Dr. Gong explains how cataracts are treated and discusses the risks associated with leaving cataracts untreated.
Okay, the treatment for cataract is if you cannot do the things that you enjoy, driving, watching TV, getting up, doing the activities you just enjoy then we would recommend that you have the cataracts taken out.
And there are many surgeons that can take it out and there’s many options for you that they can discuss with you with different types of lenses.
The neat thing is they can do it without stitches. You don’t have to stay in the hospital and you just do regular follow-ups with your doctor one day after, one week after and three weeks after, unless there is an issue with your surgery.
The long-term risk factors of a cataract not being treated is that you would just have to deal with having a cataract. Many people opt not to take the cataracts out. If it doesn’t bother them, they understand that their lenses are cloudy then they will just use more lighting when they read.
They are careful not to drive at night. They just understand that they need more lighting on their reading when they are at home.
That would be the long-term risk factor otherwise it’s really up to you, if you don’t want to do it you don’t have to do it but you just won’t see as well, unless you are going to take your driver’s license test then, you know, many people have to take the cataracts out because they will not pass without it being out because it does decrease your vision.
Patients have asked me if you could go blind from having cataracts. Because the cataract is a clouded lens, depending on how clouded it is you will lose some vision because you have dimmer vision.
So you are looking through a clouded lens. Will it cause permanent damage? No. Once you have it taken out you usually have more light coming in so you do see better.
About Dr. Aleta Gong, O.D., F.A.A.O., F.C.O.V.D.:
Dr. Aleta Gong, O.D., F.A.A.O., F.C.O.V.D., is a graduate of the University of California San Diego and the Southern California College of Optometry. She is a Board Certified Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. She has had extensive training at several hospitals and has been trained in specialty contacts, ocular disease, and vision therapy.
She is an active member of the American Optometric Association, and is past president of the Arizona Optometric Association. She also has been one of two state directors for the Special Olympics Opening Eyes Program since 2001.
Presently, she is the state liaison for the nurse’s vision screening program for Arizona. She was a state board proctor for the Arizona licensing board from 1993 to 2001. Dr. Gong has been chosen to be a C.O.P.E. reviewer for national lectures. Dr. Gong also started the InfantSEE® program for Arizona.