Four Common Myths About Cataracts

You may have heard warning from your parents, or grandparents, about cataracts when you were younger. They may have spoken about how staring into the sun for too long, or not properly shielding your eyes from the elements may cause permanent damage that will lead to cataracts. While there is an element of truth to this, the fact is, your elders were perpetuating certain pervasive myths about cataracts that are not widely understood. That in mind, here are four myths about cataracts, that are commonly believed, and reasons why they are incorrect.

Cataracts Can Grow Back

Its often thought that cataracts can re-grow over time, like other regenerative diseases. However, this is simply not the case. Once a cataract is removed from the eye, it is permanently removed. This misconception probably comes from the fact that it is possible for a separate, secondary cataract to develop in your eye, years after removal. This is due to the membrane, which holds the new lens in your eye, can become cloudy, if it is not cared for properly. Fortunately, this secondary cataract can easily be removed using laser surgery, by making a small hole in the membrane and allowing light to enter through and clear it up.

Cataracts Can Be Removed Using Lasers

While a secondary cataract can be removed using laser surgery, an initial cataract cannot. This is because, unlike the secondary cataract, the initial cataract grows on the actual properties of the lens instead of the surface. As a result, typical cataract surgery requires your natural lens to be removed with a tool called a phaco probe. The natural lens is then replaced with an artificial one that adapts naturally to the eye around it and is called an intraocular lens.

Cataract Symptoms Can Be Reversed

Although it is presumed that laser surgery can reverse the symptoms of cataracts, this is also untrue. Once the cataracts have set in, there is no known treatment that can lessen the effects. However, a well balanced diet, and limited exposure to UV rays, are some of the methods that can keep the cloudiness in your vision at bay, if surgery is not an immediate option.

Cataracts Cannot Be Removed Until They Ripen

While surgery is necessary once cataracts set in, it is often thought that it is best to wait until the cataract hits an advanced stage before it can be removed. Although medical technology was limited in the past, modern advances have allowed for surgery to take place as soon as it begins to affect the quality of your vision and your life.

Dispelling these myths about cataracts only helps create an environment where open discussions can take place on how cataracts affect people and lessen their quality of life. If you are a loved one believe you have any symptoms of cataracts, you should consult Dr. Ghosheh, as soon as possible, to discuss immediate treatment.

What is Cataract Surgery Recovery Like?

Very few things are as important as your vision, and if you have noticed that yours is not as good as it once was, you might need to consider cataract surgery. You will want to visit your eye doctor to confirm that this is the best option for you and that it will end up benefitting you after you have gone through the surgery.

How long will it take me to recover?

If you are worried about how the surgery will affect you and what kind of problems you might have to deal with afterward, you should know that almost all surgeries are successful and easy to recover from. Your vision may be cloudy and blurry for a while after the surgery, and you will most likely have to spend some time resting for an hour or so before you begin to see more clearly. Some patients might even have to deal with a black eye if they have had an injection of anesthesia.

You’ll want to keep in mind that every patient tends to heal differently after surgery, so if you’ve noticed that your vision hasn’t healed up after a few hours, don’t be alarmed. However, if you are still having problems the next day then it might be a good idea to contact your doctor. After about a month, you should be back to normal and seeing better than ever before.

How can I ensure my surgery goes well?

There are some little things you can do in order to make sure that your surgery goes as smoothly as possible. Oftentimes, it simply requires you to be aware that you have undergone surgery and to take care of yourself.

The first day of your procedure, you will want to have someone drive you home so you can rest your eyes and you don’t have to deal with the stress of getting from one location to another. Over the next few weeks, you’ll want to refrain from any heavy lifting or other activities that require you to strain yourself.

One of the major problems you might face when you are dealing with recovery is an infection. Fortunately, it rarely occurs and you can take steps to prevent having to treat it. You will want to avoid touching your eyes as much as possible and avoid spending time in areas where you can expose your eyes to dust and wind. Swimming or using a hot tub can also cause infections, and you’ll want to avoid bending over if possible to keep pressure from forming on your eye.

You’ll also want to limit the amount of time you spend on the computer or watching TV.

With these steps, it should take you only about a month to recover from cataract eye surgery and you can get back to enjoying your healthy lifestyle.

For more information, please contact Advanced Eye Medical.

What are Cataracts and How Can I Prevent Them?

Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss in Americans over the age 40. That’s a big reason why each person should learn about the disease and begin preventing it. Cataracts are a relatively simple condition – the lens of the eye becomes cloudy over time. Vision is greatly affected and total vision loss could occur with cataracts. The good news is that they aren’t painful and the onset is slow, which means that there is plenty of time to proactively treat the disease and save vision from deterioration.

Cataracts defined

Cataracts are the name for the condition in which the lens of the eye becomes cloudy and white. This occurs with aging. It can occur in one or both eyes, but one eye is usually more severely affected than the other. It cannot spread from one eye to the other.

Why does the lens become cloudy with age?

It’s because of the proteins in the lens clumping together. The proteins in the eye begin to clump together from deterioration that occurs over time. Some things are believed to be risk factors for cataracts, including diabetes and smoking.

Since the lens is affected, vision is affected

According to the National Eye Institute, the lens is responsible for focusing light or images onto the retina. Normally, light passes through a clear lens to provide a sharp image to the retina. When the lens becomes cloudy, so does the image. The result is blurred or clouded vision.

How will I know if I have cataracts?

Cataracts are interesting because it often takes several years for symptoms to appear after the disease actually appears. It is possible to have the disease for some time and not even know it.   Symptoms include:

  • Blurry or clouded vision
  • Poor vision in darker rooms
  • Glare caused by very bright lights
  • Difficulty reading or seeing small type
  • Brown tinted vision
  • Double vision
  • Needing new glasses prescription often

How Can I Prevent Cataracts?

Certain risk factors for cataracts have been identified. They include health factors, lifestyle choices and environmental dangers. Many of the factors are things that can be limited or prevented. If you want to limit your risk of developing cataracts, follow these 5 tips.

  1. Stop smoking – smoking makes it more likely that you’ll develop cataracts, and you could even develop them earlier in life.
  1. Keep your diabetes and other conditions in check – having uncontrolled diabetes, blood pressure, or other conditions could increase your risk of eye disease, so work with your doctor and maintain your treatment plan.
  1. Limit your eyes’ exposure to sunlight – UV radiation isn’t good for your eyes, so wearing sunglasses that filter out UV rays while limiting your exposure to sunlight is a good idea.
  1. Eat right and take eye health supplements – your eyes greatly benefit from good nutrition, and getting the right nutrients, such as antioxidants and beta carotene, can help you avoid cataracts.
  1. Get plenty of rest – sound sleep assures that your eyes will get the rest they need so that they can repair themselves and get ready for a new day; shoot for at least 7 hours of sleep each night, and rest your eyes during the day when necessary.

Above all, see your eye doctor

Perhaps the most important piece of the cataracts prevention puzzle is seeing your eye doctor regularly. Catching the disease early can ensure proper treatment and minimization of vision loss. Your yearly eye exam is the best place to catch cataracts. Schedule your exam at Advanced Eye Medical today by calling 1-888-439-6565.

Cataract Surgery and the Older Patient

As we age, our vision changes. Small print is harder to read, minor vision issues become more pronounced and sometimes, we develop cataracts, or a clouding of the lenses resulting in blurred vision. Cataract surgery can help to restore your vision and reduce the visual difficulties that come with the lens of your eyes being clouded. At the Advanced Eye Center, we believe that patients suffering with cataracts should be informed of their treatment options, how to prepare for a necessary surgery and what to expect during this process.

How to Prepare

Dr. Ghosheh will meet with you one to two weeks prior to your cataract surgery to prep you for the procedure. The following are common preparation methods to expect:

  • Testing: A quick ultrasound will be performed to get the shape and size of your eye, ensuring that the right artificial lens is placed.
  • Eye drops: You will start using eye drops about 48 hours before the procedure to prevent infection.
  • Recovery information: Taking proper recovery steps is crucial for a smooth healing process. Dr. Ghosheh will prepare a thorough recovery plan for you.
  • Stopping medications: Medications that increase bleeding risk may have to be stopped a week or two before the procedure.
  • Fasting: In most cases, you must refrain from eating or drinking 12 hours before the procedure.

What to Expect on Surgery Day

You are typically awake, but sedated, for this procedure. Eye drops to dilate the pupil and an anesthetic are given to numb you. Then, Dr. Ghosheh will remove the cloudy lens of your eye and replace it with an artificial one, also known as an intraocular lens.

