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What Are the Risks of Leaving Cataracts Untreated?

Posted on November 15, 2021 by - Cataracts

Not all people take the threat of cataracts as seriously as they should. Cataracts may be a common condition, but they are liable to rob patients of their sight if left alone. To encourage everyone to seek treatment for cataracts, the ophthalmology team of Schwartz Laser Eye Center warns of what can happen when cataracts are ignored.

Cataracts Inevitably Get Worse

Cataracts are strongly linked to age. A patient’s risk for developing cataracts starts around the age of 40 and continues to increase with each passing year. By the age of 75, nearly half of all people will have cataracts.

Cataracts form due to deteriorating proteins in the lens. The result is a haziness of the lens that only gets worse with age. The longer cataracts exist, the cloudier a patient’s vision becomes and the more it can interfere with everyday activities. Cataracts make it harder to read, drive, work, cook and see at night. Patients with cataracts may also experience sensitivity to bright light and need to update their vision prescriptions frequently.

Left untreated, cataracts will continue to degrade the quality of a patient’s vision. Eventually, cataracts that are neglected can cause legal blindness — and complete blindness after that. Patients can choose to ignore cataracts, but cataracts will not ignore them.

Therefore, Choose Surgery

The bottom line is that there is an effective way to treat cataracts: cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is the most widely performed surgery of any kind in the United States. It is popular because it is quick, effective, low-risk and generally pain-free.

The surgery involves replacing the hazy natural lens in the eye with an intraocular lens (IOL) that restores normal vision. Better yet, this synthetic lens is incapable of developing cataracts, so patients will not need to worry about having to deal with cataracts ever again.

While patients may not need cataract surgery right away, it is important to undergo regular eye examinations to keep on top of the rate at which cataracts are progressing. An eye doctor will be able to recommend the right time for a surgical intervention. Be aware that it is more difficult to improve vision after cataracts have reached advanced stages, so procrastinating for too long is not advisable.

Make an Appointment

At Schwartz Laser Eye Center, our team of ophthalmologists regularly treats cataract patients in the Scottsdale, Glendale and Mesa areas. If you are concerned that you may have cataracts or are ready for a permanent solution to your cloudy vision, please schedule an appointment by calling (480) 483-3937 or toll-free at (888) 553-3937.

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