and older.
  3. By age 80, more than half of all Americans will have cataracts.
  4. Cataracts are not preventable.
  5. Cataracts are treatable.  There is a 98% success rate with the cataract procedure in the hands of a skilled cataract surgeon.

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MYTHS:

  • Eye drops can prevent or dissolve cataracts.
    • The Food and Drug Administration has not approved any drops that cure or delay cataracts, nor have there been any scientific studies showing eye drops to be effective in the treatment of cataracts.
  • Close-up tasks, like reading or sewing, make cataracts worse.
    • Near tasks do not make cataracts worse, but the cataracts may become more noticeable during close work.  Since the cataract is a clouding of the lens, an early sign of a cataract may be the need for more light during near tasks.
  • Cataracts are reversible.
    • The lens naturally clouds as it ages. This process is unavoidable.  However, measures which may slow the progression include protecting the eyes from the sun, and a diet high in anti-oxidants.
  •  Cataract surgery is dangerous, and recovery takes months.
    • Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most highly perfected surgical procedures, with a 98 per cent success rate in the hands of a skilled surgeon.
    • Post-operative restrictions are minimal.  Patients will need to avoid heavy lifting for up to three weeks.  Cataract patients usually notice vision improvement immediately following surgery, some will notice more gradual improvement over a period of a few months.
  • Cataracts “grow back.”
    • The cloudy cataractous lens is removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens implant, so the cataract cannot “grow back”. Patients can develop a haze behind the implant, often called a “secondary” cataract, but this can be treated with a simple, painless, 5 minute laser procedure in the office, with no downtime.

The Northwest Eye Center, P.C. has a long history of excellent Cataract Surgery results, and takes pride in providing the state of the art care in Cataract surgery.

Phone: (303) 467-0500
Fax: (303) 467-0502
4855 Ward Rd, Ste 500
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033