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Questions To Ask Your Surgeon About Cataract Surgery Recovery

Questions To Ask Your Surgeon About Cataract Surgery Recovery

Jun 08, 2017 08:00 am | ARSC Editor

 

Questions to Ask about Cataract Surgery Recovery

Most adults over the age of 50 face the possibility of having cataracts that require surgery to remove the clouded lens of the eye and replace it with intraocular lens technology. If you and your doctor decide now is the right time for you to deal with your cataracts, you will want to know what to expect during your cataract surgery recovery period. To help prepare you for the conversation with your surgeon, below is a list of common questions and basic answers about the cataract surgery recovery process.

What Should I Be Doing During Cataract Surgery Recovery?

There is very little change to your regular routine after cataract surgery, and most patients are back to work the next day. It is important to avoid rubbing the eye for the first week or two, and most surgeons advise patients to wear a protective shield or goggles while sleeping. Your surgeon may prescribe eye drops to be used several times a day for the first few weeks.  The drops will help keep your eye comfortable, prevent infection and inflammation and aid in healing.

You may be more comfortable wearing dark glasses while outside for the first few weeks after surgery. Polarized glasses with UV protection are best.

What Shouldn’t I be Doing During Cataract Surgery Recovery?

Most surgeons recommend avoiding driving until you have been seen the day following surgery to determine whether vision is clear enough to drive safely.  Also, do not rub, touch or press on your eye.

Regular exercise is allowed by most surgeons, but you should avoid activities that would directly impact the eye such as contact sports. These activities can put undue stress on your eye while it is healing.

While you can shower, you will need to be careful not to get any water or soap in the eye. You shouldn’t go swimming in a pool, ocean or lake for a couple of weeks to make sure you don’t expose your eye to dirty, contaminated water or over-chlorinated water.

You will want to avoid environments and activities that are dusty. Most surgeons recommend avoiding eye makeup for the first week. You want to prevent any particles, grime or other contaminants from getting into your eye and causing irritation or an infection.

What Will My Eyes Feel Like After Cataract Surgery?

For the first few days, it is normal for your eye to be sensitive and a bit uncomfortable during cataract surgery recovery. The good news is, in addition to your medicated eye drops, you should be able to manage any symptoms with an over-the-counter pain reliever (Tylenol, Advil). Your eye may feel itchy or sore for a few days and there might be some fluid discharge. It isn’t unusual for your eye to be red and your vision to be blurry in the first few days after surgery.

It is important to know that none of these symptoms should stop you from your normal routine or be very painful. They are part of the normal healing that occurs during cataract surgery recovery. However, if you do have a lot of pain or your symptoms continue for more than a couple of weeks, contact your doctor immediately.

When Can I Return to Normal Activity?

Your doctor will test your vision and confirm you are safe to drive after your cataract surgery – usually within a couple of days after the procedure. Typically, the eye will be fully healed within 8 weeks after surgery. Most people can go back to their normal routine within a few days.

Depending upon your specific needs and surgery, your cataract surgeon may give you other or additional instructions and recommendations for your cataract surgery recovery. Be sure to take the time during your pre-operative visit to go over each of these questions – and any others you may have about your procedure and recovery – with your doctor so you know exactly what to expect.

The post Questions To Ask Your Surgeon About Cataract Surgery Recovery appeared first on American Refractive Surgery Council.

Should I Have Cataract Surgery? Memphis TN

It is your choice to have cataract surgery.

Cataracts will not cause large vision changes for some people. A cataract at the outer edge of you lens, for example, may hardly affect your vision. A cataract at the center of your lens, may greatly affect your sight.

You should only agree to have surgery when you are unable to do all the things you want to do while wearing your glasses. If you decide to have surgery, you and your eye doctor (for cataract surgery, this will be an ophthalmologist or eye MD), must work together as a team.

An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who specializes in diseases of the eye. He or she has been trained as an eye surgeon to perform cataract surgery.

You and your eye doctor will determine the best treatment for you—the one you are most comfortable with and the one he or she is best at performing. As you read this guide, note any questions or concerns you may have and discuss them with your eye doctor.

