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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 10778
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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My Mom was told at her annual eye exam visit that she has cataracts

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My Mom was told at her annual eye exam visit that she has cataracts and needs surgery. She has no symptoms, so I asked her if she could postpone until it's really needed or get a 2nd opinion.
Does getting them done early or later make a difference? Do they ever need to be re-done? She is 67.

Dr. Rick :

Hi. I can help you today.

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Customer:

yes, thank you

Dr. Rick :

I see you are offline. We can use Q&A to "chat"

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Sorry, I clicked on it and it went off. I can't seem to get back in chat.
That's OK. We can use this system to "chat" it's just a little slower. So. You mom is not having any visual problems with her cataracts right now? She can see fine to do the things she wants to do? And yet the doctor said she needed surgery? Was this "doctor" and ophthalmologist or an optometrist?

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Opthamologist. She has glasses for reading and needs them a little more now than she used to. But, no vision signs that she noticed for cataracts.
Then there is no need to rush into surgery. Waiting to have cataract surgery doesn't make it "worse" or the cataracts "harder to take out" or affect your final, post surgery, vision at all.

It this doctor told her she needed surgery, and she has no visual problems, she needs to find another ophthalmologist who is not so hungry to cut.

Take home message? As long as your mom is able to see well enough to do the things she needs and wants to do with the vision she has she should postpone any consideration of cataract surgery. Medicare, for example, will only pay for surgery if the patients "best corrected visual acuity" (best glasses in place) is 20/50 or worse, or they have a lot of glare problems.

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