Driving at night is challenging. One of the challenges that drivers have at night is simply staying awake because of the body’s natural desire to sleep during these hours. Another challenge that drivers have at night is visibility. The light produced by the headlamps of a vehicle can only illuminate so far down the road. This can make seeing at night while driving a challenge for a person even with perfect vision.
The challenge becomes even greater for individuals who have cataracts. Fortunately, cataract surgery is an effective way to improve the night vision of an individual who has cataracts.
What are Cataracts?
When a person has a cataract, there is a cloudy or opaque area in the lens of their eye. The lens of the eye, much like the lens of a camera, is what allows light to enter and what allows a person to see. If the lens of a person’s eye becomes cloudy, their vision is impaired.
Most cataract patients are 55 years of age or older. However, they can also develop in very young children and in some rare cases, even in infants. Cataracts usually happen in both eyes, but it is not uncommon for people to have worse vision in one eye than in the other. Cataracts can result in a person having blurred vision, difficulty reading and difficulty dealing with the glare that is produced while driving.
Cataracts develop very slowly. A person may have cataracts, but they can go for many years without surgery. Unfortunately, nothing can be done to prevent cataracts from developing, nor is there any way to treat them without surgically removing the lens of the eye.
How Do You Know When Surgery is Necessary?
Since cataracts develop slowly, a person may wonder how they know when they need surgery. The first thing to remember is that if you postpone cataract surgery for some time, it is not going to damage your eyes. What determines when you need cataract surgery is the effect that the cataracts are having on your quality of life.
For example, ask yourself, can you drive safely at night? Or is your night vision impaired? Or think about your everyday activities, such as watching television or reading. Are these activities inhibited? Do you feel like your life is less independent as a result of your cataracts?
When the answers to these questions are yes, this is an indication that now is the time to talk to our surgeon about having the procedure performed. There is no reason to continue living in a way that you cannot safely do your everyday activities.
During your initial consultation at Live Oak Ophthalmology in Wilmington, our doctor can examine you and provide you with further clues that can help you to determine if now is the right time for cataract surgery. Vision is an important factor in enjoying a high quality of life. Cataract surgery can not only enhance your night vision, but it can also enhance your quality of life. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn more.