10 Things You Need to Know About Cataract Surgery

It’s more common, simpler and cheaper than ever. Is it right for you?
November 29, 2016  By John Welsh
The advances in cataract surgery in recent decades are an unqualified medical success story, with boomers reaping the benefits and influencing its direction. Whether you are developing cataracts or fear you may in the future, here are 10 things to know about this growing trend that could be useful if you decide to have the surgery:

  1. Cataracts are common. Live long enough and chances are you will develop cataracts, the age-related clouding of the eye and the No. 1 cause of blindness worldwide. By the time they reach the age of 80, more than half of Americans will either have a cataract or have undergone cataract surgery, which involves the replacement of the lens of your eye.

In the U.S., more than 3.5 million cataract surgeries are performed every year. It is one of the safest and most effective types of surgeries.

  1. Cataracts can cause a variety of symptoms and have a number of risk factors. As proteins clump together in the lens of the eye, you may experience cloudy vision, faded colors, poor night vision or increased glare or halos around lights. Age is the biggest risk factor associated with cataracts. Other contributing factors: smoking, alcohol use, sunlight exposure and diabetes.

Today, a typical patient may spend less than two hours at the outpatient surgical center for a 15-minute surgery.

  1. Surgeries are increasing and patient age is dropping. The number of cataract surgeries is rising every year, and the median age of the surgery patient is falling. A Mayo Clinic study showed that between 1980 and 2010, the cataract surgery rate had increased five times and there is no evidence this is slowing. The median age of a patient undergoing cataract surgery is now 65, according to another recent study of U.S. patients. In 2004, the average age was around 73 to 75….                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Read more: http://www.nextavenue.org/know-cataract-surgery/                                                                                                                                                                         Source: Next Avenue
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