Possible Risks

Cataract surgery is a safe and effective procedure, and it is uncommon for people to experience complications. However, knowing potential risks is important. The following are potential complications after this surgery:

  • Inflammation
  • Bleeding
  • Infection

Recovering from Cataract Surgery

It can take up to 30 days to see the full visual results from your surgery. However, the main recovery time is during the first week and you will be restricted from things like driving and lifting. You will be given anti-inflammatory and antibiotic eye drops to use to promote healing and prevent infection.

Making Sure You’re Informed, Every Step of the Way

Dr. Ghosheh and his staff will ensure that you are thoroughly prepped and informed about your cataract surgery. Contact us and schedule your consultation if you are considering this procedure. We believe in delivering the best possible results in the safest manner for your vision and overall well-being.

How Healthy Living Can Prevent Cataracts

Cataracts are a common occurrence in individuals over the age of 40 and they are the leading cause for blindness. A cataract is a clouding of the eye lens that can impact your vision and ultimately can affect your daily activities if not treated.

Although there is no way to prevent cataracts from forming, there are some things you can do to keep the condition from progressing. Advanced Eye Medical Group can provide further information on how to protect your eyes.

Stop Smoking

It is no secret that smoking can cause several health problems, but it can also increase chances of developing cataracts. It is never too late to quit smoking; there are several health issues that derive from smoking.

Eat Healthy

People who follow a healthier diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains may reduce their chances of cataracts forming. According to All About Vision, a Supporter National Sponsor of Optometry Giving Sight, the more antioxidants present in your body can significantly reduce cataracts from forming. Maintaining a healthy diet is not only beneficial for your eyes but your overall health.

Protect your Eyes from Ultraviolet Rays

Ultraviolet radiation derived from the sun can damage your eyes and lead to cataracts. Protect your eyes from the sunlight by wearing sunglasses designed with UV protection.

Annual Eye Exams

Routine visits with Advanced Eye Medical Group allows our eye doctors to look for any signs of cataracts and other vision disorders. Cataracts are fairly simple to diagnose during routine eye exams. However, individuals over the age of 40 should have a dilated eye exam performed every 2 years to detect early signs of cataracts.

If you are suffering from blurry vision due to cataracts, Orange County cataract surgery can remove your cataracts and significantly improve your vision. Call 1-888-439-6565 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation to discuss further treatment for your eyes.

Understanding Your Risks during Cataract Awareness Month

With the sun shining brighter and the days growing longer we can never be too prepared to protect our vision. While we are heading to the beach and hosting family barbecues this summer take into consideration your risks for cataracts. To date, there is no medication or eye drops proven to prevent or reverse cataract formation. The only major solution is to undergo cataract surgery to improve affected vision. For many who are unaware, June is Cataract Awareness month and to help prepare you for it, we are sharing some important information and tips to help preserve your eye health.

A cataract is a clouding of the clear lens in the eye that affects natural vision. The lenses in our eyes focus light on the retina at the back of an eye, where the image is registered. The lens also adjusts the range of focus on things both up close and far away. As our bodies age, the proteins in our eyes start to clump up and form a small cloudy layer on the lens that does not clear up on its own – this is a cataract. Over time, the more you avoid a cataract is the larger the cloud grows and as a result decreases vision in that eye.

Cataracts Risk Factors

Cataracts are more common in aging adults, but it does not mean that young adults are free from this condition. A number of other risk factors for cataracts include:

  • Smoking and alcohol
  • Overexposure to ultraviolet rays
  • Long-term use of steroids
  • Obesity and high blood-pressure

Some other common risk factors that are out of an individual’s control include:

  • Heredity
  • Severe eye injuries
  • Diseases such as diabetes

Reducing Risk of Cataracts

Cataracts are common as a person ages, but that does not mean that they will affect everyone. A number of practices can be done to help reduce your risks, such as wearing proper sunglasses and a hat with a brim to block out summer sunlight. Researchers also indicate that good nutrition can help reduce the risk, as well as exercising regularly to maintain a healthy weight.

As per the Vision Problems in the United States report, from Prevent Blindness in America, cataracts affect more than 24 million Americans over the age of 40. The best thing to help maintain healthy eyesight in adults is to attend regular eye exams. People 60 or older can have a comprehensive dilated eye exam once every two years or as recommended by their optometrist.

A firmer or more developed cataract can be difficult to remove, but if caught and diagnosed early you can help maintain the remnant of your eyesight. In certain situations that are discovered early, it is safer to remove the cataract for replenishing vision.

