Cataracts are very common and most people will experience them at some point. If they are left untreated, cataracts can lead to severe vision loss which may cause blindness. However, with modern cataract surgery and implantation of an intraocular lens (IOL), even severe blindness can usually be corrected. This article explores how long it takes to go blind from cataracts and what steps you should take to avoid this.
Cataract Surgery is Safe and Painless
During cataract surgery, your eye will be numbed with numbing drops and a medication injection around your eye. You’ll be awake but drowsy during the procedure, but you won’t feel any pain. Your ophthalmologist will look through a microscope and make tiny incisions near the edge of your eye. Using these incisions, your surgeon will remove your cloudy natural lens and replace it with an artificial clear lens. Your doctor won’t stitch the incisions because they will seal themselves as you heal.
Once your surgeon has removed the cloudy lens, cataracts will not form in that eye again. It’s important to keep up with your regular visits to your eye doctor to monitor your vision and see if you have cataracts developing. If you do have cataracts, it’s best to get them treated right away before your vision is too bad to continue doing daily activities and driving safely.
Age-related cataracts typically take decades to cause vision loss, but certain types of cataracts can lead to vision loss much more quickly. If you have advanced cataracts, you should discuss whether cataract surgery is right for you with your doctor.