Medical Q&As

Cataract surgery - my granny is going blind?

My grandmother's sight has been getting progressively worse for the last number of years! Could she be going blind? Is there anything that can be done? She was told 5 years ago it was cataracts but they weren't 'ripe' enough to be dealt with, which seems ridiculous to me! I mean she can barely see. So could it be cataracts or was that just an excuse?

The term “ripe” was used in the past to describe a cataract that had become so advanced that the person was nearly blind. Cataract removal was deferred until a late stage because the complication rate was high. The person also had to be hospitalised for a week and then had to adjust to the difficulties of wearing thick heavy spectacles for the rest of their lives. With the advent of modern treatment cataract management has been transformed. It is often possible to perform cataract surgery as a day case without requiring overnight admission to hospital. It is also possible to replace the damaged lens with an artificial lens, which obviates the need for spectacles. Many people who have been through this surgery are able to see perfectly well without the need for heavy spectacles. The complication rate from this surgery has been dramatically reduced when compared with results in the past. Assuming that there are no other associated eye problems with your grandmother I think that it would be perfectly reasonable to revisit the decision of five years ago.