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FusionEyeCareTranspr


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Cataract

Can A Healthy Diet Prevent Cataracts?

One of the leading causes of blindness today is age-related cataract. Surgical removal of the cloudy lens is the only treatment for cataracts that’s currently available. During the procedure, the cloudy lens is replaced with an intraocular lens (IOL).

The exact cause of cataracts is still unknown, but experts believe that the lens becomes cloudy after the oxidative stress damages certain proteins and enzymes in the natural lens of the eye.

While research has yielded mixed results, eating a diet that’s rich in certain vitamins and antioxidants has been observed in several studies to be linked with a reduced risk of cataracts or even their progression.

Oxidative Stress, Diet, & Cataracts

Oxidative stress is that which results if there’s an imbalance between the harmful free radicals roaming the body and the antioxidants responsible for keeping them in check. Free radicals are atoms or molecules that tend to be highly reactive with other molecules and atoms since they have unpaired electrons.

A free radical in the body is typically an oxygen molecule that becomes stable once it takes an electron from another molecule that in turn attempts to take an electron from yet another molecule, and the cycle goes on and on.

Free radicals are quite harmful to the body since they steal electrons from the otherwise healthy cells of tissues and organs. Oxidation is the process of stealing electrons from healthy cells.

Oxidation in the eye affects fats and proteins in the lens to the extent that the lens becomes cloudy and damaged thus creating a cataract. Healthy foods, especially those rich in antioxidants can prevent free radical damage and help slow down the process.

Free radicals that damage the eyes along with other tissues and organs can originate from exposure to chemicals or pollution, eating unhealthy foods, ultraviolet radiation, and smoking. Some free radicals occur from normal daily metabolism, which means that the antioxidants contained in healthy food are also required by people that don’t have such risk factors.

Healthy Foods Vs. Cataract Prevention

People that follow a healthy diet consisting of whole grains, vegetables and colorful fruits consistently may show a reduced risk of cataracts. Phytochemicals and antioxidant vitamins found in vegetables and fruits that can help reduce the risk of cataracts include zeaxanthin, lutein, and Vitamins A, C, and E.

Consuming fish high in omega-3 fatty acids has also been linked to a reduced risk of developing cataracts or at least slowing down their progression.

While all the antioxidants, nutrients, and phytochemicals used in studies and believed to help prevent cataracts can be found in vision supplements and eye vitamins, experts believe that it is possible to obtain these substances from a healthy diet instead of nutritional supplements.

If you are like most Americans, your diet probably lacks the key ingredients since you aren’t eating enough vegetables and fruits. It is thus advisable to consider taking nutritional supplements to ensure that you get all the necessary nutrients for optimal eye health.

Consult your ophthalmologist or optometrist before you embark on a regimen of eye vitamins or even other nutritional supplements. In some instances, taking too much of a particular nutrient or vitamin can be harmful to health.

How Can I Tell If My Child Needs Glasses?

Eye Doctors Share 6 Warning Signs

Every parent wants their child to make the most of his or her potential – both in and out of school. That doesn’t always mean you need to hire extra tutors and enroll your kid in daily after-school enrichment courses. In fact, one of the most effective ways to help children maximize their abilities is much less time-consuming and less costly. So what’s this secret method for helping kids to excel?… Schedule a pediatric eye exam to see if they need glasses!

Optimal vision is required to develop basic learning and socializing skills, such as reading, writing and forming new friendships. As you make a list of all the essentials your child needs for school, remember to include “eye exam”. Fortunately, it’s easy to cross that task off the list with a visit to our friendly eye doctors.

While only a thorough eye exam by our optometrist can diagnose if your child needs (or doesn’t need) eyeglasses, there are telltale warnings signs for parents to be aware of. The following 6 signs may point to your child’s need to wear prescription eyeglasses:

1. Squinting

studying reading boyThis can indicate the presence of a refractive error, which affects the eyes ability to focus on an image. Squinting can temporarily bring objects into focus.

2. Head tilting or covering one eye

By angling his head or covering one eye, your child may be able to enhance the clarity of an object or to eliminate double vision. This trick works best when eyes are misaligned, or when your child has the common condition of a lazy eye (amblyopia).

3. Holding digital devices close to the eyes or sitting close to the screen

If your kid always sits right next to the TV screen or brings handheld devices up to her nose to see them, it may be a sign of nearsightedness.

4. Eye rubbing

Eyestrain or fatigue may lead to excessive eye rubbing. This can be a red flag for a variety of vision conditions, including eye allergies.

5. Headaches and/or eye pain

If your child goes to bed each night complaining about a headache, it could indicate that he spent the day overexerting his eyes to see clearly.

6. Trouble concentrating and/or weak reading comprehension

When learning in a classroom, kids need to constantly adapt their visual focus from near to far and back again. They are always shifting their eyes between the board, computer, notebook and textbook. If their eye teaming or focusing skills (accommodation) aren’t up to par, they won’t be able to maintain the necessary concentration.