Can Healthier Food Choices Beat Cataracts?

While no one can stop the effects of aging, there is no substitute for healthy habits to maintain strong and great quality vision. Age-related cataracts are the leading cause of low vision and blindness across the globe, with up to 30 percent of people over the age of 50 developing the disease. Custom treatment for cataracts is becoming a routine procedure in America, but many patients are in search of natural and thrifty methods of preventing cataracts, so today we want to share some advice about keeping an eye on your plate to slow the progression of macular degeneration and cataracts.

Take note that cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy and dims the vision of more than 100 million people worldwide.

The center of the retina is called the macula. Macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration, is a gradual process that leads to the loss of central vision and limits the ability to perform everyday tasks that involve reading or recognizing others.

Fortunately, there are ways to combat these conditions simply by making smarter food choices which are good for your eyes and your health overall.

One study involving 27,670 British men and women above the age of 40, attempted to link the possible connections between diet and risk of developing cataracts. For nine years researchers followed their eating habits and cataract development, and found that those who consumed more than 3.5 ounces of meat per day were at a higher risk of developing cataracts. Statistics published in the American Journal of Nutrition revealed that the risk of developing cataracts was:

  • 15 percent lower in people who consumed less than 1.8 ounces of meat a day.

  • 21 percent lower in people who eat fish, but no meat.

  • 30 percent lower in people who eat no meat and no fish (vegetarians).

  • 40 percent lower in people who eat no animal products at all (vegans).

Although the study cannot prove cause and effect relations since it was performed outside of clinical trial, the study shows that eating less meat and more vegetables, fruit and whole grains may safeguard your eyes from cataracts development.

Fall in line with some healthier food choices that may just very well contain cataract development. Cutting back on your meats may just be good enough for your eyes after all and there are plenty of plant protein sources to fulfill your meat cravings, such as beans, lentils, chickpeas, fish and chicken.

If you are at risk of cataracts or would like to find out more about safeguarding habits to slow the progress of cataracts then schedule an appointment at our Advanced Eye Medical office in Orange County. Custom treatment for cataracts may be the best solution for active conditions, so call now to find out how we can help you keep your vision safe from age-related diseases.

Nutrition for Eye Disease Prevention

It’s never too early to consider the health of your eyes. Whether or not you have experienced vision problems in the past, taking the initiative to have a better sense of preventive eye care can help avoid serious eye conditions in the future. As with any important organs in your body (heart, skin, bones, etc) being able to detect eye problems early on may offer more efficient treatment options. According to VisionProblemsUS.org (An online database of adult vision impairment  reported by the organization Prevent Blindness America) “the leading causes of vision impairment and blindness in the United States are primarily age-related eye diseases.” Of the U.S. population of about 142 million, a staggering 89.4 million have some type of vision impairment, and that number is growing every year. While there is no proven cure for eye disease, new nutritional research shows that nutritional intervention is effective at slowing, stopping and even relieving untreatable eye diseases.

Part of any healthy regimen is nutrition. As most eye problems are linked to age, it is important to start forming a consistent diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables with high levels of antioxidants. Now the concept of taking in high levels of antioxidants may not restore vision that was already lost, but it can hinder or prevent new symptoms from developing. In the Beaver Dam Eye Study, a 20-year long examination, scientists examined the intake of antioxidant nutrients and those who consumed foods high in antioxidant vitamins had a diminished risk of developing cataracts.

Taking the initiative to quit smoking has also been known to have significant benefits in eye health for any age. Studies show that smokers are at a higher risk for developing eye diseases. Quitting smoking can not only help you avoid the high risks of diminishing eyesight, but can also help you avoid a variety of other health issues. [The risks can be deadly for an unborn child, from forcing premature labor or retinopathy of prematurity as well as other health problems.]

Daily intake of lutein and zexanthin is important for maintenance of good eye health. Lutein and zexanthin are the only carotenoids found in the eye, and research shows that these can help protect vision by protecting against cataracts and age related macular degeneration (AMD). These compounds are normally found in colorful fruits and vegetables including kale, spinach, corn, eggs, broccoli, and oranges.

Take advantage and start thinking about nutrition for a better state of eye care, before it’s too late. Before taking any supplements or [unnatural] vitamins, consult a physician for further knowledge, but putting yourself in a better, healthier mindset is the best decision you can make to have long lasting, healthy and functioning eyesight.