Why Are Cataracts Considered Dangerous If They’re Non-Life-Threatening?

Posted by: Missouri Eye Institute in Blog on April 19, 2018

cataract and refractive surgeryCataract and refractive surgery are necessary if you have cataracts that are interfering with your everyday life and activities. Cataracts are a clouding of the eye that develops slowly over a series of years and can cause severe visual impairment.

However, many Americans who suffer from cataracts may not see the dangers behind this condition because cataracts aren’t life-threatening compared to stages of glaucoma. Yet cataracts can have their own dangers.

Can cataracts really cause blindness?

Cataracts develop due to age or injury, which can cause changes in the tissue of the eye lens. Left untreated, cataracts can cause blindness and require vision correction. In fact, cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the United States.

However, blindness caused by cataracts can be corrected with cataract and refractive surgery. An eye surgeon simply needs to remove the cataract from the eye once it’s become large enough to impair a person’s vision.

Why are cataracts dangerous if they’re not life-threatening?

Cataracts aren’t dangerous to your health like certain types of glaucoma. However, they can be hazardous to you and those around you when you continue to live as if you aren’t visually impaired.

Those who are legally or totally blind are unable to drive and have learned to live with their vision loss. However, those who have cataracts gradually lose their eyesight and therefore may attempt to perform everyday activities such as driving when they’re unable to see as well as they used to.

That being said, it’s essential to visit your eye doctor once every two years at the very least and to talk to your eye surgeon about your cataracts. Although your surgeon may wait for you cataracts to grow prior to their removal, it’s recommended that they’re removed before they can severely impact your vision.

Cataracts aren’t contagious and can’t spread from one eye to the other despite being able to occur in both. However, if left untreated they can cause significant, if not total, blindness.

That being said, talk to your eye doctor or cataract surgeon about your risk for cataracts and how you can prevent total vision loss in the future. To learn more about cataracts and corrective eye surgery, contact the Missouri Eye Institute today.


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