The mere idea of having surgery performed on your eyes may be uncomfortable. Perhaps this is why, upon finding out they need cataract surgery, so many patients fall into a pile of myths and misconceptions. But here's the thing: many of the statements and concerns you've heard about cataract surgery are just myths. That's definitely true of the following.

Myth: Cataract surgery is painful.

You would think someone cutting into your eye and replacing your lens would be painful, right? But surprisingly, it's really not, thanks to modern medicine. Before they do anything to your eye, your surgeon will place plenty of numbing eye drops in your eye. Within minutes, these drops will take effect, and all that you will be able to feel in your eye is pressure. These days, most cataract surgeries are performed with a laser, which makes them incredibly quick and easy. Your damaged lens will be removed and an artificial one will be put in place, and you won't feel an ounce of pain. When the eye drops wear off, you may feel some itching and mild stinging, but nothing worse than when you get something in your eye.

Myth: Cataract surgery should be delayed as long as possible.

This used to be true to some extent. The artificial lenses that doctors initially used in people's eyes did not last forever, and so surgeons would try to delay cataract surgery for a while so that the lenses stood a greater likelihood of outliving the patient. But thanks to advancements in science and manufacturing, today's artificial lenses are top-notch and can truly last a lifetime. Whether you need cataract surgery in your 40s, 60s, or 80s, there is really no reason to delay.

Myth: Cataract surgery comes with a large risk of infection. 

Of course, there is some risk of infection after any surgery, as bacteria are everywhere. There is some risk of you developing an eye infection even as you just sit there, right now, not having had surgery! The risk of eye infection after cataract surgery is usually highly exaggerated, though. As long as you use the antibiotic eye drops your doctor prescribes, you should be protected against this risk. Don't touch or rub your eyes, and don't let water get into them. There's no reason to avoid cataract surgery due to a fear of infection.

Now you know a little more about cataract surgery and should feel more confident scheduling this procedure with your surgeon. You'll be seeing clearly again in no time!