Those who rely on their eyes for detailed work -- such as architects, dentists, and jewelers -- may elect for cataract surgery sooner than others. Keep in mind that cataract surgery can almost always be safely delayed until you feel that you need better vision.
The following is a cataract questionnaire to help you determine how much your vision loss is affecting your daily activities and when you should consider surgery:
Do you have difficulty, even with glasses, with any of the following activities:
- Reading a newspaper or book?
- Seeing steps or curbs?
- Reading traffic signs, street signs, or store signs?
- Taking part in sports such as bowling, handball, tennis, or golf?
- Watching television?
- Seeing well in poor or dim light?
- Do you experience glare from headlights or bright sunlight?
- Do you avoid (or have you stopped) driving because of your vision?
Regardless of how you respond to the questions above, when safety becomes a concern, such as when you are driving a car or maneuvering stairs, it's time to consider cataract surgery. A review article in the journal Injury Prevention that pooled data from a dozen different studies found that cataract surgery reduced the risk of driving-related difficulties by 88%. And a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that people with cataracts who underwent surgery were half as likely to get into a motor vehicle accident as those who did not have surgery.
More Answers from Laura Fine