New Lenses May Improve Vision Among Patients With Cataracts
Patients with cataracts find their vision declines with age. They may for example, notice they start to see things less clearly than they used to. They may find they start mixing up numbers or letters; a C for example may resemble an O. Many people with cataracts note the biggest problem they have is driving at night, in part because they do not have the ability to see road signs and other postings quickly enough to drive safely, as well as increased glare and scattering of oncoming head lights.
Up until recently most patients with cataracts would go to the optometrist or ophthalmologist for a prescription for stronger eyeglasses. Now, patients that find their vision seems to be "clouding" over, a common sign of cataracts, may be able to take advantage of a new type of lens, which is an ideal situation for patients that prefer not to go under the knife to remove cataracts.
Lenses & Vision
Thick, unattractive and cumbersome eyeglasses are a thing of the past, at least according to researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College. The National Institutes of Health report roughly 1 of every 2 people will have developed cataracts by the time they turn 80.
And don't think you won't live until 80; modern technology and medicine have provided people the opportunity to live a healthy life well into their 80s, 90s and beyond. It's no wonder, as the human body has the capacity (under optimal conditions, including a stress-free environment) to live until 120!
That is a tale for another time. Right now your concern is cataracts. Previously, ophthalmologists would implant rigid plastic monofocal lenses in patients with cataracts to help them see clearly at distance, and then provide patients with reading glasses to fix near vision.
Now, ophthalmologists are promoting the use of multi-focal lenses, or lenses that enable a person to see whether they are looking at an object in the distance, trying to read, or trying to adapt to change in light or darkness. These lenses are intraocular, meaning doctors can place them inside the eye.
Intraocular lenses used to be very dense and rigid; today's intraocular lenses are flexible, often crafted from silicone and other softer materials, so they are less likely to irritate the eyes. The National Institutes of Health suggest that 9 of every 10 people find their vision improves dramatically after implantation of these newer multi-focal lenses.
If you develop cataracts, you are not alone. Cataracts are a common visual problem among people as they age. While researchers have not pinpointed a way to prevent cataracts, they do now have the technology to treat it using for the most part minimally invasive procedures.
Keep in mind cataracts may also occur in younger, healthy populations. For example, people may form cataracts or cloudy vision following an eye injury such as blunt trauma from playing sports or an accident. Still others develop cataracts as a "side-effect" of many diseases common to people as they get older, including diabetes. Some medications such as prednisone may also cause cataracts.
How do you know if you have cataracts? Chances are high you will notice your eyes or an eye looks as though a thin film. You may find you have double vision, or you may find your vision becomes blurry, whether over time or suddenly. Regardless of the symptom, if you have any changes in your vision and suspect cataracts, you should see an ophthalmologist or your primary healthcare provider as soon as possible.
The earlier you treat this condition, the less chances of complications from surgery and the less likely it is to affect your life. Make sure you are also paying attention to the foods you eat. Eating a healthy diet with many fruits and vegetables throughout your life may slow down the progression of cataract formation, as well as wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV exposure
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