Who Decides When To Remove a Cataract?
You do. You can postpone surgery until the cataract interferes with your vision so much as to make a difference in your life or livelihood. You will be advised that you are a candidate for the surgery and how much improvement in vision you can expect from a cataract removal that is free of complications. You will then have to decide if the cataract is causing you enough trouble to warrant surgery. Since everyone’s visual needs differ, this point will differ from one person to another. It is not necessary to wait until a cataract is “ripe” (totally opaque) before having it removed. There are certain rare circumstances that require cataract removal regardless of vision: if the lens begins to break down (become “overripe”), if the lens releases chemicals (breakdown products) that might damage the eye and contribute to a type of glaucoma, or if the cataract is so dense that it prevents observation or treatment of another eye problem.