How High Is the Risk of Cataract Surgery?


Quick Answer

The risks of cataract surgery are very low. Cataract surgery is one of the safest types of surgery performed in the United States, according to National Eye Institute. Approximately 90 percent of people who have this surgery have improved vision after the procedure.

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Full Answer

One of the risks after cataract surgery is infection, according to NEI. The surgeon prescribes eye drops that help reduce this risk. Patients also can reduce the infection risk by washing their hands before touching the eye. A serious eye infection after surgery has the potential to decrease the patient's vision.

Cataract surgery increases the risk of renal detachment, especially in patients with other eye conditions. Signs of renal detachment include flashes of light or specks that float across the field of vision. A renal detachment does not cause pain, but without immediate medical intervention, it can cause permanent loss of vision, according to NEI.

Cataract surgery is not always required, even if an eye care provider discovers a cataract on the eye, according to NEI. Often, changing the prescription for eyeglasses, improving lighting or using a magnifying glass allows the individual to correct the problem. Some patients with cataracts never need surgery. Delaying the surgery does not make it more difficult or cause more damage to the eye.

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