Category

Cataract

Cataract eye surgery

Regarded as one of the safest and most commonly performed procedures, the cataract surgery lasts 10-20 minutes on average, under topical anesthesia, and allows an intraocular lens (IOL) to be inserted instead of the opaque lens, leading to a total recovery of your visual ability. Most patients return to normal life as early as the next day, but of course it is necessary to take some precautions to prevent potential cataract surgery complications.

What to Expect After Your Cataract Surgery?

In order to fully appreciate the benefit of cataract surgery, it is often necessary to wait for your eyes and brain to adjust to your new lenses which may require one or two weeks.

It is useful to know that you may experience:

  • A marked hypersensitivity to light and glare due to dilation of pupil may last for 2-3 days
  • A clouded vision during the first hours is normal as the swollen cornea requires 48-72 hours for healing
  • Redness may appear in the white area of your eye
  • A slight annoyance, burning sensation may be present during the early hours
  • A dry eye sensation may persist for three or four months post surgery
  • An occasional itch or the sensation of a foreign body in your eyes are a completely normal phenomena that will disappear within a few weeks or a month
  • Llights may appear elongated and surrounded by halos, especially at night
  • Secondary cataracts are rare but may develop after weeks or years after surgery.
    For best cataract surgery recovery, it is best to use a new pair of lenses or glasses.

What is the Cataract Surgery Recovery Time?

The healing or recovery time differs among individuals, wherein some may experience quick healing while others may heal a bit slower. While the typical cataract surgery recovery time is about one month, you will be able to see images with the sharpest of focus within a week or two of surgery, provided you follow all the post-surgery precautions.

10 Tips for a Safe and Speedy Cataract Surgery Recovery

As long as your wounds have not healed it is necessary to scrupulously follow some basic precautions, especially during the first two postoperative weeks as the eye is extremely delicate. The most important precautions you should observe:

  1. Use maximum hygiene
  2. Instill eye drops according to your prescription after washing your hands thoroughly
  3. Avoid any trauma to your eyes
  4. Apply the protective cup before sleeping after washing it thoroughly with soap and water
  5. Avoid sleeping on the side of the operated eye for some time
  6. Do not make physical exertions or sudden movements
  7. Wash your hair carefully so as not to let soap or shampoo into your eyes
  8. Avoid playing any sports till you have fully recovered
  9. Driving is not recommended as long as your vision is not satisfactory and during the adaptation period of corrective lenses
  10. Avoid swimming and intense physical activity for two to three weeks after the procedure

Importance of Follow Up Appointments

Even though your vision feels correct, you may still be on the road to recovery. The first follow-up visit is should be made the day after yourthe cataract surgery, with other subsequent visits for a complete monitoring of the healing path. In the days following the cataract surgery, report any symptoms that may seem abnormal to your ophthalmologist in Fresno if you are in the area.

If you are looking for a trusted eye doctor in Frenso, give us a call at 559-449-5050 to book an appointment.

Could you have cataracts? When should you have them operated on? These are probably the thoughts going through your mind right? Don’t worry as you are not alone in this and this article is sure to help you put some of your doubts to rest. Cataracts are an eye condition, particularly common amongst elderly people, that causes the lens of the eye to become clouded and reduces your vision. Cataracts are different from glaucoma which cannot be reversed; cataracts can be treated with eye surgery by an ophthalmologist. Here are 7 facts that you need to know about cataracts:

1. Cataract Eye Surgery Replaces Your Clouded Lens with Artificial Lens

Cataract surgery can restore your vision that was lost due to cataracts. A cataract occurs when proteins clump together in your eye which causes clouding or causes the loss of transparency in your natural eye lens. Cataract surgery removes the non-functioning eye lens and replaces it with artificial implants which are called intraocular lens (IOL). The IOL then become a permanent part of your eye.

