Frequently Asked Questions

What is the right age to get LASIK?

Patients must be older than 18 years of age to have LASIK. In addition, they must have a stable refraction (the number that is used to measure the power of glasses or contacts). If both of these criteria are met, there is no “wrong” age to have Lasik. Reports have indicated that a growing number of people age 45 and older are having Lasik and other refractive procedures to reduce the need for reading glasses.

What causes Cataracts?

Most cataracts are simply due to age-related changes in the Lens of an eye. However, there are a number of other conditions/factors that contribute to the development of cataracts.

Diabetes– Unfortunately, individuals with diabetes develop cataracts more frequently and earlier in life.

Medications– Certain medications are known to cause cataracts. One of the biggest culprits here is corticosteroids. While many of us have never taken corticosteroids, they are used heavily in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Rheumatoid arthritis, and various other inflammatory and infectious conditions.
Other medications that lead to the formation of cataracts include chlorpromazine and other phenothiazine medications.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation– Unprotected exposure to UV radiation can lead to cataracts. It’s a good idea to always keep those eyes protected!

Trauma– Sharp trauma (entry into the eye) and blunt trauma can both lead to cataracts. Even something as seemingly harmless as “eye rubbing” has been shown to cause the early development of certain cataracts.

Smoking– There is a significant association between smoking and the development of cataracts. Just more reason to quit.

Alcohol– Studies have shown that patients with higher alcohol consumption have an increase in cataract formation compared with patients with lower or no alcohol consumption.

What will happen if I don’t get my Cataracts removed?

It is important to understand that every Cataract is different. Some cataracts are very severe and lead to blindness if they are left alone. Other cataracts may simply cause permanently blurred vision but never significantly impair the functions of daily living. Still others can cause increased glare, double vision, or lead to forms of Glaucoma. With this in mind, it is important to see a trusted eye-care provider who can counsel you on the best decision to make regarding cataract removal.

Do I need to discontinue blood thinners or anticoagulants (example: Coumadin, Plavix, Aspirin) for Cataract surgery?

Standard Cataract surgery does NOT require the patient to discontinue anticoagulants (blood thinners). You may continue taking these as prescribed by your primary care doctor. However, it is important to note that sometimes Cataract surgery is combined with Glaucoma surgery (or less frequently with Retina surgery). In these cases, it may be beneficial to temporarily discontinue blood thinners for the surgery. Please consult with your doctor before the procedure to find out.

When will I know if I need glasses after Cataract surgery/When can I get them?

1 month. Although recovery from Cataract surgery is incredibly fast and patients often see an improvement within days, it takes a month for the lens implant to settle into position and the eye to heal. All of this impacts the power of glasses. Therefore, it is important to check patients for glasses at 1 month to avoid giving a premature prescription.

Most surgeons also check patients at 1 day and 1 week after surgery to make sure the eye is healing well.