I occasionally have patients ask if their cataract is “ripe.” There is some misunderstanding, cataracts don’t ripen. The crystalline lens does change and causes vision problems. To read more about what a cataract is click here.
Cataracts can be removed whenever the patient and surgeon agree that they should be removed. Generally, the best time to remove the cloudy crystalline lens (AKA cataract) is when the vision is compromising your quality of life. This includes the inability to drive at night due to excessive glare. Other causes of blurry vision must be explored before cataract surgery. Macular degeneration can reduce the quality of vision, especially for reading. Removing cataracts will not improve the clarity in this case.

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