National Eye Health Week - Top 5 Myths about Cataracts

As part of National Eye Health week, Consultant Opthalmologist Mr Pankaj Agarwal explains the top five myths about cataracts;

Five myths about cataracts:

Myth 1: A cataract should be operated only after it has matured (ripened):

This is in fact depends very much on the patient, and is often not the case. Surgery sould take place whenever the patient is symptomatic with glare, problems with reading, driving or watching television. In fact the operation can be trickier and the risks of complications are more if it is left too late.

Myth 2: Eye drops can cure a cataract:

Again, not true. There is no other treatment for cataract apart from surgery, which involves replacing it with artificial lens.

Myth 3: Cataract surgery is dangerous:

Cataract surgery is one of the safest operations in ophthalmology. There is more than 98% chance of success but just like any other operation there is very small risk of things going wrong.

Myth 4: Cataract surgery should not be done in cases of glaucoma:

Actually, it is quite the opposite.  Cataract surgery is nearly always useful in cases of Glaucoma. Particularly, in cases of angle closure glaucoma, this can be the best method of treatment.  In all other types of Glaucoma, cataract surgery is always useful.

Myth 5:  Cataracts can ‘grow back’:

Cataracts do not grow back. Occasionally the capsule or membrane on which the intraocular lens sits becomes cloudy and this can make vision slightly hazy. However this doesn’t need surgery again and can be cured by a quick and simple laser.

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