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Archive for October, 2013

Cataract Surgery Deemed Safe

Monday, October 28, 2013 @ 07:10 AM
Author: Jason Lau

Approved by the FDA in 1981, cataract surgery is still the most commonly performed surgery and is reportedly safe with little risk for long-term side effects.

Cataracts surgery is used to fix the eye’s natural lens when it loses it’s transparency and impairs vision. The first sign of cataracts is having a hard time seeing lights at night and seeing a strong glare. The purpose of the surgery is to break up the cloudy lens with an ultrasound probe, remove the pieces, and replace it with a synthetic (introcular) lens. Advanced lenses are also available to improve vision problems or provide monovision.

The procedure requires hospitalization as an outpatient and a local anesthetic, but it deemed safe with minimal risks. One the original lens is removed, the new lens is implanted through a small incision. The entire process is completed in under 15 minutes.

Modern technology makes the surgery easier than ever and reduces the need for patients to wear glasses or contacts post-surgery. Though they are not common, there is a remote chance of experiencing the following side effects after having cataract surgery:

  • Glaucoma
  • Swelling
  • Cloudy vision
  • Retinal detachment
  • Posterior tear
  • Inflammation
  • Infection

According to WebMD, 98% of cataract surgeries are considered successful without any long-term side effects or complications. Mild discomfort can be expected immediately after the surgery, as well as increased light sensitivity. Dark glasses can help reduce the discomfort. Eye drops are also prescribed to prevent infections.

Best Diets for Healthy Vision

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 @ 07:10 AM
Author: admin

Prevention is the best method for healthy eyes. Poor lifestyle choices can lead to vision problems and lead to blindness. On the other hand, following a healthy diet can promote good vision.

Things that promote healthy eyes include:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids help drain fluids from the eye to prevent glaucoma
  • Antioxidants fight free radicals that cause damage to the eyes
  • Leucine and zeaxanthin prevent macular degeneration
  • Vitamin A and beta carotene protect the cornea and keep it lubricated to avoid dry eye.
  • Vitamin C helps form tissue and keep it healthy
  • Vitamin E can prevent cataracts
  • