• Should I have cataract surgery in my second eye if my vision is still good?


    Question:

    I had cataract surgery performed in my right eye five months ago without complications and excellent results. I can still see clearly with my left eye which has not been operated on. Should I go ahead and have cataract surgery in my left eye too even though vision in it is still good?


    Answer:

    Cataract surgery is done to improve vision that interferes with quality of life issues, like working or driving. If the lens in the fellow eye is not interfering with your quality of life, but a patient wishes to have it removed, this would usually be considered an elective procedure. This means it is not covered by health insurance. Therefore, if the vision in your left eye “is still good,” you may want to consider delaying surgery until your eye develops a cataract such that it interferes with your quality of life. In certain circumstances, an ophthalmologist may recommend cataract surgery when the patient does not complain of vision problems – surgery to balance the eyes may decrease the risk of falls (which can cause hip fractures) or decrease the risk of angle closure glaucoma. A discussion with your ophthalmologist after a thorough in-person exam will help you reach a decision that is best for you.


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