Note: If a cataract keeps an eye doctor from viewing the inside of your eye, he or she may suggest surgery.

Your eye doctor needs to be able to view the inside of your eye to check for eye diseases such as glaucoma and problems of the retina (the innermost part of the eye containing lightsensitive nerve cells).

Southern Eye Associates Declares June as Cataract Awareness Month

Cataract

According to the Prevent Blindness Vision Problems in the U.S. report, more than 22.3 million Americans have cataracts.

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens, which blocks or changes the passage of light into the eye. The lens of the eye is located behind the pupil and the colored iris, and is normally transparent. The lens helps to focus images onto the retina – which transmits the images to the brain.

Your vision may become blurry or dim because the cataract stops light from properly passing through to your retina.

How common are cataracts?

Cataracts are a leading cause of blindness among older adults in the United States. More than half of all Americans have cataracts by the time they are 80 years old. Cataracts can also sometimes be found in young people or even newborn babies.

 

Contact Lens Problems? It Might be Contact Lens Intolerance

May 29, 2017 08:14 am | ARSC EDITOR

Contact lenses give the world the illusion that you have perfect vision when, in fact, you don’t. And, while contact lens materials and technology have advanced for the more than 30 million wearers, even those individuals who are diligent about contact lens hygiene experience symptoms that make wearing contact lenses uncomfortable or even risky.  In fact, it is estimated that 15 percent of contacts lens wearers develop contact lens intolerance and stop wearing their contacts every year.

We talked with Dr. Eric Donnenfeld, F.A.C.S., a board-certified ophthalmologist, to learn more about the variety of contact lens intolerance symptoms, as well as why you should discuss your vision correction options with your eye doctor annually.

Q: Why is it particularly important to see an eye doctor annually if you are a contact lens wearer?

Dr. Donnenfeld: Contact lenses are a great option for many and offer a level of convenience that glasses do not. However, because contact lenses physically cover a portion of the surface of the eye, the amount of oxygen getting to the cornea, or surface of the eye, is reduced. Over time, this lack of oxygen can impact the health of the eye and even cause permanent damage. It is very important for anyone wearing contact lenses to be diligent with scheduling an annual eye exam. The health and wellness of your cornea – and ultimately your vision – depend on it.

Q: What are contact lens problems to discuss with your eye doctor during an annual exam?

Dr. Donnenfeld:  In general, communicate any irritation, feeling of dryness, increased grittiness, stinging or redness – especially if any or all of these symptoms have increased over time. Many of my patients report spending less time in their contacts as time goes on simply because they are so uncomfortable. Are routinely getting your contact lenses stuck in your eye, the feeling they migrate behind your eye or other difficulties in putting in or removing your contacts? These are all signs your eyes may be telling you that you have contact lens problems that need the attention of an eye doctor. These symptoms may be temporary and an indication of contact lens intolerance, but they also may be an early sign of far more serious issues such as chronic dry eye, corneal abrasions, allergy, infections and even vision threatening corneal ulcers.

Q: What are options for those who have contact lens intolerance?

Dr. Donnenfeld:  There are always options to contact lenses. There are treatments for dry eye and allergies to make lenses more tolerable.  Anyone can go back to glasses but there also are many laser vision correction options to discuss with your eye doctor. Research suggests you may be more satisfied with your vision if you take advantage of a procedure such as LASIK.

In fact, a recently published study of long-term contact lens users showed that, over a 3-year period, satisfaction with contacts fell from 63% to 54% . The study also reported long term contact lens wearers who then chose to have LASIK eye surgery had a much higher level of satisfaction with their vision that only improved over the three-year period.  Importantly, LASIK has a much lower risk of sight threatening infection – 1 in 10,000 according to clinical research. Other research indicates there may be a limit to how long people can safely and effectively use contacts.

If you are experiencing frequent symptoms of contact lens intolerance, it may be time to take the next step in your vision correction journey. Today’s advanced laser vision correction procedures, like LASIK, can help many people achieve excellent vision without relying on glasses.  As you discuss your contact lens problems with your ophthalmologist, getting an evaluation to determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK or other laser vision correction procedure is a good way to get the facts about your options after contacts.

