The decision to have cataract surgery is usually not rushed
Many people show a clouding of the eye lens in older age, which is referred to as cataracts or cataracts. The cloudy eye lens is usually a result of the natural aging process and surgery is the only effective treatment option, reports the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG). As part of a cataract surgery, the affected person is removed from the cloudy lens and replaced with a new, artificial lens.
Since the cataract disease usually develops extremely slowly, the patients usually have a lot of time to think about an operation and should use this time, according to the experts at IQWiG. In this way, those affected can prepare adequately for the operation and determine the best possible time for them. “Whether and when surgery is carried out is a personal decision. It depends heavily on how much the visual disturbances restrict independence and make everyday life more difficult, ”explains IQWiG.
800,000 operations of the eye lenses per year According to the experts, only a slight clouding of the eye lens, which is determined by a specialist and has so far been symptom-free, does not usually require an operation, nor does the timing of an operation play a role in the success of the procedure. Rather, the decision to undergo surgery should be made dependent on personal impairments and circumstances. "How far the disease has progressed usually has no influence on how well you can see after the operation with the newly inserted lens," reports the IQWiG. The operation can be a little more difficult if the cataract is very advanced, but the intervention in its various variants is a routine in this country. According to IQWiG, around 800,000 corresponding operations are performed in Germany each year, although these are usually performed on an outpatient basis and only take 20 to 30 minutes. Most patients are allowed to go home after a few hours. In the case of existing comorbidities or foreseeable complications, the procedure is more often carried out in the hospital. If both eyes show cataracts, they are operated on two different surgery dates in succession.
Determine the date of the operation in consultation with the specialist. As the disease progresses, “the measurements of the eye can no longer be carried out with such precision”, “it makes sense to have the eyes checked regularly by an ophthalmologist,” reports the independent expert Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. Together, the right time for an operation can be determined. Otherwise, the decision should focus on questions of professional and private impairment from the illness, according to the IQWiG. If, for example, the profession can no longer be practiced or if driving becomes too great a risk, this is often a reason for an operation. (fp)