Health & Wellness

June is Cataracts Awareness Month; The Dangers of Leaving Cataracts Untreated

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CRANFORD – With busy schedules during the summer, it is tempting to neglect important health issues until less hectic times. However, cataracts, which tends to progress, can lead to devastating health issues if left untreated. With nearly 25 million individuals who have cataracts nationwide, it is more important than ever for patients to be able to recognize and seek treatment for their eyes so they can avoid putting themselves in danger.

“We see patients who are legally blind, develop glaucoma, or become incredibly
dangerous to operate on because they ignored their treatment options for cataracts,”
says Dr. Joseph P. Calderone, Jr. of Better Vision New Jersey. “You can tell with those
patients that their quality of life is miserable. After surgery they’ll tell us that they wished
they had gotten it sooner.”

By allowing their cataracts to become hypermature and their vision to fail, patients daily
risk accidental injuries, become unable to adequately take care of themselves, and
eventually lose their independence. If those patients do seek surgical removal later,
they often face more complications and risk than patients who receive treatment as
soon as cataracts interfere with their lives.

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Research by Blue Mountains Eye Study indicates that choosing to surgically remove
cataracts allowed 60% of patients to increase their life expectancy post operation. By
improving vision, cataract surgery allows people to live safer, free from accidental
injuries, and enjoy a greater quality of life.

“We recommend close monitoring of cataracts. Even if they are mild when originally
diagnosed, cataracts can always worsen, so continue to have regular eye
appointments,” Dr. Calderone adds. “That way, if a cataract begins to cause problems a
patiently can treat it immediately.”

By being aware of a cataract’s progression, patients can assess their risk and choose
treatments like eyeglasses or surgery depending on the severity of their eyes. Cataract
removal surgery is typically safe and effective when undergone prior to hypermature
stages of cataracts.

“It is crucially important that patients seek treatment before their cataracts progress too
much,” says Dr. Calderone. “At that point, surgery becomes quite dangerous and
difficult to successfully complete.”
 

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