Will I need Glasses After Cataract Surgery?
When cataract surgery patients ask “will I need glasses after cataract surgery?”
the answer is almost always “yes, glasses are needed after cataract surgery.” Overwhelming
cataract specialists reflexively answer “yes” to the glasses question. They are
trained to do this.
Why do most cataract surgeons say that glasses will be needed after cataract surgery?
Cataract surgeons refer to this as “managing patient expectations.” Simply put,
it is better to under promise and over deliver than over promise and under deliver.
This point has more to do with business, than medicine. Many surgeons have dealt
with patients who after expecting glasses free living after cataract surgery are
shocked to find that they still need glasses. This can become a very large problem
and it is too late after the cataract surgery to undo it.
Is there a chance that glasses won’t be needed after cataract surgery?
Yes. There are many new types of cataract lenses (Premium IOL’s) and a few of them
can deliver glasses free living, for some patients. (note: this is not medical advice,
nor is it a guarantee or warranty of any kind. This site has no affiliation with
any lens maker and makes no claim as to the effectiveness of any specific lens.
Accommodating Lens (IOL)
Accommodating lenses are lenses that move and or change shape like the natural lens
does. This offers he potential to be able to view at multiple ranges, like before
cataract surgery. It should be noted that even the lens makers will not guarantee
that their lens will deliver glasses free living, although they do claim a fairly
high success rate.
This leaves the cataract patient’s original question of “will I need glasses after
cataract surgery?” very hard to answer. It is far easier, and safer, from a business
stand point to always tell patients that they will need glasses. This also has the
extra benefit of a pleasant surprise and a certain number of extremely happy patients.
a win-win for the surgeon, although a bit uncertain for the potential cataract patient.
In the end, it is better to assume that you will need glasses after cataract surgery
than to expect otherwise. Setting realistic expectations going in can have a very
positive affect on the results.