Cataract Surgery: How Do I Know If I Need It?

Doctor checking eyes for signs of cataracts.

We routinely perform advanced cataract surgery at our 5 NYC ophthalmology locations in Queens, the Bronx, Manhattan and Brooklyn to correct the cloudy, blurry, or double vision caused by this common condition. Cataracts affect more than half of all Americans by the time they are 80, with more than 2 million corrective surgeries performed every year.

While cataracts are often a result of the aging process, they have various causes and can be found in people of all ages. Each patient’s case is unique, and at New York Ophthalmology we take great care to provide the best solution for each person’s specific needs.

In this blog post, we’ll explain how we diagnose and treat cataracts to help you understand what to expect when you visit our offices for cataract concerns.

Types of Cataracts

  • Subcapsular cataract: This type occurs at the rear of the lens and is most often seen in people with diabetes or people who take high doses of steroid medications.
  • Nuclear cataract: This type develops deep within the nucleus of the lens and is the most common age-related cataract.
  • Cortical cataract: These cataracts develop on the cortex, the outside edge of the lens, and are characterized by white cloudy areas on the eyes.

Cataract Symptoms

If you have cataracts, you may experience:

  • Blurry, cloudy, or double vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Problems seeing at night
  • Bright colors appearing dull

Diagnosing Cataracts

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you may want to schedule an eye exam. During this initial visit, your doctor will ask about your general medical history as well as your eye history and current symptoms. He or she will conduct an exam to test your vision, peripheral vision, eye movement, response to glare, and your eye’s internal pressure; and will dilate your pupils to assess the optic nerve and macula.

After these tests, your doctor will determine the severity of your cataracts and whether surgery would help. He or she will discuss a potential treatment plan and explain each of the lens replacement options available to you.

Treating Cataracts

The only effective treatment for cataracts is surgery to remove the cloudy lens from the eye. Using either a traditional small blade or a laser to make an incision in the cornea, your ophthalmologist will break up the cloudy lens and suction it out in a process called phacoemulsification. Both options take about 10 minutes and have the same recovery time. Some people see clearly immediately after surgery, while others take 1 to 2 weeks to achieve clear vision. Complete recovery takes about 3 months.

The best treatment option for you will depend on your medical history and specific vision concerns, which your doctor will discuss with you during your appointment. At New York Ophthalmology, we work closely with patients to make sure we deliver the most effective treatment for each person’s unique case.

If you think you may need cataract surgery or just want to schedule a regular eye exam, contact us using the online form or call us at (888) 212-EYES to schedule an appointment at our Jamaica, Jackson Heights, Bronx, Washington Heights or Brooklyn locations.

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