When is the Right Time to Remove Cataracts?

Cataract surgery can be performed at any stage of cataract development, and there is no need to wait until the cataract is “ripe” before removing it. Most people choose to have their cataracts removed when the change in vision starts to cause difficulties in their daily life. Depending on the progression of the cataract, surgery may be needed immediately or at some point in the future. If your vision has started to affect your ability to enjoy life as it did before, it's time to schedule a cataract evaluation.

At this stage, your doctor will evaluate the results of your exam, along with your concerns about the impact your vision has on your life. Together, they'll help you determine the right time for

cataract surgery

to make sure you don't spend more time than necessary being limited by poor vision. Cataracts develop slowly over the years, and initial symptoms of myopia or blurred vision can often be corrected with prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses to improve vision. However, if these measures are not enough to restore your vision, it may be time to consider cataract surgery.

Cataract surgery involves removing opaque natural lenses and replacing them with transparent synthetic lenses to improve eyesight. About 90% of the time, people have better vision after surgery than before they had cataracts. While cataracts can be removed at any stage of development, Medicare and private insurance companies will only cover the procedure when the cataracts have begun to affect the patient's life. One of the most common complaints of people who suffer from an immature cataract is difficulty seeing at night, but removing a cataract at an early stage can help eliminate this problem, making driving easier, safer and more comfortable.

If you've been diagnosed with a cataract in a moderate stage, there are some options your eye doctor might recommend to help you cope with symptoms before cataract surgery, such as prescribing stronger corrective lenses or using brighter lights for reading. When considering

cataract surgery

, one thing to keep in mind is the financial obligation involved. Some insurance companies (such as Medicare) consider cataract surgery to be “medically necessary” only when certain conditions are met. It's important to discuss these conditions with your doctor and insurance provider before scheduling your procedure.

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