Cataract Prevention

June 23, 2014

It has been said that cataracts are absolutely inevitable, and that everyone gets cataracts! Do we know if this is true? And is it also true that if you live long enough, you will need cataract surgery? These are questions that most people should be concerned with, because both statements have some truth to them. Let's discuss the nature and the causes of cataracts first.

Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye loses its clarity. For good vision, we need light to come into the eye and focus through that lens. Cataracts, for the most part, have an unknown cause. They are part of the aging process, but we don't know why the cells in the lens of the eye lose their ability to stay clear. There are certain cases where the cause of cataracts ARE known. For instance, cataracts run in some families, and are inherited by each generation. Patients with diabetes, whether insulin dependent or non-insulin dependent, may get cataracts. Patients on steroid drops, inhalers, pills, or even nasal sprays are more likely to get cataracts. Trauma to the eye can cause cataracts, even if the lens of the eye is not hit directly. And eye surgery such as retinal or vitreous surgery can lead to cataracts as well.

Most patients begin to notice a gradual clouding of their vision, but the symptoms may be more subtle. There may be a need to turn on the lights in the home earlier in the day and use higher wattage light bulbs. Colors may seem dull. It is also a common complaint for patients to have glare when driving at night or in sunlight. When these symptoms begin to get in the way of a patient's daily activities, than cataract surgery may be considered. The decision to have cataract surgery should not ONLY be as a result of the recommendation of the surgeon. The patient should participate in the discussion. Most modern surgeons use an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it approach". In other words, the presence of a cataract is not enough reason to have surgery. Although the risks are pretty minimal, they do exist, so surgery needs to be reserved for patients who need it done to justify those risks.

To prevent cataracts, some of the causes are unavoidable. If you have had trauma or surgery, or if you are a diabetic or have inherited cataracts, then there is nothing you can do. But it is well known that ultraviolet light and smoking cause cataracts to progress more quickly. So sunglasses, hats, and avoidance of smoking will keep the pace slow!

Personalized care in a high tech environment...Trust the doctor that doctors trust!

Go to Cataract Detroit website now to arrange a full eye exam and evaluation with Dr. Goldstein Information regarding cataract surgery is available at Dr. William Goldstein's website, Cataract surgery site.
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