Five Common Misconceptions About Cataracts

Cataract surgery is the most frequently performed surgery in the United States, yet there are still many misconceptions surrounding cataracts and the procedure utilized to correct this eye condition. Below, we have responded to some of the most common myths about cataracts.

“Cataracts only affect seniors.”

Although cataracts are often an age-related condition, it is possible for individuals to develop cataracts at a younger age. Some patients may even have cataracts by the time they are in their 40s or 50s, but it may not become noticeable until later in life. Additionally, eye injuries and other eye conditions can sometimes cause cataracts to form as a result of trauma to the eye.

“Cataracts can recur after surgery.”

Patients who have had cataract surgery cannot get cataracts again. During cataract surgery, the eye’s natural lens is removed and replaced with an intraocular lens (IOL), which cannot develop cataracts. However, in a very small percentage of patients, it is possible for the membrane surrounding the IOL, known as the lens capsule, to become cloudy. This condition is called capsular opacification, and can be treated fairly easily with a specialized laser.

“Eye drops can dissolve cataracts.”

Unfortunately, there is no approved treatment to dissolve cataracts. It is difficult to develop a substance that will only dissolve the cataract without affecting the rest of the eye negatively. The good news is cataract surgery is very low risk.

“Cataracts are unavoidable.”

Although it is true that almost everyone will experience cataracts in their lifetime, there are ways to slow the progression of age-related cataracts. This can include eating a nutritious diet, wearing sunglasses with UV protection, and maintaining an annual visit to your eye doctor for an exam. 

[Learn more about how to prevent cataracts]

“Cataract surgery is painful.”

Cataract surgery is performed with a topical anesthetic, as well as relaxing IV medication, which helps ensure patients experience little to no discomfort during surgery. Some patients report feeling pressure or an itchy sensation, but the procedure should not be painful. Additionally, with the advanced techniques and highly trained cataract surgeons at New Eyes, patient comfort can be maximized.

To learn more about cataract surgery, please review the information on our website, or contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our knowledgeable eye doctors.