Ask the doctors
Q. I have mild cataracts. Is it important for me to get surgery now to correct the problem?
A. Not necessarily. Cataracts, a condition marked by clouding of the eye’s lens, are not a threat to your health. If they’re not bothering you or affecting your vision during important tasks, such as driving, you don’t need to get surgery if you don’t want to. Typically, the vision changes associated with cataracts slowly worsen over time. These may include problems such as cloudy, blurred, or dim vision; sensitivity to the glare from lights; faded colors; or seeing halos around lights. Initially, cataracts might not affect your life too much. You can often successfully manage the vision problems they cause by getting new glasses or contact lenses.
However, if your condition worsens, you may eventually decide treatment is the right option. Surgery is the only way to cure cataracts. Ultimately, the decision whether to have cataract surgery comes down to how bothersome your symptoms are and whether they are reducing the quality of your life.
— Toni Golen, M.D., and Hope Ricciotti, M.D.
Editors in Chief, Harvard Women’s Health Watch
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