2. Cataracts are Common

Cataracts are common, the age-related clouding of the eye and the number one cause of blindness globally. More than half of all Americans will have had or undergone cataract surgery by the age of 80, more than 3.5 million cataract surgeries are performed annually and it is one of the safest and most effective types of surgeries.

3. Age is Not a Factor Anymore as the Number of Surgeries Have Risen

The annual number of cataract surgeries is increasing annually and the average age of the surgery patient is dropping. Research indicates that the rate of cataract surgery had increased 5 times between 1980 and 2010. The average age of a patient undergoing cataract surgery has now dropped to 65. Records show that the average age for the same was previously 73 to 75 years in 2004.

4. Cataract Surgery Allows You to See Things More Clearly

After having cataract surgery, you will experience the best possible vision due to accurate incisions and corrections which will help you achieve your goal of being less dependent on your spectacles. Studies have shown that there was a decline in car accidents amongst the elderly after their cataract surgeries. Another study depicted a drop in the rate of falls experienced by older women after they underwent cataract surgery. A study in Australia found that there were less reports of anxiety or depression after cataract surgery, this was probably due to improved visibility, improved confidence, reduced social isolation and increased activity.

5. Cataract Surgeries are Not Painful

Cataract surgery is not as painful as most patients have described a mild sensation around their eyes. In certain cases, your doctor may administer a small anesthetic block around your eye. The majority of patients have not found the operation stressing or painful. You can also opt for a general anesthetic to knock you out throughout the procedure.

6. People are Opting to Have Cataract Surgeries Earlier Nowadays

The Boomer generation is opting to have cataract surgery earlier than their predecessors. Their line of reasoning being that the surgery is safe with a lot less complications due to technological advancements. Most patients want to get rid of the cataracts immediately rather than waiting for them to get worse. Research indicates that today’s generation does not want to slow down in their lives due to vision problems and choose to get rid of their vision problems as soon as possible.

7. Cataract Surgery is Not Risk-Free But due to Major Advancements it Offers Benefits Beyond Improved Vision

The rate of there being any serious risks is pretty low ranging between 1-4% according to the American Academy of Opthalmology. You need to discuss with your surgeon about whether the future benefits to your eyes are worth the small risks he will take when removing your cataracts. Today patients may spend just 15 minutes having their surgery with an incision which is just 1/5 the previous size with no sutures after which the patient has to spend just 2 hours at the outpatient surgical center.

If you are facing any symptoms of cataracts then it’s time for your eye exam! Contact our team of professionals at Insight Vision Centre in Fresno, California to schedule your eye exam today!

Definition

Extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE) is a type of eye surgery in which the lens of the eyes are removed, leaving the elastic capsule covering the lens which is left partially attached to allow the implantation of an intraocular lens (IOL).

Purpose

The main purpose of ECCE is to restore clear vision by removing the clouded and discolored lens and replacing it with an IOL. Cataract operations are some of the oldest recorded surgical processes dating back to 1750 B.C.

It is a cataract surgery that involves removing the eye’s natural lens while leaving the back of the capsule which holds the lens in place. This process requires a much smaller incision as compared to the older process called Intracapsular Cataract Extraction. A modified version of Extracapsular Cataract Extraction is called Phacoemulsification and uses an even smaller incision which requires no sutures at all.

The natural lens become cloudy, usually due to the aging process. This cloudy lens is called a cataract. The main objective of modern cataract surgery is to remove this hazy lens and replace it with a tiny plastic prescription lens that will be permanently implanted in your eye.

Extracapsular Cataract Extraction

Extracapsular Cataract Extraction is a method of cataract surgery that involves removing the eye’s natural lenses while leaving the back of the capsule that holds the lens in place. This procedure requires a much smaller incision than the older process called Intracapsular Cataract Extraction in which the lens and the entire capsule were removed.

