Cataracts. Oh, that sometimes dreaded word and diagnosis that often takes people by surprise. When I meet with patients to discuss their cataracts and treatment options, I’m often met with frustration and annoyance. Those feelings are usually tied to the ways the condition has changed their lives.
What many don’t realize is how prevalent cataracts are in the United States – more than 24 million people are affected by the condition. Specifically, the African-American community is twice as likely to develop early onset cataracts, and more than half will have the condition by the age of 80.
Though all surgery has risk, the good news is that cataract surgery is one of the most common, safe and effective procedures today. The even better news is that there are significant emotional and lifestyle benefits tied to treating cataracts, according to a recent survey from Alcon of about 1,300 people, age 60 and over, who have undergone cataract surgery. The procedure not only improves vision, but three in four people from the survey report being happier, more satisfied and having a greater appreciation for life.
So what’s standing in the way of reaping these emotional benefits?