What Will Happen if Cataracts are Left Untreated?

Cataracts form when protein builds up over the lens of a normally clear eye causing cloudiness or blurry vision. Light passes through the lens located behind the iris (colored part of the eye) sending a signal to your brain of the image you are trying to see. When cataracts cover the lens, the image is distorted because the eye cannot focus light as it should. 

Initial cataract symptoms are generally mild and usually include light sensitivity in addition to blurred vision. The first course of action is a new prescription for glasses or contacts. If cataract symptoms, such as inability to drive, read, or carry out normal activities, persist beyond a fix of a new prescription, surgery will be recommended. During cataract surgery, the surgeon removes the clouded lens and implants a clear artificial lens, perfectly shaped to your eye restoring clear vision.  

Leaving cataracts untreated will cause a decrease in overall quality of life; if you don’t fix cataracts, they will progressively lead to vision loss and eventually blindness. Fortunately, cataract surgery is routine and common. The procedure takes less than 30 minutes and recovery time, pain and discomfort are minimal. Most eye doctors will recommend surgery even before vision is significantly impaired as cataracts have been known to progress in four stages: early cataract, immature cataract, mature cataract and hyper-mature cataract. Cataract progression varies with each individual but what will happen if cataracts are left untreated is that they will make it to the hyper-mature stage. When this happens, it becomes increasingly difficult to remove the cataract as it has become hardened. If untreated, hyper-mature cataracts can cause inflammation and pressure to the eye resulting in glaucoma. 

If cataracts are left untreated, vision will decrease from mild, blurred vision to the lens becoming either completely white or a deep amber with significant blur and possible loss of vision. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world but can be cured through surgery. 

Early treatment is key. Great Plains Eye Specialistsoffers testing and treatment options to get you underway to better vision today. Don’t let cataracts interfere with your quality of life when the solution is just an appointment away. Contact our office by 605-718-5123 or WEBSITE for your comprehensive eye examination.