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What Happens If Cataracts Are Left Untreated?

Written by Shannon Wong on February 22, 2019

Untreated Cataracts at Austin Eye If you have been diagnosed with cataracts, you may be considering having them surgically removed. Cataract surgery is a very common and quick procedure that removes the eye’s natural lens that has become clouded with a cataract and replaces it with a clear artificial lens that restores vision.

In its early stages, a cataract does not need to be immediately removed. But as symptoms worsen, all cataracts must be treated with surgery. Here, Austin Eye explains what happens if cataracts are left untreated.

Quality of Life and Vision Deteriorate With Cataracts

Early symptoms of cataracts are typically minimal. In fact, many individuals with cataracts are unaware that they have the disease because they experience very little visual impairment. However, as cataracts progress, symptoms like hazy vision, glare, double vision and poor night vision worsen. The natural lens can become so clouded over time that an individual can become legally blind. Everyday activities like reading, cooking and watching television may become nearly impossible, even with prescription eyeglasses.

Living with advanced cataracts is not only difficult, but dangerous as well. Cataracts increase the risk of automobile accidents, fractures and falls.

Surgery May Become More Difficult

Delaying cataract surgery can also increase the risk of a complication. Untreated cataracts can become “hyper-mature,” or so dense that they become more difficult to remove during surgery. Generally, an ophthalmologist will recommend surgery not when a cataract has started to form but when it has become bothersome to the point that it has started to interfere with the patient’s daily life.

The Good News

At Austin Eye, we understand that the idea of having surgery can be very intimidating. Fortunately, cataract surgery is a very safe operation with a high success rate. Modern techniques and advanced technology have made it possible for experienced surgeons like those at Austin Eye to remove cataracts in the least invasive way possible. Side effects and complications with cataract surgery are rare, and recovery is short. Most patients notice an improvement in vision within a few days after surgery.

To contact our cataract surgeons, please call our North office at (512) 250-2020 or our Central office at (512) 454-2020.