Question: My 65 year old mother has a cataract on her left eye. According to the eye doctor they won’t remove it because of her extreme dry eye, as well as the cataract isn't ripe enough for surgery. What exactly does that mean, and should we get a second opinion?
Answer: First, the notion that the cataract is not ripe enough to be removed with cataract surgery is just nonsense. If and when the cataract interferes with vision, mobility, safety and general daily living activities-then it is time to ask a cataract surgeon to evaluate her for cataract surgery and lens implants. Being “ripe” is a 20 year old concept and has no relevance if there is glare sensitivity or any vision comprise as noted above. Even with a dry eye, there are many treatments that are appropriate to effect a more stable healthy tear film including artificial tear eye drops, tiny punctal plugs to help retain tears, dietary supplements, prescription eye drops to help you make more tears and even other prescription drops and laser treatments to treat underlying causes of dry eye. Bottom line-get another doctor who is a top cataract surgeon in your area.
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