Ask The Experts: Lusk Eye Specialists
WHY DOES A CATARACT HAVE TO BE REMOVED TO CLEAR UP OUR VISION?
A cataract is a clouding and discoloration of the lens inside the eye. This normally clear structure changes shape, enabling incoming visual images to focus clearly on the retina at the back of the eye. When cataracts form, images get increasingly fuzzy, the eyes become more sensitive to glare, night vision is impaired, and color contrast is often lost. The only way to restore clear vision is to remove the natural lens and replace it with an Intraocular Lens Implant (IOL).
WHEN DO CATARACTS START TO DEVELOP…AND WILL WE ALL GET THEM?
Yes. Cataracts typically form gradually with age and all of us who are fortunate enough to live long enough will most likely develop them. In fact, cataracts are the most frequent cause of vision loss in people over 40. Common risk factors include exposure to ultraviolet radiation (i.e. sunlight), smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, prolonged use of corticosteroids, extreme nearsightedness and family history.
WILL WEARING SUNGLASSES PREVENT ME FROM GETTING A CATARACT?
Wearing sunglasses that block UV rays and a hat are important preventives that can prolong the development of a cataract. Eating lots of foods rich in vitamin E will also help. The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin (in dark green leafy vegetables) and omega-3 fatty acids (in fish like mackerel and salmon) may also reduce the risk of early cataract development, so keep eating healthy!
HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO CUSTOMIZE THESE NEW CATARACT LENSES?
The more information we can obtain about your entire optical system, the more our eye surgeons are able to customize your vision post-operatively after cataract surgery. Our next-generation IOLs can now provide patients wider ranges of vision and correct astigmatism at the same time.
IS CATARCT SURGERY A SAFE AND COMMON PROCEDURE?
Yes. Cataract surgery is the most frequently performed operation in the U.S. according to the organization Prevent Blindness America. It is also one of the safest medical procedures performed each year. This is even more common when cataract surgery is performed in a Medicare-Approved outpatient surgery center that is dedicated entirely to eyes. “It’s probably the most successful surgery we have — it has a 98 percent success rate,” said Dr. Lusk.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO WAIT TOO LONG TO HAVE CATARACT SURGERY?
“The longer you wait, the more difficult the operation becomes,” said Dr. Lusk. “It’s easier to remove cataracts before they become too dense and prevent patients from enjoying a normal life. Cataracts should be removed when they start to interfere with your normal daily activities and prevent you from doing the things you enjoy most in life.”