Wellness

A clear solution for cataracts

A clear solution for cataracts

Many of us are familiar with the term cataract...but do you really know what it is? "A cataract is the clouding of the crystalline lens of the eye that occurs frequently in patients over the age of 60," says Dr. Daniel Sambursky of The Laser Eye Center of the Southern Tier.

"The clouding of the lens blocks light to the eye and results in blurred or distorted vision." A lens inside of the eye is very similar to that of a camera lens, focusing light on to the retina and it allows for us to see clearly close up and far away. The lens is made up of mostly of water and protein and as we age, some of the protein clumps together and starts to cloud a small area which grows after time and results in blurred vision.

Typically, as individuals approach their fifties they start developing minor changes in their lens but as they reach 60-70 years of age, visual changes tend to worsen. Dr. Sambursky says that nearly 70% of adults, by the age of 75 will have developed cataracts.

Although cataracts are mostly caused by the normal aging of the human lens, genetics, nutrition and even specific types of medication may increase the chances of a person developing them. So, if they are a common result of the aging process, and 70% of adults get cataracts what can we do to fix them? There is a new cataract procedure known as the Intraocular Lens Implant. The surgery usually takes between 6-8 minutes and is virtually painless.

To compensate for the removal of the eye's natural lens, an intra-ocular (IOL) is then implanted. For this procedure, Dr. Sambursky uses topical eye drops that numb the eye instead of an injections so that patients do not need to wear a patch and they can resume their normal activities right away.

What used to be a much more invasive process, can now be performed in minutes and many who in the past would have lived with a cataract-and the loss of vision that it brought-now have a much less daunting option to protect and prolong their vision. A once cloudy future can now be clear!

Contributor:
Daniel Sambursky, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Ophthalmic Associates of the Southern Tier
Johnson City, NY