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What Happens If Cataracts Are Left Untreated?

glasses senior woman portraitA cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye, which leads to loss of vision. Cataracts are part of the aging process and are very common in older people.

If you have cataracts, they will get worse over time, and your vision will get worse. Important skills can be affected, such as driving, and loss of vision affects the overall quality of life in many ways, including reading, working, hobbies, and sports. If left untreated cataracts can cause total blindness.

The main treatment for cataracts is eye surgery. Sometimes changing your eyeglass prescription will help improve your vision, but often it will not. Eye doctors recommend having cataract surgery before your cataracts start seriously affecting your vision. If you wait too long, your cataracts can become “hyper-mature”, which makes them more difficult to remove, and can cause surgery complications. In general, the best outcomes for cataract surgery take place when surgery is performed soon after vision problems develop. It’s best not to wait too long to have the surgery performed.

The best way to decide how to treat your cataracts, and when, is to discuss your options with your eye doctor. Your eye doctor will be able to give you the information you need to make a decision about your treatment options, as well as give you information about the best eye surgeons in your area. Your eye doctor is familiar with your medical history and treatment, and is in the best position to give you information and advice about treating your cataracts.