In this procedure, the surgeon makes a tiny incision in the white of the eye near the outer edges of the cornea. The size of this depends on whether the lens of the nucleus is to be removed all in one piece or whether it will be dissolved into tiny pieces and then vacuumed out. The surgeon then enters the eye through this incision and carefully opens the front of the capsule that holds the lens in place. After the nucleus or hard center is removed, you may need sutures if your cataract was removed in one piece. If the phacoemulsification technique is employed, sutures are usually not required to close the incision.

Demographics

  • Cataract extraction is one of the most frequently performed surgical procedures in industrialized countries. Around 300,000-400,000 cases of disabling cataracts occur annually in the USA alone. 1 to 1.5 million cataract extractions are performed annually in the United States.
  • Estimates by the WHO in 1997 state that cataracts are responsible for 50% of the cases of blindness globally. This figure is expected to rise to 50 million by 2020. 1.2% of the population in Africa is blind of which cataracts are responsible for 36% of such cases.
  • About one person in every 50 of the American population will eventually have to have a cataract removed. Rates of cataract formation varies from group to group though. 50% of people over the age of 60 have some degree of cataract formation, with the figure rising to 100% for those aged 80 and above.

Risk Factors that Come with Age

  • Genetic Factors
  • Sex
    Women are a bit more likely to develop cataracts over time.
  • Exposure to Ultra-Violet Rays
    Cortical cataracts are more likely to occur to people who are exposed to sunlight frequently.
  • Smoking
    People who smoke more than 25 cigarettes a day are more likely to develop nuclear or PSC cataracts.
  • Heavy Alcohol Consumption
  • Use of Steroid Medication
  • Socioeconomic Status
    People with college education have lower rates of cataract formation than people who did not finish school.
  • Chronic dehydration, Diarrhea and Malnutrition.

Cataracts occur when there is a clouding of the clear lens, located directly behind the iris leading to clouded and misty vision. This mostly occurs in older people, but it may develop in infants and kids too. In fact, some people can even be born with a cataract. Let’s understand more about childhood cataracts.

They can be divided into two categories:

Congenital cataracts: When cataract is present in the baby at birth or shortly after it’s born

Developmental, infantile or juvenile cataracts: When cataracts are diagnosed in children that are 2 years and above.

Symptoms of Cataracts in Children

Cataracts in kids can affect one or both eyes. The symptoms include:

  • Blurry vision
  • ‘Wobbling’ eyes
  • Asquint (both eyes pointing in different directions)

Spotting these signs in infants is not easy, which is why your baby’s eyes should be routinely examined within 72 hours of birth. The test should be followed when they are 6-8 weeks old. It’s possible that cataracts can develop in children after these screening tests too. Detecting cataracts in children at early stages is important to reduce the risk of long-term vision problems.

Causes of cataracts

There are numerous reasons for cataracts to occur in children. Some possible causes include:

  • Genetic reasons when it is inherited from the parents
  • Injury to eye after birth
  • Certain genetic conditions that include Down’s syndrome
  • Infections that affected the mother during pregnancy

Treatment of Childhood Cataracts

Contact lenses: They can be used after eye surgery for bilateral or unilateral cataracts in kids under the age of two. Contact lenses can be used by older kids as well, however they are highly recommended for those under two as their eye and focusing power changes quickly during early infancy.

Intraocular lenses: These are artificial lenses that can be implemented to replace the natural lenses in children. Though this method isn’t widely used and is still under study for infants, there have been excellent results for those who opted for it.

Glasses: When cataract surgery has been done in both eyes and contact lenses failed to do the needful, then glasses are recommended. They are even used when intraocular lenses are inappropriate. At times when focus needs to be managed very carefully, kids might have to wear glasses along with a contact or an intraocular lens, as the focus needs to be managed very carefully.

