Surgery for Glaucoma and a Cataract

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Surgery for Glaucoma and a Cataract

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Cataracts may occur in people who also have glaucoma. This commonly occurs in older people.

If you have glaucoma and cataracts, you may consider having surgery for both conditions at the same time. Depending on which condition caused the vision loss, you may have improved vision after surgery.

  • If the vision loss before surgery was mostly caused by the cataract, you may have noticeable improvement in your vision. Also, surgery may delay the progression of vision loss caused by glaucoma.
  • If the vision loss before surgery was mostly caused by glaucoma, rather than the cataract, you may not have much improvement in vision after surgery. But surgery may slow the loss of vision caused by glaucoma.

People whose glaucoma is controlled by using one medicine and who need cataract surgery usually have cataract surgery only. Cataract surgery alone is quicker and less complicated than having both surgeries at the same time.

In many cases where glaucoma and cataract occur together, surgery to treat both conditions may be done at the same time.

If you have both glaucoma and cataracts, talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of combined surgery to treat both conditions.

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By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
Last Revised August 2, 2010

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