Cataract is not a disease!
Posted on August 10th, 2011

By Dr. Mrs. Mareena Thaha Reffai Dehiwela.

I often get patients seeking second opinion about cataract surgery. They often are told they have cataract and they need to be operated, sometime immediately, sometimes at great cost too.

When a doctor says “You have cataract! many think “I must get it out.  I have had patients who have burst into tears when told that they have cataract! This is because they feel it is a disease, and need to be taken out in the very beginning. They feel as if it is cancer or a growth. The truth is far from it. It is just an aging change. All cataracts do not nee d surgery.

Actually in the early stages it can even be advantageous to have cataract since it negates the age related presbyopia ( difficulty in reading close) by causing myopia ( short sightedness). Those who have been using reading glasses will suddenly find they don’t need glasses anymore to read. At this time they may be having cataract and if one gets operated they can loose this advantage. There may be a reduction in distant vision which may be corrected by glasses. On the other hand leaving a mature cataract can of course lead to some complications.

Actually the need for surgery depends entirely on the life style of the patient. A very sedentary old woman may live with an early cataract for years without feeling any adverse effect on her life. On the other hand a very active person in 40’s may find driving very difficult with very early cataract for it causes momentary blindness when light is flashed into his eyes from the on coming vehicles. So each person must think carefully what the outcome of surgery is before rushing into it.

Just having cataract doesn’t always warrant surgery. Each person must be considered on their own merit.

By Dr. Mrs. Mareena Thaha Reffai

Dehiwela.

One Response to “Cataract is not a disease!”

  1. Nanda Says:

    Thank you for this. I too thought cataract was a disease.

    I hope babaric Saudis will release Rizana Naffeek soon. They all have cataract in the mind and the brain. That of course is a deisease that should be cured.

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