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Cataracts

Common Misconceptions about Cataracts

Cataract Surgery / September 20, 2021

Fact: Cataract Removal in Kansas City Improves Vision Almost Immediately

A common cause of impaired vision is cataracts, which are a natural part of the aging process. At Durrie Vision in Overland Park, Kansas, we see plenty of patients whose cataracts have caused vision impairment and help them correct the problem with a visit to our office.

Unfortunately, not everyone is intimately familiar with cataracts, how they develop, and what can be done to restore the vision loss they cause. Let’s explore some common myths you may have heard about cataracts, so you’re prepared to take action should you develop them.

Myth: Cataracts can be prevented with the right eye care.

Cataracts occur as people age. Genetic predisposition, injury, or exposure to UV light can also cause cataract development. While you may be able to control some of these causes, currently, no preventative measures guarantee that you won’t develop cataracts.

Cataracts are a normal part of the natural aging process of the eye. In fact, by age 65, more than 90 percent of people in the U.S. develop cataracts.

Myth: Cataract eye surgery has a long recovery time.

Refractive cataract removal surgery is done one eye at a time, typically at least a week apart, though there may be occasions when both eyes are done on the same day. Most patients return to their normal daily activities, with only a few restrictions, the day after their surgery, including returning to work.

Patients use an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drop for a few weeks after surgery, and should plan to attend follow-up exams the day after, the week after, the month after, three months after, and a year after. The total active recovery time is actually quite short.

Myth: Cataracts only occur in older adults’ eyes.

Any age group can develop cataracts, although they are most common in older adults. Things like long-term steroid use, eye injuries, smoking, diabetes, and ultraviolet light exposure may lead to early cataract development.

Myth: Cataracts are a film over the eye.

Because cataracts make the eye look foggy, many people assume that a cataract is like a film that develops across it. In reality, a cataract is simply a clouding and yellowing of the lens in the eye.

Your eye’s lens is made of water and proteins. As these proteins break down, they remain in your eye, which makes the lens cloudy – and that’s how cataracts form.

Myth: Cataracts can be treated with medication.

If only it were that easy! As of now, there aren’t any medications that can cure, prevent, or treat cataracts.

The only way to improve impaired vision caused by cataracts is to remove the clouded lens and replace it with an artificial one – much like refractive lens exchange, also offered at Durrie Vision in Overland Park, Kansas.

Myth: Cataracts cause permanent blindness.

If a person with cataracts chooses not to remove the clouded eye lens and replace it, then yes, cataracts can lead to permanent vision loss.

However, with safe, modern cataract surgery options, restoring vision is easy and effective. According to Healio, about 4 million cataract surgeries are performed every year in the United States alone, and almost 28 million around the world in the same time frame.

Myth: You can always see cataracts upon examination with the naked eye.

During their earliest stages of development, eyes with cataracts will look normal and healthy to the untrained, unaided eye.

Over time, as cataracts develop and vision issues begin, the clouding becomes more visible.

Myth: Cataract surgery is different from other types of laser vision correction.

Cataract surgery involves removing the clouded intraocular lens from the eye and replacing it with a new, artificial one.

While this can be different from certain laser eye surgeries that reshape the cornea, like LASIK, it is quite similar to refractive lens exchange, which also removes the natural, dysfunctional lens, and replaces it with an artificial intraocular lens designed to restore clarity and provide focusing power at a range of distances.

Myth: The only symptom of cataracts is clouded vision.

A common symptom that people with cataracts complain about is clouded, blurred, or a sensation of “dim” vision, with colors that appear faded. However, there are other symptoms that cataract sufferers may experience.

For starters, they may notice their night vision becoming more difficult, or have trouble reading in dim light. Double vision in a single eye, halos around lights, and frequent changes in eyeglasses prescriptions are also signs that they may be developing cataracts. Know the warning signs so you can make an appointment with your ophthalmologist right away.

Myth: If you have cataracts in one eye, you’ll have cataracts in the other.

In terms of developing cataracts, your eyes are independent from one another. If you develop cataracts in one eye, that doesn’t mean you’ll definitely develop them in your other eye, and vice versa.

Your eyes can age at different rates, or you may have more severe cataracts in one eye than in the other.

Request a consultation for cataract surgery near you.

If you find yourself relating to the symptoms of cataracts and are looking for a way to improve your vision quickly and painlessly, Durrie Vision can help you.

Discover whether you’re a candidate for refractive cataract removal by requesting a consultation with one of our eye surgeons. At your appointment, our doctor will carefully examine your eyes and vision, talk to you about your eye health history, and make a plan for cataract surgery.

Call us at 913-491-3330 to make an appointment at our practice, located at 8300 College Boulevard, Suite 201, in Overland Park, Kansas. We look forward to seeing you!