Answer: Most people will develop a mature cataract after the age of 60 due to life’s natural process of aging. The first signs of cataract development may include difficulty seeing street signs especially while driving, a glare or halo effect while driving during the night time, and often times, noticing that your prescription glasses aren’t helping anymore. Usually whenever your ophthalmologist feels that the cataract has matured to the point of interfering with your vision is the point when the cataract should be removed.
Typically, most cataract procedures are performed after the age of 60 due to the aging process, however some patients may develop cataracts earlier around age 50. It is not uncommon to see cataracts in very young patients in their teens and 20’s for various reasons. For example, if the eye is hit or poked in some sort of incident, it can cause what is called a trauma-induced cataract. Also, diabetic patients can often develop cataracts and some patients can even be born with cataracts, which is called congenial cataracts.
The best way to know if you need cataract surgery is by having a dilated eye exam performed by your eye doctor. They can perform a series of tests to determine if your cataract has matured to the point that it needs to be removed. In the past, eye surgeons would wait until the cataract was fully ‘ripe’ before it would be removed. Today on the other hand, most surgeons will remove the cataract once it affects the patient’s vision. Again, I tell most of my patients that if the cataract is compromising your vision to the point that it interferes with daily life, then it’s time for it to be removed.
Visit www.ocli.net or all 1-866-SEE-OCLI/1-866-733-6254 to set up a dilated eye exam with a OCLI eye doctor today in any of our 14 locations across Long Island.