The post Contact Lens Problems? It Might be Contact Lens Intolerance appeared first on American Refractive Surgery Council.

 

Contact Lens Problems? It Might be Contact Lens Intolerance

Research Compares Risk of Microbial Keratitis From Contacts and LASIK Memphis

Research Compares Risk of Microbial Keratitis From Contacts and LASIK Memphis

May 19, 2017 11:49 am | Liana Miller

Research Compares Risk of Microbial Keratitis From Contacts and LASIK Memphis

Books and magnifying glass

Microbial keratitis is a relatively rare complication associated with contact lens use, as well as LASIK postoperatively. It is an infection of the cornea, the surface of your eye, and it can result in serious and even sight-threatening consequences for the health of your eye and vision.

A study published in the January issue of the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, “Risk for Microbial Keratitis: Comparative Meta-Analysis of Contact Lens Wearers and Post-Laser In Situ Keratomileusis Patients,” has been in the news and, if you are a contact lens wearer, it might have caught your attention.

What is Microbial Keratitis?

There are several forms of microbial keratitis including bacterial, fungal and viral. Often people with microbial keratitis experience a sudden onset of pain in the eye, excessive tearing, discharge from the eye and an increased sensitivity to light. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is critical for you see your ophthalmologist right away for evaluation and treatment to prevent vision loss.

What the Study Found

The study compared the incidence of microbial keratitis over time among contact lens wearers and LASIK patients. The study authors conducted the study by reviewing the available published clinical research on the topic. In total:

  • Eight studies were reviewed that included microbial keratitis patients wearing soft daily-use and RGP daily-use lenses.
  • Nine studies were reviewed microbial keratitis patients wearing soft-extended contact lenses.
  • Nine studies were reviewed involving incidence of microbial keratitis following LASIK.

The study showed that one year of using extended wear of soft contact lenses led to 3 times as many cases of microbial keratitis than LASIK. Because many people use extended wear contacts, including overnight, those who want to reduce their risk for microbial keratitis might benefit from LASIK.

LASIK Memphis

While this one study would indicate that extended wear contact lens users may want to evaluate their vision correction options, reviewing the data first hand to understand the facts for yourself is important.   Your ophthalmologist can answer any questions you may have about your individual risk and what vision correction options are best suited to your needs.

The post Research Compares Risk of Microbial Keratitis From Contacts and LASIK appeared first on American Refractive Surgery Council.

LASIK Memphis

5 Reasons Competitive Athletes Choose LASIK

5 Reasons Competitive Athletes Choose LASIK

Professional athletes train their bodies to perform at an elite skill level. Because vision is integral to physical performance, athletes require vision correction that is always in place and can stand up to extreme conditions. Not surprisingly, many athletes choose LASIK due to its safety and effectiveness.

Wherever a sport takes place, field, pitch, course, track or beach, the environment is a challenge to those athletes with vision issues. Dirt, sand, wind and rain, changes from natural to artificial lighting conditions, and dealing with physical conditions, such as exertion and collisions, make eyeglasses and contacts hard to use. Aside from the issues with glasses and contacts, there are many reasons why athletes choose LASIK.

Here are five reasons athletes choose LASIK:

