Patients are having cataract surgery sooner than in the past. Cataract surgery is a common procedure that involves the removal of a clouded natural lens in the eye and its replacement with an artificial one. Cataracts are a natural part of the aging process and develop slowly over time. As such, the standard practice in the past has been to wait until a patient’s vision has significantly deteriorated before recommending surgery. However, recent trends show that patients are choosing to have cataract surgery earlier than before. In this blog post, we will explore five reasons behind this shift in patient behavior.
- Improved Safety and Outcomes: Advances in surgical techniques, technology, and anesthesia have greatly improved the safety and outcomes of cataract surgery. The surgery is now minimally invasive and can be performed on an outpatient basis, with most patients returning to their normal activities within a few days. Additionally, the risk of complications, such as infection or retinal detachment, has decreased. Patients are now more aware of these advances and feel more confident about undergoing the surgery.
- Better Quality of Life: Cataracts can significantly impact a person’s quality of life, making it difficult to perform daily activities, such as driving, reading, or watching television. Patients who undergo cataract surgery often experience a significant improvement in their vision, allowing them to return to their normal activities and enjoy life to the fullest. Patients are now more aware of the benefits of the surgery and are choosing to undergo it earlier to avoid the negative impact on their quality of life.
- Improved Access to Healthcare: Access to healthcare has improved over the years, and patients are now able to receive timely medical care. Patients can easily schedule appointments with eye doctors and receive the necessary care, including cataract surgery, in a timely manner. As a result, patients are no longer forced to wait for their vision to deteriorate significantly before receiving treatment.
- Shift in Demographics: The demographics of the population are changing, with a larger proportion of elderly people than before. These individuals are more health-conscious and prioritize maintaining good health and quality of life. As such, they are more willing to undergo surgery earlier to maintain their vision and overall health.
- Increased Visual Demands: More and more people are utilizing screens on phones, tablets, and computers and even into advanced age. This increases the visual acuity requirements that patients are looking for to perform daily tasks. Difficulties in clarity of vision when using screens makes patients aware of decreased vision sooner, stimulating them to look for help.
In conclusion, patients are choosing to undergo cataract surgery earlier due to a combination of improved safety and outcomes, better quality of life, improved access to healthcare, changing demographics, and increased visual demands. It is essential to consult with an ophthalmologist to determine the best course of treatment and we are here to help.