The non-surgical alternative to cataract extraction is to continue to wearing spectacles or contact lenses.  Although there are essentially no risks to wearing glasses, the quality of vision will not be  normal because the cataract will continue to cause degradation in the quality of vision.  IN addition if the prescription is very high, it will result in a greatly enlarged or reduced image and a decrease in peripheral vision caused by the thickness of the lenses.  Although contact lenses may provide higher quality and more normal vision, they carry a slight risk of complications, especially if they are worn overnight. The risks of contact lenses include: infection, which if involving the central cornea can rarely cause loss of vision; allergies (giant papillary conjunctivitis, GPC) which can make wearing the lenses difficult; mild irritation; and discomfort.

Other alternatives to cataract surgery include changing daily activity habits, such as stopping night driving and using better lighting when reading.

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