10 doctors weighed in:
Do cataracts have to develop or ripen before they can be operated on?
10 doctors weighed in

Dr. Sandra Lora Cremers
Ophthalmology
4 doctors agree
In brief: No
Not all cataracts require surgery.
If best vision is worse than 20/40 or glare is significantly affecting VA, most surgeons prefer to do surgery sooner but depends on pt's sx, risk factors, preferences; also, though no guarantees with any surgery, many patients are less dependent on or free of glasses after surgery; clear lens removal also possible in some pts; info: eyedoc2020.blogspot.com

In brief: No
Not all cataracts require surgery.
If best vision is worse than 20/40 or glare is significantly affecting VA, most surgeons prefer to do surgery sooner but depends on pt's sx, risk factors, preferences; also, though no guarantees with any surgery, many patients are less dependent on or free of glasses after surgery; clear lens removal also possible in some pts; info: eyedoc2020.blogspot.com
Dr. Sandra Lora Cremers
Dr. Sandra Lora Cremers
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1 comment
Dr. Yale Kanter
When cataracts reach the stage that they impair your vision and prevent you from doing things comfortably, that is the time to consider surgery. The ripening of a cataract is an old term used before modern cataract when the cataract had to reach a certain stage of development before it could be removed. Now that is not necessary with modern cataract surgery.
Dr. John Odette
Ophthalmology
3 doctors agree
In brief: See below
Insurances and medicare will not pay for cataract surgery until they reach a certain level.
This is usually based on ones visual acuity but there are other factors that contribute. However, the natural lens can be removed at any time. This is called refractive lens exchange and is usually done for people wanting to avoid glasses. This is an out-of-pocket expense.

In brief: See below
Insurances and medicare will not pay for cataract surgery until they reach a certain level.
This is usually based on ones visual acuity but there are other factors that contribute. However, the natural lens can be removed at any time. This is called refractive lens exchange and is usually done for people wanting to avoid glasses. This is an out-of-pocket expense.
Dr. John Odette
Dr. John Odette
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Dr. Amin Ashrafzadeh
Ophthalmology
In brief: Visual significance
Cataract surgery is one when the cataract is visually significant.
Meaning, that it interferes with our vision, difficulty driving a nights, difficulty reading....

In brief: Visual significance
Cataract surgery is one when the cataract is visually significant.
Meaning, that it interferes with our vision, difficulty driving a nights, difficulty reading....
Dr. Amin Ashrafzadeh
Dr. Amin Ashrafzadeh
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Dr. Harvey Fishman
Ophthalmology
In brief: No
Cataracts should be removed when they adversely affect your vision despite how ripe or dense they become.
The risk is low but not zero so the decision is made when the quality of life is reduced by visial impairment. Waiting too long can make the surgery more challenging.

In brief: No
Cataracts should be removed when they adversely affect your vision despite how ripe or dense they become.
The risk is low but not zero so the decision is made when the quality of life is reduced by visial impairment. Waiting too long can make the surgery more challenging.
Dr. Harvey Fishman
Dr. Harvey Fishman
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