Cataracts are fully treatable with surgery. The medical necessity for an early diagnosis is not as crucial as it is for Glaucoma and Macular Degeneration. Everyone past the age of 50 has cataracts to some extent. However, they can also develop in much younger people. Especially those who have an excessive amount of ultraviolet exposure (UV) from the sun and for those that smoke cigarettes.
Certain medications can also cause cataracts to advance faster. These medications would include steroids such as prednisone and cortisone and certain medications involved in chemotherapy treatments. However it’s not advised for someone to discontinue their prednisone or chemotherapy treatment to avoid cataracts as they would obviously be risking their life in doing so.
If a cataract gets very advanced or hyper-mature, they can break apart within the eye and cause a huge inflammatory and vision threatening situation. Dr. Steve has not seen that happen as patients generally have them treated before they get excessively bad. Also, cataracts are much easier to remove if they are not as advanced. More mature cataracts are much more dense and require a higher energy phacoemulcifacation to break them out and suck them out of the eye. Phacoemulcifacation is the surgical procedure in which the eye’s internal lens is emulsified with an ultrasonic handpiece and aspirated from the eye. Aspirated fluids are replaced with irrigation of balanced salt solution to maintain the anterior chamber. If you would like to see a full video on Cataract surgery please click here.