Risks of Cataract Surgery

Though it is successful in most cases with a low risk of serious complications, cataract surgery does have a few risks. The most common is a condition that can affect the artificial lens implants called posterior capsule opacification (PCO). This causes cloudy vision to return after the surgery. Glaucoma is another risk when pressure starts building inside the eye. If left untreated, glaucoma can cause irreversible and permanent damage to the eye and vision.
Most complications can be treated with further surgeries or medication. It is crucial that cataracts are detected in early stages and is treated quickly. Failing to provide immediate cataract care can result in a permanent lazy eye or even blindness, depending on the severity of the case.

How Can Childhood Cataract be Prevented

Cataracts that are genetically passed may not be prevented, however taking precautions during pregnancies to avoid infections may drastically reduce the chances of your child being born with cataracts. Genetic counseling may help if you are planning another baby after having a child with childhood cataracts.

If your child is complaining of compromised vision or if you observe any cataract symptom in the kid, contact our doctor at InSight Vision Center immediately.

Smoking is one vice that is more harmful than it looks. It is linked to numerous health problems and is a leading cause of high number of deaths across the world. It affects nearly every organ in the body. It’s common knowledge that it causes cancer and heart diseases, but not many know that smoking greatly affects the eyes and vision as well.

Exposure to cigarette smoke causes biological changes in the eye which leads to loss of vision. The chemicals present in tobacco smoke hinder with the body’s ability to protect itself from high levels of oxidants and decreases the antioxidants levels in the body. Further, smoking constricts the blood vessels to the eye and reduces the amount of oxygen reaching the macula causing macular degeneration.

Smoking-Related Eye Diseases

Cataracts

Cataracts cause blurry and clouded vision, loss of contrast, and sensitivity to bright light and glare. Smoking increases the risk of developing cataracts at an early age and impairs your vision. In most cases, surgery is the only option to get rid of cataracts. Smokers double their chance of forming cataracts, and continue to increase the risk with constant smoking.

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration affects the center of retina and causes ‘blind spots’. It impairs central vision severely and is the leading cause of permanent vision loss and blindness in those over the age of 65. Smoking triples this risk and increases the severity of the disease.

Uveitis

Uveitis is a condition where the eye’s middle layer, uvea, gets inflamed. It’s a serious eye disease that leads to complete vision loss. When you smoke, you double the risk of developing uveitis. This can further lead to glaucoma and cataracts.

Diabetic Retinopathy

This eye disease is caused when the blood vessels of the retina are damaged, resulting in vision loss. High sugar content in the blood stream further promotes this condition. Studies suggest that smoking may be linked to diabetic retinopathy. Smoking is known for increasing the risk of diabetes, thus affected your eyes as well since diabetes is a leading cause of cataracts. There is a causal relationship between smoking, and the development and progression of diabetic retinopathy apart from other diabetic complications.

Dry Eyes

Eyes get dry when you don’t produce enough tears to keep them comfortably lubricated. This condition is call dry eye and can get quite itchy. Smoking worsens this condition as it acts as an irritant and worsens the symptoms of itchiness, scratchiness and burning of the eyes. The cigarette smoke makes the eyes really red and causes excess tearing from the irritation. Smokers are nearly twice as likely to have dry eyes.

Infant Eye Disease

Smoking during pregnancy affects the eye sight of the baby and it increases the risk of having a baby with facial detects involving eyes such as crossed eyes or underdevelopment of the optic nerve. The chances of lazy eyes in the baby also shoot up. Additionally, smoking during pregnancy is associated with premature birth and low birth rate. Premature babies are given oxygen therapy to sustain their lives, which can cause retinopathy of prematurity, leading to permanent vision loss or blindness.

Resources that help you quit smoking

If you are a smoker who’s always looking for a smoke break, it is crucial that you make a serious effort to kick the habit. You can reduce the risk of developing serious eye diseases as soon as you quit. Don’t hesitate to take help from your doctor or a local community associated with the cause. Make annual eye check-ups a priority to detect any smoking-related eye disease at early stages.

