Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"Do people with cataracts need refractive lens exchanges?"
My grandmother has cataracts in one eye. What should we do?
Your grandmother should consult with her eye doctor to determine whether or not cataract surgery is right for her. Cataract surgery is increasingly safe and well tolerated and results in excellent improvement in vision. Therefore, many patients should proceed to cataract surgery, unless there are major medical problems or other reservations on the part of your eye doctor. Cataract surgery is a relatively simple procedure. Basically, a small incision is made into the eye and the cloudy lens material is either removed all at once or it is first broken up with an ultrasound probe and then remove. Then, a replacement artificial lens is inserted into the space vacated by the old lens. This procedure is generally very well tolerated and usually does not even require general anesthesia or overnight stay in the hospital. Most people can resume their normal levels of activity right away after having cataract surgery performed. Although there are a few possible complications from cataract surgery, these are generally rare and the marked improvement in vision that most patients experience makes it worth the effort and risk. However, only your grandmother's eye doctor will in the end be able to determine whether the procedure is right for her.
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