21 doctors weighed in:
When should I operate my cataracts?
21 doctors weighed in

Dr. Benjamin Chun
Ophthalmology
7 doctors agree
In brief: Depends
It is your decision, up to a point.
Most insurance won't pay unless your vision is 20/50 or worse unless you have severe glare that affects your vision. Ask your eye doctor.

In brief: Depends
It is your decision, up to a point.
Most insurance won't pay unless your vision is 20/50 or worse unless you have severe glare that affects your vision. Ask your eye doctor.
Dr. Benjamin Chun
Dr. Benjamin Chun
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2 comments
Dr. Michael Ham
When it affects you activities of daily living and you want to see better, and the doctors exam indicates the cataracts are causing the problems.
Dr. Richard Witlin
not every cataract requires surgery. As the other doctors have indicated, the cataract needs to be affecting your ability to carry out your daily activities and tasks.
Dr. Ali Zaidi
Ophthalmology
5 doctors agree
In brief: You'll know
Cataract surgery is an elective surgery - that means you choose if you want to have it.
You'll know when its time to have cataract surgery because your vision will be affected. If you are having trouble reading, driving, or doing other activities you enjoy, you may benefit from cataract surgery. You need to see your eye doctor to make sure you don't have other causes of decreased vision.

In brief: You'll know
Cataract surgery is an elective surgery - that means you choose if you want to have it.
You'll know when its time to have cataract surgery because your vision will be affected. If you are having trouble reading, driving, or doing other activities you enjoy, you may benefit from cataract surgery. You need to see your eye doctor to make sure you don't have other causes of decreased vision.
Dr. Ali Zaidi
Dr. Ali Zaidi
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Dr. Sadiqa Stelzner
Ophthalmology
2 doctors agree
In brief: Depends on the symptom
If the cataract is effecting your daily activity then you need to discuss this with your ophthalmologist about surgery.
The symptoms that commonly bothers cataract patient who seeks surgery are blurry vision, difficulty driving and reading, glare issues with head light and back ground sunlight. Since its an elective surgery its you who decide on the surgery. Your visual acuity needs to be 20/60 with or w/o glare for insurance clearance.

In brief: Depends on the symptom
If the cataract is effecting your daily activity then you need to discuss this with your ophthalmologist about surgery.
The symptoms that commonly bothers cataract patient who seeks surgery are blurry vision, difficulty driving and reading, glare issues with head light and back ground sunlight. Since its an elective surgery its you who decide on the surgery. Your visual acuity needs to be 20/60 with or w/o glare for insurance clearance.
Dr. Sadiqa Stelzner
Dr. Sadiqa Stelzner
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Dr. Howard Pomeranz
Ophthalmology
2 doctors agree
In brief: Cataract
This is a joint decision between you and your ophthalmologist.
In general when you feel that the cataract is interfering with your ability to use your eyes to read, drive or perform other visual activities, it is time to have this discussion with your ophthalmologist.

In brief: Cataract
This is a joint decision between you and your ophthalmologist.
In general when you feel that the cataract is interfering with your ability to use your eyes to read, drive or perform other visual activities, it is time to have this discussion with your ophthalmologist.
Dr. Howard Pomeranz
Dr. Howard Pomeranz
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Dr. Michael Ham
Ophthalmology
2 doctors agree
In brief: With problems
When it affects you activities of daily living and you want to see better, and the doctors exam indicates the cataracts are causing the problems.

In brief: With problems
When it affects you activities of daily living and you want to see better, and the doctors exam indicates the cataracts are causing the problems.
Dr. Michael Ham
Dr. Michael Ham
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Dr. Michael Ham
Ophthalmology
2 doctors agree
In brief: With vision problems
You should have your cataracts operated on cataracts when they affect your activitities of daily living.
"you have problems doing things you like, or need to do", or there is medical reasons that the cataracts should be taken care of (causing glaucoma!). There is no set vision (i.e. 20/40 or 20/50) that indicates you should have surgery. You should have symptoms, or need to pass drivers exam.

In brief: With vision problems
You should have your cataracts operated on cataracts when they affect your activitities of daily living.
"you have problems doing things you like, or need to do", or there is medical reasons that the cataracts should be taken care of (causing glaucoma!). There is no set vision (i.e. 20/40 or 20/50) that indicates you should have surgery. You should have symptoms, or need to pass drivers exam.
Dr. Michael Ham
Dr. Michael Ham
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Dr. U Krishnan
Ophthalmology
2 doctors agree
In brief: Agree but...
There are a few situations where cataract surgery is urgent (like when related to high eye pressure or causing inflammation in the eye for example).
But i would generally agree that for the majority of people it is a case where you should wait until the cataracts are impairing your lifestyle.

In brief: Agree but...
There are a few situations where cataract surgery is urgent (like when related to high eye pressure or causing inflammation in the eye for example).
But i would generally agree that for the majority of people it is a case where you should wait until the cataracts are impairing your lifestyle.
Dr. U Krishnan
Dr. U Krishnan
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Dr. Albert Pizzo
Family Medicine
2 doctors agree
In brief: Catarat
Your opthamologist is a specialist in cataract therapy and will be able to tell you all about your cataract and also when it is time for surgical procedure to help you.

In brief: Catarat
Your opthamologist is a specialist in cataract therapy and will be able to tell you all about your cataract and also when it is time for surgical procedure to help you.
Dr. Albert Pizzo
Dr. Albert Pizzo
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Dr. Michael Ham
Ophthalmology
1 doctor agrees
In brief: When?
When they affect your activities of daily living and your eye surgeon feels surgery will benefit your vision.

In brief: When?
When they affect your activities of daily living and your eye surgeon feels surgery will benefit your vision.
Dr. Michael Ham
Dr. Michael Ham
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Dr. Sandra Lora Cremers
Ophthalmology
In brief: When affecting life
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, pt's risk factors, pt's preferences; also, though no guarantees with any surgery, many patients are less dependent on glasses & even glasses free after surgery which helps many in decision process: eyedoc2020.blogspot.com

In brief: When affecting life
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, pt's risk factors, pt's preferences; also, though no guarantees with any surgery, many patients are less dependent on glasses & even glasses free after surgery which helps many in decision process: eyedoc2020.blogspot.com
Dr. Sandra Lora Cremers
Dr. Sandra Lora Cremers
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Dr. David Speck
Ophthalmology
In brief: When they interfere
Cataracts are a normal part of aging, like grey hair and wrinkles.
An eye with a little cataract is still better than any artificial alternative that we have. As long as you can do your normal activities without your vision bothering you, leave it alone. If you say "i can't do this 'cause i can't see", or "if i could see better, i'd be doing this", then you may be a candidate for surgery.

In brief: When they interfere
Cataracts are a normal part of aging, like grey hair and wrinkles.
An eye with a little cataract is still better than any artificial alternative that we have. As long as you can do your normal activities without your vision bothering you, leave it alone. If you say "i can't do this 'cause i can't see", or "if i could see better, i'd be doing this", then you may be a candidate for surgery.
Dr. David Speck
Dr. David Speck
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Dr. William Goldstein
Ophthalmology
In brief: ADL's
When your adl's (activities of daily living) are affected, you should consider surgery.
This is different for every patient, so older less active patients may wait longer. Any doctor that tells you that you 'must have surgery now' should be avoided.

In brief: ADL's
When your adl's (activities of daily living) are affected, you should consider surgery.
This is different for every patient, so older less active patients may wait longer. Any doctor that tells you that you 'must have surgery now' should be avoided.
Dr. William Goldstein
Dr. William Goldstein
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