Problems in school are often misdiagnosed as ADD or ADHD, when poor vision is really to blame. Think about it- if your child cannot see the board crisp and clear, her mind will likely wander to more interesting things. This will make it very hard for her to keep up in class and very easy to fall behind.

To protect your child from a medical misdiagnosis or being labeled with a behavioral problem, we encourage you to reserve an eye exam as soon as possible. It’s very possible that a precise vision prescription and a pair of designer eyeglasses is all the treatment your child needs!

Will I Need Glasses After Cataract Surgery?

Happy Senior Man And Woman

Clear Vision after Cataract Surgery

Following cataract surgery, a number of options are available to provide you with clear vision. Advanced lens implants may reduce your dependence upon eyeglasses and contact lenses, or you may prefer eyewear.

To explain, during cataract surgery, your eye doctor will concentrate on two specific issues:

  1. Resolving cloudy vision caused by cataracts
  2. Vision problems caused by the lens power and shape of your eye

Private insurance plans and Medicare typically cover the expense of cataract surgery, along with a single-focus intraocular lens implant – in which a clear lens replaces your opaque lens. However, as your eye doctor performs this surgery, you can also opt to have an additional procedure to improve your vision focus. This can eliminate or reduce your need for eyewear.

Ultimately, you and your eye doctor will decide together upon the most appropriate choice for your personal needs. To make the right decision, it is important to be informed how each option will affect your vision. Here are a few case examples to give you a clearer picture of the possibilities:

Mia:

A true bookworm, Mia is always reading when she is not working in data entry. She has healthy eyes with a mild astigmatism and dislikes wearing eyeglasses. She was just diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes. After cataract surgery, Mia would be very pleased to reduce her dependence upon eyeglasses.

A perfect choice for Mia would be multifocal contact lenses, which enable near and far focus without any cumbersome eyeglasses.

Another option would be a procedure described as a “corneal relaxing incision”. During her cataract surgery, Mia’s eye doctor would make an additional incision in the cornea to reshape it.

Ethan:

Ethan is an avid outdoorsman who has mild astigmatism in both eyes and wears eyeglasses for sharp vision. Recently, he was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes. He is not bothered with wearing glasses for reading or close tasks, yet he would love to bike, swim and jog without his prescription glasses.

An ideal vision correction for Ethan would be an intraocular lens implant that resolves astigmatism. Called a toric lens, this implant can focus his distance vision and thereby reduce the need for eyeglasses when engaging in outdoor physical activities. Most likely, he will still need reading glasses to see fine print and the computer screen, as a toric lens does not help with both near and distant vision.

Matthew:

Matthew was never a fan of reading glasses. Therefore, for over 15 years, he has worn monovision contact lenses successfully to provide distance for presbyopia. Monovision lenses correct one eye for distance and one eye for near vision. After his cataract surgery, he would like to continue wearing monovision contacts. However, this is not his only option.

Multifocal lenses can be implanted in both of Matthew’s eyes, thereby giving sharp focus for both near and distance in both eyes. Alternatively, his eye doctor can implant one lens for distance and one for near – following the monovision method. The best candidates for this option are generally patients who are accustomed to wearing monovision lenses, such as Matthew. The final choice is a personal one, based on his preferences.

Jerry:

Jerry has worn eyeglasses since he was a young child, and he is the proud owner of many stylish frames. In addition to providing clear eyesight, Jerry’s eyeglasses function as his trademark fashion accessory.

After cataract surgery, he is a good candidate for basic single focus lens implants. These implants will improve Jerry’s visual acuity without eyeglasses, yet he will still need eyewear to focus well on both distance and near tasks. This option is a great match for his personal preferences.

The type of vision correction you choose after your cataract surgery depends upon your ocular condition, individual lifestyle preferences and the professional recommendation of your eye doctor. Quality vision is the objective of every cataract procedure, and there is more than one way to reach this goal!

What Happens If Cataracts Are Left Untreated?

glasses senior woman portraitA cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye, which leads to loss of vision. Cataracts are part of the aging process and are very common in older people.

If you have cataracts, they will get worse over time, and your vision will get worse. Important skills can be affected, such as driving, and loss of vision affects the overall quality of life in many ways, including reading, working, hobbies, and sports. If left untreated cataracts can cause total blindness.

The main treatment for cataracts is eye surgery. Sometimes changing your eyeglass prescription will help improve your vision, but often it will not. Eye doctors recommend having cataract surgery before your cataracts start seriously affecting your vision. If you wait too long, your cataracts can become “hyper-mature”, which makes them more difficult to remove, and can cause surgery complications. In general, the best outcomes for cataract surgery take place when surgery is performed soon after vision problems develop. It’s best not to wait too long to have the surgery performed.

The best way to decide how to treat your cataracts, and when, is to discuss your options with your eye doctor. Your eye doctor will be able to give you the information you need to make a decision about your treatment options, as well as give you information about the best eye surgeons in your area. Your eye doctor is familiar with your medical history and treatment, and is in the best position to give you information and advice about treating your cataracts.

 

 

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