Monday, February 20, 2012

Types of Cataracts & Surgery

Question: Is the success of a cataract operation more likely in the early stages of a cataract development or would it be more advisable to wait for the cataract to grow fully. Are there different types of cataracts?

Answer: Cataract Surgery is technically complex and requires a fair amount of surgical skill of the Cataract Surgeon. As the development of a Cataract progresses it is often the case that the cloudy crystalline lens material actually hardens. It can become more difficult to remove "hard" dense Cataracts as compared to "soft" Cataracts. The "hard" dense Cataract may require more manipulation and take longer to fully extract than an early soft Cataract. For that reason most Cataract Surgeons would prefer to perform the Cataract operation earlier rather than later as a quicker procedure with less need for aggressive maneuvering can lead to lower risk.

There are many different types of Cataracts with each being described by their severity, tendency to progress and location. Some types develop slowly due to their location and may only cause a slight disturbance of vision. Others, may progress more rapidly and are quick to decrease vision. The decision on when to have Cataract Surgery is really based on each individual patient's judgement as to how much their vision has been compromised and prevents them from living their lives in a safe and comfortable manner. Generally when the patient feels that either safety or mobility are at risk then it is time to consider having the Cataract removed. There is no need to wait for the Cataract to "grow fully" as this reflects the past use of older methods of Cataract Surgery.

Important Note: The information presented on the About Cataract Surgery Blog or provided in response to a request for information in the Ask Cataract Surgeons section on is not intended to diagnose or treat eye problems, eye conditions or eye diseases including appropriateness of treatment, risks, complications or side effects as related to Cataracts, Cataract Surgery of Lens Implants. In particular a response to an inquiry made on the Ask Cataract Surgeons section of is not meant to take the place of the professional medical care provided by your eye doctor, ophthalmologist and Cataract Surgeon surgeon. Contacting us via e-mail or any other means is not a substitute for medical care.

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