If the cataracts are "ripe" (meaning they are ready to be operated on) you will almost certainly see much better after the surgery. Cataract extraction is the most commonly performed procedure in the United States. That being said, it is a surgery and with any surgery there are risks of complication. The surgery involves making two incisions in the cornea, removing the lens with cataract and replacing the lens with an artificial lens. The entire procedure lasts about 5 minutes. The surgeon will perform on one eye and usually a week or two later will perform the other eye. The vast majority of my patients who have cataract surgery see MUCH better within a few days and many of them don't even need glasses or contact lenses to see at distance afterwards. There will still be a need for reading glasses afterwards, but you will have a better quality of vision at all distances once the cataract has been removed.
Usually I suggest that the patient is ready for cataract surgery when their vision begins to impair their quality of life. When you aren't able to do all of the things you used to (golf, driving, knitting, whatever it may be) then it is time to have the cataracts evaluated and removed.
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