A cataract is a "clouding" of the lens inside your eye. The lens is located just behind the iris, or the colored part of your eye, and works like the lens of a camera. It picks up images and then focuses the lights, colors and shapes on to the retina. Once images reach the retina, they are then transmitted to the brain for processing.
When a cataract develops in the lens, vision may become cloudy or blurry. Colors may seem to fade or appear dull, and you may begin to have difficulty performing daily tasks.There are many different kinds of cataracts that can develop, and some progress faster than others. While the majority are related to normal aging changes, other conditions, like diabetes, smoking, alcohol use and prolonged exposure to sunlight can increase one's risk of developing cataracts. As your cataracts progress, your eye doctor may recommend that you consider cataract surgery.
Surgery is used to remove a cataract when vision loss interferes with everyday activities such as driving, reading or watching TV. If you have cataracts in both eyes, the surgery will be performed on each eye at separate times, usually several weeks apart. Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure that is performed in a hospital or surgical center, and patients are sent home the same day that the procedure is performed. You may have a choice to make regarding the type of lens implant that you wish to receive. Some specialty implants are designed to correct astigmatism, while there are also implants, like ReSTOR® and ReZoom™, that correct both distance and near vision at the same time, completely eliminating the need for glasses!
ReSTOR® lens implants by AcrySof® are artificial lenses made of a soft plastic material that can be folded prior to insertion, allowing for smaller incisions and quicker healing time. They are designed to replace the natural clouded lenses in cataract patients and provide patients with a full range of vision—up close, at mid-range, and at greater distances. The technology behind ReSTOR® lens implants is a patented process called apodized diffraction — the gradual bending of light as it passes through different heights. By combining apodized diffraction with refractive technology, ReSTOR® lens implants enable the eyes to focus on multiple images at varying distances.
ReZoom™ lens implants by Advanced Medical Optics (AMO®) are artificial lenses made of high-refractive-index acrylic material. Like ReSTOR® lens implants, ReZoom™ lens implants are soft and can be folded prior to insertion into the eye. Based on Balanced View Optics™ Technology, ReZoom™ lens implants allow patients to see well at a variety of distances and under varying light conditions. Each lens has five different zones: bright light/distance dominant; near dominant in moderate to low light; distance in moderate to low light; near dominant in a range of lighting conditions; and low light/distance dominant. With ReZoom™ lens implants, you can see well whether you are driving at night, reading a book or playing golf in the sun.
At Optometric Care, our doctors will guide you in scheduling all of your appointments, including pre-operative consultations, surgical dates and post-operative follow-up exams in our office. During your pre-operative consultation, our doctors will provide you with valuable information about the procedure and also lens options that are available, including ReStor, ReZoom, and implants for astigmatism.
To learn more about cataracts, please visit the National Eye Institute.
Dry Eye Syndrome
If you answer yes to any of the questions below, you may be one of the millions of Americans suffering from dry eye syndrome, a condition that can occur in otherwise healthy individuals. Dry eyes can occur when either the volume of tears produced is inadequate or when the composition of the tears has changed, making the tear film unstable and causing tears to evaporate faster than they should.
|• Do your eyes ever look red or irritated?
• Do your eyes ever feel dry, sandy, gritty or scratchy?
• Do you have blurry vision that comes and goes during the day?
• Do you have difficulty wearing contact lenses?
• Does your vision ever become blurry at the end of the day or after prolonged periods of near work?
• Do you notice that your eyes become irritated easily, such as in smoky or windy environments?
At Optometric Care, our doctors specialize in the management and treatment of dry eye syndrome. We offer several treatment options that are painless and non-invasive. Because dry eye syndrome is considered a medical condition, treatment options that we offer are often covered or reimbursable under many major medical insurance plans.
If you feel that you are experiencing symptoms of dry eye syndrome, talk to your doctor about treatment options today!
Glaucoma consists of a group of eye diseases that can gradually steal sight without warning. Although it can occur in any age group, glaucoma is more frequently encountered in those who are over 65 years of age, those with a family history of glaucoma and those of African-American descent. Certain medications, such as corticosteroids and chronic diseases such as diabetes can predispose a person to glaucoma.
Vision loss from glaucoma is caused by damage to the optic nerve. This nerve acts like an electric cable, carrying images from the eye to the brain. In the early stages of the disease, there are often no symptoms. The damage that occurs is painless, gradual and progressive if treatment is not initiated.
A person may be considered a candidate to develop glaucoma on the basis of high intraocular pressure, an unusual appearance of the optic disc or visual field, a family history of glaucoma, or narrow angles between the iris and cornea. A patient with any of these factors is followed very closely to monitor any changes that might occur to the optic nerve, visual field or pressure in the eye.
While there is currently no cure for glaucoma, there are several successful treatment options. Proper control can typically be obtained by using medication in the form of eye drops or by having laser surgery. Sometimes a combination of surgery and medication is necessary in managing this condition.
Our doctors routinely screen all patients for glaucoma and have the advanced technology available in our office to investigate every suspicious finding or observation that is uncovered during a routine examination. You will receieve the highest quality of care obtainable when you choose Optometric Care!
To learn more about glaucoma, visit www.nei.nih.gov/health/glaucoma.
The macula is a highly specialized area of the retina, responsible for your most precise, sharpest vision. This delicate part of the eye is particularly vulnerable to many things including age, ultraviolet light and other factors that can lead to deterioration of vision. Whether “dry” (atrophic) or “wet” (hemorrhagic), macular degeneration leads to the loss of central vision, preventing one from achieving crisp, clear vision. Because this condition is most effectively managed in its early stages, prompt intervention and treatment are essential. While age remains the most prevalent risk factor for developing macular degeneration, other risk factors include smoking, obesity, race, a family history of the disease and gender.
At Optometric Care, our doctors regularly diagnose, manage and treat macular degeneration. Having a yearly, dilated eye exam is essential in diagnosing many ocular diseases, including macular degeneration…one more reason to schedule your comprehensive exam today!
To learn more about macular degeneration, including symptoms, management, and treatment options, please visit NEI's facts about Age-Related Macular Degeneration.
Diabetes affects your entire body, including your eyes. It is important for all patients to know that diabetes can cause severe vision loss and even blindness if it is not managed properly.
All people with diabetes, both type 1 and type 2, are at risk for developing diabetic eye disease. Diabetic patients should get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year to monitor any ocular or visual changes. The longer someone has this disease, the more likely he or she will develop a condition known as diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of blindness in American adults. Retinopathy occurs when tiny blood vessels inside the retina are damaged. If you have diabetic retinopathy, at first you may not notice changes in your vision, but over time, diabetic retinopathy can progress and cause major visual problems.
Symptoms of diabetic eye disease can include blurry or double vision, rings, flashing lights or blank spots, dark or floating spots, pain or pressure in one or both of your eyes and trouble seeing out of the corners of your eyes. If you have diabetic retinopathy, your doctor can recommend treatment to help prevent its progression.
Our doctors are skilled in treating and managing patients with diabetes. Diabetic patients are watched closely and seen frequently. They are regularly evaluated for signs and symptoms relating to diabetic eye disease. Finding and treating problems early are the keys to preventing visual damage!
To learn more about how diabetes can affect the eyes, visit the NEI's facts about Diabetic Eye Disease.
© 2011 Optometric Care, Inc. Aliquippa and Monaca Pennsylvania