Q:

When is cataract surgery necessary?

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Quick Answer

Cataract surgery may be necessary when the person's lifestyle or work is negatively impacted by cataracts, when the person experiences glares from intense light, for double vision and if the individual is unable to pass a vision test, says WebMD. The surgery may also be necessary for vision-threatening diseases.

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Phacoemulsification surgery, also known as small-incision surgery, is more common than a standard extracapsular cataract extraction, notes WebMD. During both surgeries the cataract and the front part of the lens capsule are removed, and the rear lens remains inside of the eye to prevent the gel found in the back of the eye from flowing freely.

Cataract surgery is successful for a majority of patients and can also be performed on infants with cataracts, says WebMD. Individuals who may not be pleased with the overall results of the surgery include those who have additional eye problems.

Some of the risks associated with cataract surgery include eye infection, detachment of the eye's rear nerve layer, bleeding, and swelling at the covering of the eye and in the middle of the nerve layer, notes WebMD. Some of the long-term risks include glaucoma, retinal detachment, drooping of the upper eyelid, and a dislocated intraocular lens. Before the surgery, it is best that a person talk to his doctor or surgeon about any medication he is currently taking.

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