June is Cataract Awareness Month

cataract surgeryIn honor of Cataract Awareness Month, Hampton Roads Eye Associates is providing some useful information to help you understand the disease and how to protect yourself. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world and affect more than 22 million Americans aged 40 and older. 

Cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens which blocks or changes the passage of light into the eye. Fortunately, vision loss due to cataract can be restored with a simple procedure.  Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed procedures in the United States and has over a 90 percent success rate. 

Risk factors for developing cataract include:

  • Family history of cataract
  • Diabetes, smoking
  • Extended exposure to UV rays
  • Serious eye injury
  • Use of steroids

 Cataracts generally do not cause pain, redness or tears. However, these changes in your vision may be signs of cataract:

  • Blurred or hazy vision
  • Double vision in one eye
  • Poor vision in bright light
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Poor vision at night
  • Yellowish tinged vision
  • Frequent changes in eyeglasses or contact lens prescription

Click to learn more about the cataract surgery options offered at Hampton Roads Eye Associates. 

Can I prevent cataracts?

There is no proven way to prevent age-related cataracts. However, making these healthy decisions may help to slow the progression of cataracts:

  • Avoid or quit smoking
  • Reduce exposure to UV rays
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Wear proper eye protection to avoid eye injury

One of the most important ways we can protect our vision is to make a commitment to take care of your eyes today. This includes getting a dilated eye exam, which helps to protect your sight for the future not just from cataract, but other eye diseases as well. If you  have not had your yearly eye exam, you can schedule one today by calling us at 757.643.8800, or filling out our online form.

Cataracts: The Basic Information

cataracts treatmentClouded vision can be a metaphor for questionable wisdom, or it can be a reality for people with cataracts. Cataracts are like a cloud over the eye’s lens, beginning small but often growing until they negatively affect vision.

Symptoms of cataracts

  • clouded, dimmed, or blurred vision
  • light sensitivity
  • a need for brighter light to read by
  • seeing rings around lights
  • frequent changes in eyeglass prescriptions
  • double vision when only one eye is open
  • colors appear faded or yellowed

What causes cataracts?

The lens of the eye does the camera-like work of focusing on objects and sending bright, clear pictures to your brain. As you age, proteins on the surface of the lens can clump up. These clumps of protein are the cataracts. They often begin small and unnoticeable, but when they grow to cover more of the lens, the cataracts obscure vision and cause some or all of the above symptoms. Most cataracts develop in the eyes of older people, but they can also be caused by genetics or certain medical conditions. Some habits and/or conditions (such as smoking, alcoholism, obesity, and excessive exposure to sunlight) put people at a higher risk for the growth of cataracts.

Treatments

In the beginning stages of cataracts, the mild symptoms can be relieved with non-invasive treatments such as

  • new eyeglasses
  • brighter lighting
  • anti-glare glasses

However, when the cataracts begin to interfere with your daily activities, such as driving, reading, and using the computer, you and your doctor need to have a talk about cataract surgery. Patients should take their time and learn as much as they can beforehand because delaying the surgery will not make the surgery less effective or harder to perform. Cataract surgery is a very common surgery with a high success rate. The operation to remove a cataract typically lasts less than an hour, and it is nearly painless. Most patients return home the same day.

If you are experiencing vision problems, and you’re not sure if a cataract is causing it or not, schedule an appointment with Hampton Roads Eye Associates.   Hampton Roads Eye Associates in Oyster Point treats patients with beginning and advanced cataracts in their office, providing every treatment option from lenses to laser assisted surgery.  Contact us today at (757) 643-8800.

 

Cataracts & Lens Implants

cataract surgeryWhat are Cataracts

A cataract is a clouding of the lens inside the eye. As you age, the lenses in your eyes become less flexible, less transparent and thicker. Age-related changes cause tissues within the lens to break down and clump together, causing small areas of cloudiness within the lens. The clouding usually begins after the age of 50 and gradually causes loss of vision. This cause of vision loss cannot be corrected by wearing glasses, contact lens, or having Lasix surgery.

Symptoms of Cataracts

At first, the cloudiness in your vision caused by a cataract may affect only a small part of your eye’s lens and you may be unaware of any vision loss. As the cataract grows larger, it clouds more of your lens and distorts the light passing through the lens. This may lead to signs and symptoms you are more likely to notice. Symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Blurred vision as though looking through a foggy window.
  • Unable to see well in dim lighting.
  • Seeing halos around lights especially when driving at night.
  • Sensitivity to light and glare.
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescriptions.

What are Lens Implants

An Intraocular (IOL) lens is a synthetic, artificial lens. It replaces the focusing power of a natural lens that is removed during cataract surgery. During your preoperative exam and consultation, your cataract surgeon can help you choose the best IOL for your needs.

How Hampton Roads Eye Associates Oyster Point Can Help

At HREA, there are many qualified specialty trained surgeons using the latest surgical techniques to restore vision loss due to cataracts. The less invasive small incision, no stitch cataract surgery offers many benefits to the patient including:

  • Quicker recovery of good vision
  • Speedier return to normal activities
  • Outpatient procedure allows you to return home in a few hours
  • Reduces the chance of ruptured sutures or other complications

Cataract surgery is relatively painless and is one of the most frequently performed procedures. It has a very high success rate, with more than 90 percent of cataract surgery patients able to regain useful vision. If visual impairment interferes with your daily abilities, cataract surgery may be a good option. Contact Hampton Roads Eye Associates Oyster Point if you have any questions or would like to schedule a pre-operative exam for cataract surgery (757) 643-8800.

Mr. & Mrs. Wyatt Have Cataract Surgery on Same Day

cataract surgeryThis lovely couple insisted on having their surgeries on the same day, back to back. Here is the wife coming out of the OR giving her husband a kiss before he heads into the OR. Their love for each other warmed our hearts!

 

 

The Benefits of Cataract Surgery

Cataract patientsCataracts are, usually just a normal symptom of the aging process. In most cases, they affect people who are aged 60 or over.  A cataract is a clouding on the lens of the eye, causing blurred vision. Cataracts tend to develop slowly and in the early stages there may be no symptoms. But as years pass and the cataracts progresses, vision problems become more noticeable.

If left untreated, cataracts can cause progressive loss of vision and even blindness. Fortunately, for the vast majority of people it is a condition that is easily rectified. In fact, it’s one of the most common surgery performed in the world today.

Some of the first signs that indicate that a cataract has developed include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Poor night time vision
  • Colors seem less sharp
  • Seeing halos and star-bursts when looking at bright lights

If you have one of more of these symptoms, you should talk to your ophthalmologist and find out if you have cataracts and if you are a candidate for cataracts surgery.

After your eye has had time to heal from the operation, your overall vision should be greatly improved. Your vision will be much clearer, colors will appear sharper than they did before, and your ability to see at night will increase. In greater than 90 percent of cases the patient’s vision is greatly enhanced.

One of the greatest benefits of cataract surgery is the increased quality of life. Many research studies show that cataract surgery has many lifestyle benefits – for reading, working, driving, playing sport and so on.

In addition, studies show other advantages of cataract surgery include:

  • More independence
  • Improved self-confidence
  • Better mental health
  • Safety
  • A reduction in falls
  • A greater enjoyment of social activities and passions and hobbies

As you can imagine, improved vision immeasurably enhances overall life satisfaction and enjoyment. If you want to learn more about cataracts, schedule an appointment today to discus your options in treating your vision.