310.275.5533call or text

FAQ

WHAT ARE THE RISKS IF LEFT UNTREATED?

If left untreated, your cataracts will continue to worsen, continually reducing your vision. Your ability to perform normal activities such as driving or walking will likely be affected. As the lens becomes thicker and harder, it can cause inflammation or increased pressure within the eye, leading to glaucoma. 

If cataracts are not treated, many people eventually become legally blind. Worldwide, cataracts are the cause of about 33 percent of the cases of blindness and 18 percent of the cases of moderate to severe vision impairment.

WHAT IF I HAVE CATARACTS AND ASTIGMATISM?

Sometimes, the surface of the cornea is curved more like a football than like a spherical basketball. This common irregularity, called “corneal astigmatism,” causes blurred vision. 

A person who has both a cataract and a corneal astigmatism will not regain high-quality distance vision after cataract surgery unless the astigmatism is also corrected. Conventional cataract surgery is able to eliminate nearsightedness or farsightedness, but it cannot correct other refractive errors, such as astigmatism. 

There are several astigmatism-correcting options available that can be used in conjunction with cataract surgery. They include: 

  • LRI 
  • LASIK 
  • TORIC IOL 
  • Glasses & Contact Lenses 

If you’re diagnosed with astigmatism, Dr. Benjamin and his team will often recommend Limbal Relaxing Incisions (LRIs). LRIs are grooved incisions placed on the far peripheral aspect of the cornea (the limbus), resulting in a cornea that is more perfectly shaped. This reduces astigmatism and improves vision. After an LRI procedure, reading glasses will still be required.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS AND SIDE EFFECTS OF SURGERY?

As with all surgical procedures, there are risks involved with cataract surgery, such as infection or bleeding. Dr. Benjamin may ask that you temporarily stop taking certain medications, such as blood thinners, which can increase your risk of excessive bleeding. After surgery, it is imperative that you keep your eye clean in order to allow for proper healing and to minimize your risk of infection.

Complications following cataract surgery are rare and can be minimized by carefully following post-operative instructions.

In the unlikely event that your surgery is ineffective utilizing traditional techniques, you are in good hands. Dr. Benjamin is one of only a few doctors in California expertly qualified to repair an ineffective surgery.

Cataract surgery presents an increased risk of retinal detachment, especially in those who have nearsightedness. Retinal detachment is a painless condition that may first be detected if you notice small lines or specks which appear in your field of vision or you notice flashes of light. While this is a rare complication, it is important to be aware of it.

DO YOU OFFER PAYMENT PLANS?

Yes, we offer flexible payment plans and transparent pricing, so you know exactly what to expect. Additionally, Medicare covers a portion of the cost for certain treatments and can be a significant help.

WILL I STILL NEED GLASSES AFTER CATARACT SURGERY?

You may. The standard cataract surgery includes intraocular lens implantation. If you choose this surgical procedure, it is likely that you will need reading or computer glasses following your cataract surgery. There are other options, including the placement of advanced lenses. 

Laser cataract surgery with premium implantable lenses allows many patients to spend their days glasses-free. Another option is monovision cataract surgery, in which the degree of correction is customized for each eye in order to achieve clear vision.

ARE THERE NON-SURGICAL TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR CATARACTS?

Early treatment of cataracts is designed to minimize symptoms such as blurred vision, light sensitivity, problems seeing at night, double vision, dull colors, etc. and slow the progression of cataracts. Protecting your eyes from harsh ultraviolet rays through the use of specialized lens coatings on your glasses may help to alleviate symptoms. Furthermore, you may find adjusting the position of lamps or reading lights to be helpful. While these lifestyle choices may be able to delay your need for surgical treatment, ultimately, surgery will be necessary to save your vision.

WHAT CAUSES CATARACTS?

Every normally developed human eye contains a crystalline lens. This lens is a clear organ made up of proteins and is responsible for focusing images on the retina, much like the lens inside a camera that brings images to focus on film. 

This lens can become cloudy, often simply as a result of the aging process. This clouding is irreversible and is called cataract formation. As the cataract forms, the light is scattered by the increasingly dense and cloudy lens, resulting in poor vision. 

It is estimated that nearly half of the US population will have a cataract in one or both eyes by the age of 65, and nearly every person age 75 and over will have a cataract in at least one eye. There are certain conditions or behaviors which increase your likelihood of developing a cataract. Risk factors include:

  • Certain medical conditions like diabetes
  • Alcohol or tobacco use 
  • Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light 
  • Poor nutrition 
  • Radiation and/or chemotherapy 
  • Chronic use of steroids

Cataract symptoms include:

  • seeing halos and glares
  • decrease of visual acuity
  • loss of color perception and contrast sensitivity

Frequently, symptoms are manifested as difficulty seeing road signs, seeing halos and glare from oncoming traffic, trouble reading, and sensitivity to sunlight.