The new year brings with it new hopes and new goals. For many people, this involves working on health and wellness goals. This year, make sure to include good habits that support eye health, as well as, overall wellness!
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Glaucoma and diabetes
- Diabetic macular edema
- Cataracts and diabetes
- Diagnosing and treating diabetic eye disease
According to the University of Michigan Kellog Eye Center, anyone’s risk of developing cataracts is pretty high. Over 95% of people who are 65 and older have a cataract. What’s more, half of those between the ages of 75 and 85 have experienced some loss of vision due to this condition.
To better understand cataracts, we’ll look at:
- Other risk factors for cataracts
- What are cataracts?
- Cataract symptoms
- Diagnosing cataracts
- Treatment of cataracts
While your chances of developing cataracts are high, there’s no reason to panic. Some common myths about cataracts include that they result from straining your eyes, or that they can spread from one eye to the other. The truth is that cataracts are a natural part of aging and develop slowly over time. This means that they can be caught early on using dilated eye exams. (more…)
The short answer is yes, you can have cataract surgery if you have age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The real question is whether cataract surgery will actually help your vision or not if you have AMD. The answer to that question is “probably, yes,” but it would be helpful to define what cataracts and AMD are to understand why that is.
To answer why you can probably have cataract surgery if you have macular degeneration, we’ll look at:
- Establishing the reason for your vision loss
- Can cataract surgery worsen AMD?
- Understanding macular degeneration and cataracts
Dr. Janis L. Holt will join Baptist Eye Surgeons at both the Knoxville and Morristown locations in December, 2019. Dr. Holt specializes in cataract surgery and corneal disease and transplant procedures.
She has performed thousands upon thousands of state-of-the-art cataract surgeries and partial thickness corneal transplantations. In addition, she also particularly enjoys helping patients understand and live optimally with glaucoma, diabetic eye diseases, and macular degeneration. (more…)
For years researchers have been suggesting that seniors who have healthy vision or those who take steps to improve their vision experience lifestyle benefits that extend beyond their eyesight.
Most recently, a study reported in the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that seniors who had cataract surgery showed a slower rate of cognitive decline compared to what they were exhibiting before surgery.
Research like this is raising an exciting question: Can cataract surgery have a positive impact on cognitive skills like memory and focus for seniors as well? (more…)
More than 25 million Americans have cataracts in the U.S. According to “The Future of Vision” study by Prevent Blindness, it’s estimated that 38.5 million people in the U.S. will have cataracts by 2032, and 45.6 million will have the eye condition by the year 2050.
One explanation for the rising number of cataracts is the aging population, since aging is the leading cause of cataracts. In fact, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, approximately half of all Americans have cataracts by age 75. However, cataracts can occur at any age, particularly with if one has risk factors such as eye injuries, eye diseases, a family history of cataracts, and certain diseases like diabetes. (more…)
Cataracts affect more than 24.4 million Americans over the age of 40, and approximately half of all Americans have cataracts by age 75, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology,
Aging is the most common cause of cataracts, since proteins in the lenses of your eyes start to break down around the age of 40. These normal changes cause the lens to gradually become cloudy, although it may be several years before vision problems are noticeable.
Causes Besides Aging
Aside from aging, other factors play a role in the formation of cataracts, including:
- Family history.
- Certain medical conditions, particularly diabetes.
- A previous eye injury or eye surgery.
- Sun exposure without proper UV protective sunglasses.
- Use of certain medications, such as corticosteroids.
When a cataract begins to form, changes in vision are minor and are usually unnoticeable. As the cataract continues to grow, clarity of the lens diminishes so vision changes become more apparent. With time, these vision changes can affect one’s quality of life by causing symptoms such as:
- Blurry vision.
- Seeing double.
- Increased sensitivity to light.
- Dimmed vision, needing more light when you read or at night.
- Colors appear faded or have a yellowish cast, like an old newspaper.
- Seeing halos around lights.
- Frequent changes in contact or glasses prescriptions.
While you can’t prevent aging, there are steps you can take that may slow the development of cataracts, including:
- Wear sunglasses that block 100% of sun’s UV rays.
- If you wear regular eyeglasses, choose to have a clear, anti-UV coating on the lenses.
- Wear protective eye gear to avoid eye injuries.
- Don’t smoke.
- Maintain healthy weight and blood pressure.
In addition, some studies suggest that certain nutrients and nutritional supplements support eye health, which may slow the development of cataracts. These nutrients include:
- Vitamin E: almonds, spinach, sunflower seeds.
- Vitamin C: red peppers, tomatoes, and strawberries and other fruits.
- Omega 3 fatty acids: fatty fish like salmon, walnuts, flaxseed, edamame beans.
- Beta carotene: carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe.
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin: leafy green vegetables like kale, broccoli, peas, eggs, and corn.
Early symptoms of cataracts may be improved with a new prescription for glasses or contacts, or by using brighter lighting, magnifying lenses, or anti-glare sunglasses. When these measures no longer help and activities like reading, driving, or working are affected, surgery is the only effective treatment.
Depending on your cataract diagnosis, your ophthalmologist can tell you if you’re a candidate for cataract surgery. During cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens. Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure, and more than 95% of patients experience improved vision.
The ophthalmologists at Baptist Eye Surgeons specialize in the treatment of cataracts, including surgery. With offices in Knoxville, TN and Morristown, TN, Baptist Eye Surgeons is an ophthalmological practice dedicated to providing quality eye care to patients whose needs range from routine comprehensive eye examinations to complex eye surgeries. To learn about our specialities and our doctors, visit our website. Call us at 865-579-3920 for more information, or visit us online to schedule an appointment.
The eye’s crystalline lens sits is located just behind the pupil and functions along with the cornea to focus light on the retina. As we age, proteins in this crystalline lens clump together, which creates clouding and hardening of the lens that can eventually affect our vision. This clouding is considered a cataract, whether there has been a significant reduction vision or not. The most common symptoms of cataracts are blurring and dimming of vision. Let’s take a closer looks at causes, symptoms, and treatments of cataracts:
What Causes Cataracts?
Cataracts are caused by a clouding or hardening of the eye’s lens. Things look blurry, hazy or less colorful with a cataract, akin to looking through a dusty or foggy window. Other symptoms may include double vision in only one eye, needing brighter light when reading, worsening night vision, increased sensitivity to bright light, or seeing halos around lights.
Cataracts are quite common with aging—75% of the U.S. population over the age of 65 has them. The good news is that cataract surgery techniques and technologies are always advancing, such as with the use of multifocal or toric lenses. (more…)