Most people have heard of cataracts, or know someone who has undergone cataract surgery. But despite it being a well-known eye condition, there’s still a lot of confusion around cataracts.
Below, we’ll clear up some common misconceptions and set the record straight.
Myth #1: Cataracts are Growths Within the Eye
FACT: Cataracts aren’t growths—rather, they’re changes in the eye’s natural lens. Cataracts occur when the protein cells in the lens start to deteriorate and clump together, resulting in cloudiness. A person with cataracts will typically have cloudy vision accompanied with a yellow or brown tint.
Myth #2: Only Older People Get Cataracts
FACT: People of all ages—even newborns—can have cataracts. While it's accurate to say because cataracts are a natural process of aging, and affects the elderly more often than the young, certain medications and eye trauma can also lead to cataracts.
Myth#3: Lifestyle Changes Can Treat or Reverse Cataracts
FACT: Once you have a cataract, the only way to cure it is with surgery in order to remove the cataract and implant a new clear lens. Healthy lifestyle choices like eating well, getting regular exercise, and sleeping enough can all impact eye health and overall health, but they cannot reverse cataracts.
Myth #4: You Can’t Do Anything to Prevent Cataracts
FACT: While there is no surefire way of preventing cataracts, wearing 100% UV blocking sunglasses outdoors and incorporating eye-healthy foods into your diet, like leafy greens and colorful vegetables, may delay their onset.
Myth#5: If You Have Cataracts, You Definitely Need Cataract Surgery
FACT: You only need to have your cataracts surgically removed if they interfere with your vision and impact your lifestyle. If you’re able to safely perform activities, such as driving at night, you don’t necessarily need surgery right away. However, be sure that your eye doctor monitors you for cataract-related vision loss.
At Madison Eyes, we help patients navigate a wide range of eye health matters, and can help you decide whether to undergo cataract surgery or other treatments. To schedule your consultation, call Madison Eyes today.
Madison Eyes serves patients from Madison, Chatham, Morristown, Summit, and throughout New Jersey.
Q: Can cataracts return after surgery?
- A: No. During surgery, the natural lens is removed and replaced with an artificial one that will remain clear. If the membrane that holds the artificial lens starts to deteriorate, your vision may turn cloudy again — but this is easily treatable with a quick laser procedure to restore sharp vision.
Q: What other symptoms are associated with cataracts, aside from cloudy vision?
- A: Cataracts are usually a painless condition, but you may experience the following symptoms associated with your cataracts: double vision, seeing halos around lights, perceiving colors as faded or yellowed, and changes in your lens prescription.