While undergoing any surgery can be scary, there is a common myth that cataract surgery is a dangerous and time-consuming procedure. This belief causes many people who are in need of such surgery to put it off, worsening their vision over time. Kentucky Eye Institute wants to assure those with these particular myths in mind that cataract surgery is one of the safest surgeries performed. Not only is it one of the safest, it has a *95% success rate! Here are a few more cataract surgery myths that need to be debunked, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology!

1. A Cataract is a cloudy covering that grows over the eye.

A cataract is simply the clouding of the natural clear lens inside of the eye. The natural lens is mostly made up of water and protein, and is arranged in a way that keeps the lens clear and allows light to pass through so that we can see clearly. However, as we age, some of this protein can clump together and begin to cloud our lens.

2. Cataracts are preventable/reversible.

The lens naturally clouds, as it gets older. There is no way to avoid developing cataracts. However, the rate at which the cataract progresses can be slowed by quitting smoking, eating a balanced diet and wearing sunglasses with 100% UVA and UVB protection. ·

3. Cataracts “grow back.”

Cataracts develop as the lenses’ cells die and accumulate; they are not a “growth” that sits on top of the eye. Occasionally patients do develop a different, secondary cataract, though. When the membrane that holds the new lens implant becomes cloudy, vision can be compromised. But this can easily be treated with laser surgery, a painless, 15-minute procedure usually done at a doctor’s office.

4. Recovering from cataract surgery takes months.

Because cataracts are now removed under a local anesthetic, patients are able to go home the same day.  Most people only experience a minor discomfort following surgery. In many cases, patients can see well enough to resume their normal activities the day after having cataract surgery, while their vision will continue to improve over the following weeks.

5. Cataracts only affect older people.

While most people who are affected by cataracts will not usually begin showing symptoms until at least age 40, cataracts can also occur among young adults or children. Risk factors that can lead to developing cataracts at a younger age include certain diseases, hereditary influences, eye injuries, eye disease, smoking and more.

Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss worldwide, and nearly affect 22 million Americans age 40 and over. By 80 years old, more than half of all Americans will have cataracts. When living with cataracts, it is important to know that the longer you wait to schedule a surgery, the worse your vision will become overtime.

For more information on Cataract Surgery and other eye questions, call the Kentucky Eye Institute to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor today. Our optometrists and ophthalmologists are located in Lexington, Corbin, Cynthiana, Jackson, Maysville, Middlesboro, Morehead, Mt. Sterling, Paintsville, and Versailles.

*American Academy of Ophthalmology