How Do I Know If I Need Cataract Surgery?

If you have the signs of cataracts, surgery can improve your vision to what it was before cataracts, but how do you know if you need surgery? Elmquist Eye Group can help.

Dr. E. Trevor Elmquist, founder of Elmquist Eye Group, is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and has been selected as one of America’s Top Doctors by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. He specializes in general ophthalmology and has provided exceptional eye care to the residents of Southwest Florida for more than 25 years.

How Do I Know If I Need Cataract Surgery?Dr. Elmquist’s managing partner, Kate Wagner, OD, and associate, Nina Burt, OD, are board certified optometrists. Dr. Sarah Eccles-Brown is a board certified ophthalmologist and refractive surgeon who specializes in laser-assisted cataract surgery, LASIK and eyelid surgery.

When to Have Your Cataract Removed

Cataracts do not require immediate removal but will progressively worsen over time. When left untreated, cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world, but a simple 15-minute outpatient surgery can restore your clear vision. Consider these facts:

  • Cataracts do not improve. A cataract occurs when the normally clear lens of your eye gets cloudy and prevents light from passing through normally to the retina. They will get worse over time, and your vision will deteriorate. The only solution is to remove the clouded lens and replace it with an artificial intraocular lens.
  • Cataracts can interfere with your daily routine. As your cataracts worsen, they will eventually prevent you from doing the activities you enjoy. If you need clear vision for work, driving or hobbies like reading, cooking or sewing, or experience too much glare to enjoy your favorite outdoor activities, such as golfing, skiing or surfing, it could be time to have the cataract removed.
  • Cataracts make night driving unsafe. Having a cataract can make driving at night stressful and put you and other drivers at risk. Cataracts reduce your ability to see in low contrast which is critical for seeing curbs, lane markers and objects in the road. They can also distort the light that comes into your eyes, causing you to see halos around street lights, lighted signs, and headlights from oncoming traffic.

Discuss your situation with Dr. Eccles-Brown who will help you decide on the best course of action. If your symptoms are mild and the cataract has not progressed, we may be able to make a change to your eyeglass prescription to help you function comfortably until the cataract really starts to bother you.

Elmquist Eye Group is pleased to offer refractive cataract surgery, which is performed with the FDA-approved LenSx® femtosecond laser. The laser automates three steps of the surgery that previously had to be done manually and improves the overall precision, safety and accuracy of the surgery.

Learn more about what to do if you think you may need cataract surgery and what may happen if your cataract is left untreated. Contact Elmquist Eye Group today at (239) 936-2020 to speak with our specialists.