  • Better vision after LASIK surgery helps reaction time and depth perception. Ask Los Angeles Clippers guard, Chris Paul, if having LASIK in the 2016 off-season has made a difference in his performance.  Better yet, let’s check his player stats. Paul is averaging 17.9 points per game this year, dominating the free throw line by knocking down 89 percent of his attempts and is currently the NBA’s third best three-point shooter.  Currently the LA Clippers, at 12-2, lead the Western Conference.
  • LASIK allows individuals to see contrast better under different kinds of light and against different backgrounds than glasses or contacts. Think of a baseball player like Tampa Bay Ray catcher Wilson Ramos, who had the procedure earlier this year, having to sight a small, fast moving ball against dirt, grass or grandstand and in all different types of light both natural and artificial. It’s not easy for even those with the best vision. Imagine relying on glasses or even contacts to make plays in those conditions and Ramos’ choice of LASIK makes perfect sense. Ramos publicly credits LASIK for giving him the vision to accurately see and react to pitches and his 2016 stats benefited significantly with a career-high batting average of .307 for the season, along with a spot on the National League All-Star line up.
  • LASIK provides individuals with “normal vision” – not the minification that occurs with myopic glasses. Professional golfers have stated LASIK has improved their putting since the hole now appears larger.
  • LASIK stands up to extreme environments. Sweat, helmets, other gear and weather can make it impossible to wear glasses. And contact lenses aren’t completely reliable in wind, dust or contact situations.
  • LASIK has a recovery period with minimal downtime. Most people are back to their routine within 24-48 hours after LASIK. Athletes, with their strenuous physical fitness routine may require a week or two off from their training. Managing the recovery period, including the post-operative regimen of medicated drops, oral antibiotics, artificial tears and eye protection is relatively simple to maintain during the off-season.

Because different types of sports have different requirements, athletes should know there are options when it comes to laser vision correction treatment. LASIK is the most popular laser vision correction procedure available today because it is a safe and effective option, delivering excellent vision with a fast recovery time in a two-step process. This includes creating a flap in the cornea – today most surgeons use an advanced, very precise femtosecond laser – to reveal the inner cornea where the vision correction is performed. Once the flap is replaced, the procedure is over and typically, patients experience an immediate improvement in their vision quality. That improvement increases during the healing process.

Other approaches are available that don’t involve a flap – instead, the surgeon uses a laser to reshape the outer surface of the cornea. This is known as “surface ablation” or Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK). This offers excellent results as well, and the surface of the cornea is initially stronger because there is no flap, but there is a longer recovery period. After nearly 20 years and more than 16 million procedures, we know LASIK is an extremely safe and stable vision correction option for many types of sports – including contact sports such as football and boxing.  LASIK is approved for the military so it is obviously reasonable for athletes, but when there is a high probability of getting jabbed in the eye with a finger – such as in basketball, wrestling, and mixed martial arts – some surgeons may recommend surface ablation.

Whatever your sport – at whatever level you play – an in-depth conversation with your surgeon can help you make the right decisions about vision correction.

5 Reasons Competitive Athletes Choose LASIK

News About Nearsightedness: Just What is Myopia? Memphis LASIK

News About Nearsightedness: Just What is Myopia? Memphis LASIK

According to recent research myopia – also known as nearsightedness – has become a global epidemic. Between the 1970s and early 2000s, the incidence of myopia in the United States alone nearly doubled to 42 percent (Vitale, et. al. 2009 JAMA Ophthalmology). While scientists do not know the exact cause, contributing factors could include not getting enough sunshine, too much time staring at computers and cell phones, and genetics. Research predicts the number of people with myopia will continue to increase, eventually impacting the vision of nearly half the world’s population by 2050.

What is Myopia?

Myopia is a condition where close objects appear sharp, but distant objects appear blurry. In a normally-shaped eye, the cornea and lens each have a smooth curvature, like a basketball. Light rays enter the eye and are focused by the cornea and lens  precisely on the retina, providing a crisp, clear image. Myopia occurs when the eyeball is too long, relative to the focusing power of the cornea and lens of the eye.  It can also be caused by a steep curve of the cornea. With myopia, light is focused in front of, rather than directly on, the retina .  The result is blurry images.

Nearsightedness usually become apparent in children when they are between eight and 12 years old and can progress until age 20. Typically, children and young adults are treated with glasses initially and many eventually choose to use contact lenses. Adults also can develop myopia, usually from visual stress or health conditions. Some of the most common signs of myopia include eyestrain, headaches, squinting to see, poor vision at night, and difficulties seeing objects far away. With any of these symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist for a comprehensive eye exam. Adults who have reached ocular maturity – typically after 20 years when the eyes stop physically developing – can consider options beyond glasses and contacts, such as laser vision correction with LASIK.

What’s Behind the Increase in Myopia?

