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I'm Nervous About Getting Cataract Surgery: Should I Be?

I'm Nervous About Getting Cataract Surgery: Should I Be?

It’s been estimated that as many as 24 million people in the US have cataracts. For most of those people, if the cataracts are caught early enough and there are no other serious eye-related complications, cataract surgery can restore sight and eye health.

At Ventura Eye Institute in Camarillo, California, our professional team of eye care specialists can diagnose cataracts and help you decide if cataract surgery could be the right solution for you. 

Risk factors for cataracts

Cataracts can make your vision slowly deteriorate, getting foggy or cloudy, worse at night or in bright light, or with spots that look milky. There are multiple reasons you could be at higher risk for cataracts than the average American. 

Your age

The top factor for having cataracts is age: while people as young as 40 can begin developing cataracts, most patients are in the over-60 age group. As you age, the lens inside your eye starts to thicken, and spots in your vision are the result. Over time, your vision could become obscured completely.

Your race/ethnicity

Another big risk factor for getting cataracts is your ethnicity or racial makeup. While only about 50% of Black Americans will have cataracts by age 80, nearly 70% of white Americans will.

Your genes

Here’s another big risk factor for cataracts: your genes. If you have a family member who had early cataract development, your risk for also getting cataracts before age forty goes up.

Your medical history

If you’ve ever had eye surgery, if you have a chronic health condition like diabetes, or if you have a history of steroid use, you may be at higher risk for cataracts.  

Getting cataract surgery

If you are worried about cataract surgery, you don’t have to be. Cataract surgery is one of the most common and most successful eye surgeries, with more than 3.7 million cases operated on every year in the United States alone.

Since cataracts affect the lens of your eye, cataract surgery usually simply removes the lens and replaces it with an artificial one to restore clear vision. This lens is typically referred to as an “intraocular lens,” or IOL.

The entire process is easier and faster than you’re probably imagining. You get to stay awake the whole time, eye drops are used to numb your eye(s), and the whole cataract lens replacement surgery only takes about 20-30 minutes per eye using microscopic tools.  

Want more answers about cataract surgery? Get them from Ventura Eye Institute. Schedule an appointment by calling 805-388-1211, or you can book online.  

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