Is Cataract Surgery Safe After Age 65?

Is Cataract Surgery Safe After Age 65?

If you are over age 65, and your vision is impaired due to a cataract, you may be wondering if cataract surgery is safe for you. While it’s true that there are many surgeries where the risks increase for older patients, fortunately, cataract surgery is typically not one of them. Read on to learn more about cataract surgery and why it’s one of the most common procedures performed around the world today.

What is a cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye – the part that helps focus light. As we age, the chemical structure of the lens changes and this is what causes the lens to become cloudy. When the lens is not clear, images may appear blurry and colors may appear faded or dull. Another common cataract symptom is difficulty driving at night due to halos appearing around lights.

Cataracts tend to develop slowly, and they may be present for years before they begin to impact vision. Eventually, though, as they get larger, it may become difficult to perform everyday activities due to decreased visual acuity. While there are many non-age-related causes of cataracts, they are very common in people over age 60.

What is cataract surgery?

When a cataract develops enough to impair vision and impact everyday activities, cataract surgery is the only way to permanently restore vision. Cataract surgery involves removing the natural lens of the eye and replacing it with an artificial lens known as an intraocular lens, or IOL. Because cataracts typically develop quite slowly,  it may take many years for them to reach the point where surgery is needed. For many people, this doesn’t occur until after age 65.

How safe is cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery is both a common and generally safe procedure. Most people do well with cataract surgery. In fact, according to a study published in Ophthalmology, 99.5 % of the 221,594 cataract surgery patients included in the study had no serious complications following the procedure.

What about for older patients over age 65?

Cataract surgery is fortunately also generally safe for older patients. Because the eye is somewhat isolated anatomically, when there are health problems in other parts of the body, they have little effect on the eyes that are undergoing surgery. As an example, for patients who take blood thinning medications, it is typically not necessary to stop taking them prior to surgery. However, it is important to discuss all your current medications with your doctor prior to surgery and follow your doctors instructions. Additionally, an eye drop form of anesthesia is most often used for cataract surgery, which is usually an outpatient procedure. Because of this, minimal sedatives or other medications are needed during surgery. Cataract surgery is commonly performed on older adults – even into their 80s and early 90s.

The IC-8 lens advantage

If you’ve been diagnosed with a cataract and are considering cataract surgery, be sure to discuss replacement lens options with your doctor. The IC-8 lens offers many advantages over traditional (monofocal) and multifocal IOLs. It provides a natural range of vision from near to far, including mid-range vision needed to read a computer screen. With the IC-8 lens, one may achieve continuous and seamless vision at all distances. Learn more about the IC-8 lens here:

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