The exact cause of nearsightedness is unknown. For years, it was thought it was inherited. But, a number of studies are pointing to other possible issues: environmental, less time outdoors, and today’s technology. For example, the rise in “near work” over the past couple decades – computers, mobile phones, electronic readers, etc. – leaves researchers thinking that eyestrain is increasing the risk for myopia.

Scientists also are studying the influence of circadian rhythms (our biological clock), which regulates our bodies according to the daily cycles of light and dark. They also are looking at whether myopia might be caused by a lack of exposure to sun because we are spending more and more time indoors. According to theories, spending time outside each day stimulates the release of dopamine in the retina, which supports proper eye development.

 Grading Myopia

During an eye exam, the power of your eye is measured using diopters. On your glasses or contact lens prescription, a minus sign is used to show the correction or focusing power, of the lens your eye requires. The higher the number, the more nearsighted you are.

  • Mild myopia includes powers up to -3.00D (diopters). People in this range have difficulty seeing the lines of small letters on the eye chart.
  • Moderate myopia, values of -3.00 to -6.00D. In this range, people can only see the large letters on the eye chart.
  • High myopia is usually myopia over -6.00D. These people cannot see the big E on the eye chart.

Mild myopia is one of the most common disorders of the eye with a variety of correction options. An annual eye exam is the first step toward good eye health and is especially important with children. Consulting with your eye doctor, you can select the treatment that best meets your visual and lifestyle needs.

 

News About Nearsightedness: Just What is Myopia?

5 Tips for a Lifetime of Healthy Vision Memphis LASIK

5 Tips for a Lifetime of Healthy Vision Memphis LASIK

A lifetime of healthy vision is something everyone wants, but we don’t always take the steps needed to help make it a reality. Here’s a list of five good things to do for your eyes:

DAILY: Eat a healthy diet with healthy vision foods

Do you eat your five-a-day? People who eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables can usually get all the vitamins and minerals they need to maintain healthy eyes and healthy vision. Bonus: add these powerhouse foods to your shopping cart to be sure you get the right nutrients you need for healthy eyes.

DAILY: Avoid digital eyestrain

Our devices are our constant companions, so we are all familiar with how our eyes feel after staring at a computer or phone screen all day long. It’s important to rest your eyes often – look away from the screen every few minutes – and take frequent breaks from the computer. You also want to make sure you have adequate lighting that doesn’t reflect off the computer screen.

DAILY: Avoid touching your eyes

We constantly handle and touch dirty things all day: keys, keyboards, phones, doorknobs, etc. Even if you are diligent about washing your hands, touching your eyes is simply not a good idea as it can accidentally irritate or cause an infection in your eyes. If you have to touch your eyes, either to handle your contacts or to apply makeup, make sure your hands are freshly and thoroughly washed. 

WEEKLY: Think about eye protection as you prepare for any activity

  • If you’re outdoors doing the weekly gardening or DIY chores, wear safety glasses or goggles to keep your eyes safe from flying dirt or debris.
  • If your weekly exercise routine includes a game of tennis, soccer or basketball, consider wearing eye protection (shatter resistant glasses or goggles). If your weekends find you poolside and you wear contacts or glasses, consider prescription goggles (never wear contacts in water).
  • And, of course, anytime you are out in the sun, wear sunglasses that offer ultraviolet light protection. 

ANNUALLY: Get an eye exam

Annual visits evaluate the health of your eye and check for early signs of eye disease such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration, all of which are best managed with early intervention. Keep your ophthalmologist up to date on your overall health and any medication you may be taking. Frequent eye exams are important if you wear contact lenses to help prevent damage from improper use, fit or to treat dry eye irritation.  Checking on your prescription is essential.  This is also a great time to talk with your ophthalmologist about your vision correction options and finding out if you are a good candidate for LASIK.

ALWAYS:  Have a good relationship your eye doctor

In addition to knowing you are doing what is best for your eyes today, your eye doctor is your partner in healthy eyes and vision for life. Over time, your needs may change and require the care of a specialist. Having an eye doctor you routinely work with and trust means you will always get the best care for your condition.

Following this calendar of recommendations and having an open, strong relationship with your eye doctor can help to ensure your eye health and a lifetime of good vision.

5 Tips for a Lifetime of Healthy Vision