June is National Cataract Awareness Month. Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed procedures in the United States, with more than 3 million surgeries performed last year alone. Even though it is common, a number of myths and misconceptions still exist about cataract surgery. We’ll address the 4 most common today.
Myth 1 – Cataracts Are a Film Over the Eye
Perhaps the most common misconception about cataracts is that this condition involves a film that grows over the surface of the eye. This assumption makes sense because a cataract does appear as a hazy film, as if you’re looking through a dirty glass. But the truth is that the cataract affects the actual lens within the eye.
Myth 2 – Cataracts Can be Reversed
Another of the more frequent misconceptions about cataracts is that they can be treated and reversed. As if you could take a supplement, or some eye drops, to reverse the cataract and clear it from your eye. While this would be a welcome convenience, the truth is that a cataract is treated by removing it.
In Myth 1, we talked about how the cataract isn’t a film over the eye, but it actually occurs within the lens of the eye. During cataract surgery, your eye doctor removes that faulty lens, and replaces it with an intraocular lens (IOL). This IOL takes the place of the old lens, restoring visual clarity once again.
Myth 3 – Cataract Surgery is a Long and Complicated Procedure
Maybe you hear us talk about replacing the lens within the eye, and that sounds like it might be a long, invasive, intense procedure.
Thanks to modern technology and surgical techniques, our surgeons are able to perform modern cataract surgery in a matter of minutes. The treatment is done on an outpatient basis, typically at an Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC). Patients can expect to be at the ASC for several hours on the day of their surgery, for pre-operative and post-operative activities. But the procedure itself often takes just a few minutes for the surgeon to perform.
Thanks to this modern technology, people who undergo cataract surgery recuperate in a short period of time. In addition, they typically experience improved vision quickly following the procedure.
Myth 4 – Corrective Eyewear is Always Required After Cataract Surgery
In the past, cataract patients needed to wear bifocals or readers following cataract surgery. This is because the IOLs were set to focus at a fixed distance, so you would need corrective lenses to see nearer or further than that distance.
In today’s world, advanced technology allows our surgeons to resolve the cataract and correct vision at the same time. Through the use of Multifocal Lenses, you can regain focusing ability at multiple distances. Patients who have multifocal cataract surgery report reducing and in some cases eliminating the need for reading glasses or bifocals for normal activities. Ask your eye doctor which multifocal lens may be ideal for your unique eyes, hobbies and lifestyle.
If your vision isn’t what it used to be, schedule a cataract evaluation with one of the experienced, knowledgeable eye doctors at Matossian Eye Associates. You can schedule an appointment with one of our eye doctors by calling (800) 708-8800, or by visiting our appointment request page.