10 cataract surgery myths

Matthew Russell discusses 10 cataract surgery myths

Do you know that cataracts are the primary cause of blindness?

Cataracts are when the lens, the small transparent disc inside your eye, develops cloudy patches.

Cataracts reduce the amount of light hitting the eye and can deteriorate over time. Even a minor to medium cataract can significantly affect vision reduction as it is central to the eye lens.

If you have cataracts, don’t despair. Cataract removal is one of the most effective medical procedures in the world.

There are lots of myths around cataracts. Here are ten cataract surgery myths and why they’re not real.

1. Cataracts are growths

That is perhaps the most common fallacy. A cataract is an eye lens clouding rather than a growth on the eyeball. It occurs when the translucent proteins in the lens become less elastic and clot together.

The thick layer grows over time, and this is what produces issues with vision.

2. They are contagious

Cataracts do not spread from one to another eye. They can develop at approximately the same time in both eyes and grow independently from each other.

3. Only the elderly are affected

Age is the most significant contributor to cataracts. However, younger adults and even infants are not exempt from having cataracts.

4. Cataracts only give you blurry vision

In reality, blurred vision is just one potential outcome. Cataracts react with the way light deflects through the eye lens, so they can also cause:

  • Halos around light sources
  • Colour changes
  • Double vision
  • Increased glare in the dark

That is why you should not drive at night. If you think you may suffer from cataracts, take care to avoid driving when your vision is compromised.

5. Cataracts must be advanced before you can have surgery

In the old days, cataracts had to be quite advanced before surgeons could remove them. However, with today’s technology, you can now be operated on at an early stage. Sometimes, even before you are aware of them.

6. Cataract surgery is gruelling

Cataract surgery is one of the simplest surgeries and one of the safest procedures in the world. Surgery performed by a surgeon under local or topical anaesthetics. Most operations only take about fifteen to twenty minutes.

7. Cataract removal is painful

Cataract surgery creates little or no pain or discomfort. Fast-acting eye drops deaden the eye to prevent feeling anything during surgery.

For a few days after surgery, your eyes may feel achy. That achy feeling will pass quickly.

8. There is a long recovery period

Most people can get back to normality within 24 hours of surgery. Your vision can be blurry for a few days as recovery starts, but it should improve rapidly.

9. You will be short-sighted after cataract surgery

One of the advantages of cataract surgery is that we can correct the following eye conditions as part of the treatment:

  • Short-sightedness
  • Long-sightedness
  • Astigmatism

Doctors replace the cloudy lens with small intraocular lenses. You could even eliminate wearing glasses for 95% of all your activities.

10. Eye drops can dissolve cataracts

There is no clear evidence that any eye drops can cure cataracts to date. Surgery removal is the only accepted procedure for cataracts.

Keep an eye out for common misconceptions of cataract surgery

Do not take heed of any cataract surgery myths. Rather rely on facts.

Even though healthy habits cannot cure or eliminate cataracts, they will promote your lens’s health. Also, protect your eyes from the sun’s UV rays.

Smoking and drinking to excess dry your skin and eyes. This makes you more susceptible to the development of cataracts.

Make sure to have a dilated eye exam every two years. That will identify any potential eye problems and cataracts at an early stage.

Why not contact us for an initial consultation to improve your quality of life?

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About Brisbane’s Eye Specialist

A specialist ophthalmic micro surgeon, internationally trained retinal surgeon, medical retinal diseases specialist and cataract surgeon

Dr Matthew Russell, MBChB, FRANZCO

Brisbane Eye Surgeon

With a career that spans over 15 years, I have mastered the ability to achieve results that help patients regain their confidence and youthful energy.

When it comes to restoring the eye’s function, there is a world of choice available that most people miss. It is my responsibility as a specialist ophthalmic surgeon, to help you avoid the agonising anxiety and regret that comes with not knowing all your options.

I believe your lifestyle should dictate your vision, not the other way around. It’s my personal goal to align your vision with your lifestyle so that you can conquer life’s challenges and remain the version of yourself you most want to be.

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