As you age, the lens of your eyes also age. As it grows old, a few of its cells die and accumulate, thus turning the lens cloudy and yellow. This results in vision problems like blurriness, fuzzy images of yellowed or fading colors. This condition is known as cataract. Anyone can be at a risk of cataract. Let’s understand more about this condition and its various types.

Types Of Cataracts

  • Sub-capsular cataract
    This occurs when the back of the lens gets clouded and blurs the vision. Those suffering from diabetes or people taking high doses of steroids are at a higher risk of developing this kind of cataract.
  • Nuclear cataract
    This is usually associated with aging and forms deep in the nucleus of the lens.
  • Cortical cataract
    This type of cataract is seen in the part surrounding the central nucleus called the lens cortex. It is characterized by white colored wedge-shaped opacities that start at the periphery of the lens and reach the center, resembling white-colored spoke.

Cataracts Symptoms and Signs

The symptoms of cataract differ based on the type of cataract you have. If you experience any of the following signs, consult an eye doctor immediately.

  • Cloudy and blurred vision: Cataract will start out small and will hardly affect your vision initially. Eventually, the blurriness will increase and your vision will start getting hazy.
  • Enhanced brightness: The sun, lamp or headlights will seem too glaring and bright as compared to before. On the other hand, brightness of colors will decrease. There will be an increased difficulty with vision at night
  • Halo effect: You will see halos around any light source.
  • Frequent change in lens or glass prescription

Different types of cataracts will give different symptoms. In case of nuclear cataract, you might experience a temporary improvement in your near vision, known as ‘second sight.’ This will be a short-lived phenomenon and will disappear soon, worsening the cataract. Contrarily, a sub-capsular cataract may not produce any symptoms until it’s well-developed.

What Causes Cataracts

The lens inside the eye focuses light onto the retina and allows us see things clearly. This lens is made up of protein and water, and the arrangement of protein is such that it keeps the lens clear and allows the light pass through it. However, with age, some of this protein starts clamping together and clouds a part of the lens. This is cataract, which may grow larger and cloud more of the lens, making it harder to see.

Age is the primary reason for causing cataract, but there are other factors that elevate the risk. Some include:

  • Diabetes or hypertension
  • UV radiation from sunlight
  • High myopia
  • Family history
  • Excessive smoking or drinking
  • Previous eye surgery, eye injury or inflammation
  • Prolonged use of corticosteroid medications

Preventing Cataract

Though there is no concrete proof that cataract can be successfully prevented in a patient, there have been studies that suggest that certain nutrients and nutritional supplements may reduce the risk of cataracts. Vitamin E, Vitamin C and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids may reduce cataract risk. Covering your eyes every time you step out in the sun will greatly help.

It should also be noted that eye drops will not help prevent or dissolve small cataracts because they are not a particular ‘substance’ which can be dissolved. Even the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) hasn’t approved of any eye drops which can cure or delay cataracts. Any such eye drops only lessen the burning and itching sensation in your eyes.

Cataract Treatment

As soon as initial symptoms begin to appear, you can aid your vision through glasses, appropriate lighting, strong bifocals and other visual aids. As the condition worsens, surgery is the only option.
Cataract surgery is a simple, painless and most commonly performed treatment which helps regain a clear vision. The surgery is recommended when the vision is seriously impaired and starts affecting your daily life. Cataract extraction is done with this surgery in a 15 minutes procedure which involves the use of a laser. This surgery gives really successful results. 9 out of 10 people who underwent this surgery are known to regain a vision as good as 20/20 and 20/40.
The surgery involves removal of your clouded lens and in most cases replacing them with clear, plastic intraocular lens (IOL). Cataract surgery recovery is a must after the operation.

Post-Surgery Care

  • Do not rub or press your eyes
  • Don’t lift heavy-weight for the next few weeks
  • Heavy exercises should be avoided
  • Normal routine activities can be resumed the day after, once the eye patch is removed

If you or a loved one is suffering from cataract or is showing symptoms of the same, contact cataract care in Fresno immediately.

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