The Answer is Clear… At Least, It Will Be
What Are Cataracts?
The word Cataract actually refers to waterfalls, or any sudden downpouring of rain. The first use of the word in reference to the common visual malady came as a description. Patients often said their vision slowly began to develop the appearance of a waterfall coursing through it.
Initially, patients may not notice cataracts, but gradually will experience a milkiness or clouding of their vision. Imagine looking through glass that is slowly being fogged over by your breath. In time, it becomes more difficult to see at night, and then to read, and then to distinguish anything but vague lights and shapeless colors.
This is a natural occurrence, but just because middle age means things start to get a little foggy, it doesn’t have to mean it stays that way. Middle aged should mean you have half of your life left to see.
What Did I Do Wrong?
Absolutely nothing. Cataracts are just another sign that we have lived for 50 or more years. So, for that, congratulations! You wouldn’t trade the things you have seen in those years for anything, but ilumin plans to keep you seeing for the next 50.
Keeping your annual eye exams becomes critical later in life, as it gives your team the chance to catch these treatable issues before they rob you of your sight. While some medications can hasten the onset of cataracts, the majority of Americans who celebrates their golden years will also need to treat cataracts to retain their vision.
In fact, 24 million Americans age 40 and older have been diagnosed with cataracts, and by age 80, more than half of all Americans will have received the same diagnosis.
What Can I Do Now?
Here is where we get to drop our favorite catchphrase. You. Have. Options. We love that science, medicine, and our own practice have come so far that we never have to tell a patient that they are out of options. Explore some of them right now!
Pronounced just like it’s spelled, the sound you make when your allergies get the best of you. IOLs are Intraocular Lenses. When surgery has been scheduled to remove the cataract, a simultaneous procedure will implant a permanent lens, restoring your perception of light, color, and dimension. The lenses are about 1/3 the size of a dime, meaning that you will experience a comfortable fix to fuzzy vision. In fact, many patients report better vision than the experienced before the symptoms began. Prior to this option, after undergoing a procedure to remove cataracts, patients were bound to thick prescriptions for the rest of their lives. While glasses are still an option, we like offering patients a chance to see freely.
When patients experience cataracts and glaucoma in tandem, we now have a unique opportunity to treat them in a single surgery!
iStent is the world’s smallest FDA approved ocular implant, and while you’ll never feel it, you’ll know it’s there! A micro-trabecular bypass, this tiny miracle device allows for the safe and effective release of building eye pressure.
A dual-mechanism device, OMNI’s design allows it to address the entire natural trabeculocanalicular outflow pathway. Meaning it takes the buildup out, and gives it somewhere to go. This micro-invasive glaucoma surgery can be done in tandem with your cataract removal, allowing for a single, undetectable incision.
As healthcare advances, and more people are taking control of their lives, we are grateful to see our patients living longer, healthier lives! We are proud to offer services to make every year the best you’ve ever seen!
What’s next? Talk to your optometrist about scheduling your surgery with us! Dr. Menke will be seeing patients the first Monday of the month at Guthrie County Hospital.
Dr. Brandon Menke, M.D.
Cataract Surgery — ilumin (ilumineyes.com)