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How do you know if you need cataract surgery?

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Quick Answer

An individual normally becomes a candidate for cataract surgery when cataracts become problematic during daily life, states Mayo Clinic. The individual makes the decision regarding surgery in consultation with his eye doctor. Cataracts do not harm the eye, so there is no medical urgency to undergo surgery.

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Cataracts impair vision, explains WebMD. Vision may be cloudy, blurred, foggy or filmy. Color perception may change, and the individual may experience double vision. Problems dealing with glare may arise during daylight, and the individual may find it difficult to drive at night due to glare from headlights. If a new eyeglasses prescription does not resolve the problems and these issues interfere with an individual's activities, such as driving and reading, he may be ready for cataract surgery.

A person who decides to put off cataract surgery is not putting his vision at risk, says Mayo Clinic. Delaying the procedure does not indicate a poorer outcome if the surgery is carried out at a later time. The eye doctor is likely to suggest that the individual with cataracts return periodically for an assessment.

Cataract surgery, normally conducted on an outpatient basis, involves surgical removal of the clouded lens from the eye, explains Mayo Clinic. It is usually replaced with a synthetic lens. Although the procedure is safe, there is a risk of bleeding and infection. More than 90 percent of those who undergo the procedure experience improved vision, notes WebMD.

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