Jul 16

Cataracts: Should Both Eyes Be Treated at Once?

Monterey Cataracts

Posted on July 16, 2014 — by Eric Del Piero

An older woman in her backyard smilesMonterey County Eye Associates is committed to providing patients with excellent eye care, allowing patients to see clearly and have great vision. One common issue related to eye health and vision care that we see often is catracts, which can be removed through safe and effective cataract surgery. A number of patients wonder about the surgical process and whether or not they should have their cataracts removed simultaneously. Let's address this issue right now.

About Cataracts

Cataracts are the clouding of the clear lens of the eyes. This can occur as a result of injury or the natural aging process, though the formation of cataracts can be accelerated by excessive exposure to UV rays, smoking, and steroid use.

Allowed to progress, cataracts will cause the clouding of the lens of the eye as well as blurry vision or poor vision.

Will one eye or both eyes be treated during cataract surgery?

This will actually vary from patient to patient as each surgery must carefully consider the patient's needs and the progress of the cataracts. Some patients may only have a cataract in one eye, or the patient may only need one cataract removed, or the patient may have cataracts but will not necessarily need cataract surgery.

What if I have cataracts in both eyes?

In cases where a patient has two serious cataracts, a patient will have one cataract removed during a surgical session, with a second surgery for the other cataract schedule roughly two months later. This generally makes for a better healing experience for patients even though there are two surgeries needed.

Why does the need for cataract surgery vary?

Cataracts do not form or develop uniformly in all patients, meaning that only one eye may be affected, or that one eye may become cloudier and less functional than the other one in a shorter amount of time. Sometimes a patient's lenses may become cloudy but will not pose a significant risk to overall vision.

Given all of these factors, the surgery really needs to be tailored to the needs of the patient at all times and a consultation will be necessary for determining how best to proceed with treatment. Surgery or non-surgical treatments may be used to remedy the situation, with surgery reserved for situations in which a person's cataracts begin to impact their overall quality of life.

What to Expect During Cataract Surgery

During cataract surgery, the clouded lens of the eye or lenses of the eyes are removed. An artificial lens is them placed in order to restore the overall vision of the patient. If an artificial lens cannot be placed, patients will be given corrective lenses to wear in order to restore their vision.

Non-Surgical Treatments for Cataracts

Non-surgical treatment for cataracts generally focus on maintaining current eye health and vision as well as the use of corrective lenses in order to enhance remaining vision. Periodic followup visits can be scheduled to meet the needs of patients and to monitor the progress of existing cataracts and eye health issues.

Tips for Cataract Prevention

In order to prevent cataract formation, we recommend the following:

  • Quit smoking (or just don't start)
  • Wear sunglasses with good UV protection when outdoors
  • Wear a hat with a brim to help keep the light our of your eyes
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
  • Wear eye protection during sports and industrial work

Learn More About Cataract Surgery and Advanced Eye Care

For more information about cataracts, cataract surgery, and cataract prevention, it's important that you contact our eye care specialists today. The team at Monterey County Eye Associates looks forward to your visit and helping you achieve excellent vision in the process.

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