How is a cataract treated?

The symptoms of early cataracts may be improved with new glasses, brighter lighting, anti-glare sunglasses, or magnifying lenses. But if any of these steps do not help, surgery may be the only effective treatment. Surgery involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens.

A cataract only needs to be removed when vision loss interferes with everyday activities, such as driving, reading, or watching TV. An eye care professional will determine the best option.

Sometimes, a cataract should be removed even if it does not interfere with vision. For example, a cataract should be removed if it prevents examination or treatment of another eye problem, such as age-related macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy. If a patient has cataracts in both eyes that require surgery, the surgery will then be performed unilaterally (on each eye at a separate time).