Am I Too Young for Cataract Surgery?

Sep 01, 2023
Am I Too Young for Cataract Surgery?
Cataracts only happen to older folks, right? Usually. But cataracts can occur in younger people, too, and surgery may be the best treatment regardless of age. Here’s what you need to know.

Cataracts are cloudy lenses in your eyes. When your lenses lose clarity, they can’t bend and focus light accurately, so your vision blurs. Although cataracts typically develop as you age, youth doesn’t protect you from the problem. 

Here, Dr. Maher Fanous at North Florida Eye Center explains why you might need cataract surgery even when you’re young.

Reasons young people get cataracts

Advancing age is the primary cause of cataract development. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, about half of all Americans have cataracts by the time they’re 75, but that doesn’t mean the condition only favors seniors — more than 24.4 million folks over 40 also have cloudy lenses. You can even develop cataracts younger than 40, and here’s why:

  • Eye trauma
  • Intraocular inflammation
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Hypothyroidism

These conditions can all lead to cataracts regardless of your age. 

Signs you might need cataract surgery

If you have blurry vision, see “halos” around lights, have trouble seeing at night, and are sensitive to glare, you may have cataracts. Dr. Fanous can determine whether you have cataracts through a simple eye exam.

Not all cataracts require surgery. In fact, we may be able to improve your vision by changing your eyeglass or contact lens prescription. Upping the brightness of your ambient lighting and computer screen can also help, as can wearing anti-glare sunglasses when you drive. 

In some cases, however, Dr. Fanous may recommend cataract surgery even if your vision seems fine. For example, if your cataracts are causing excessive eye pressure or blocking Dr. Fanous’s ability to view your retina during an eye exam, it might be best to have the surgery.

Whether age, trauma, or disease is responsible for developing cataracts and dimming your lenses, cataract surgery can resolve it. 

Cataract surgery is a routine procedure, and Dr. Fanous has extensive experience in the technique. It’s a simple, painless procedure that only takes about 10 minutes in our office. We sedate you first so you’re relaxed but awake. Then we numb your eye so that you won’t feel a thing. 

Dr. Fanous makes a tiny incision using Alcon’s LenSx® laser to remove your cloudy lens, then replaces it with a clear artificial implant. The laser enables Dr. Fanous to perform the surgery with precision and speed; you’ll be in and out in no time.

Regardless of age, cataracts can ruin your vision — but cataract surgery can fix it. Call or request an appointment online at our Gainesville or Chiefland, Florida office to find out if you need cataract surgery.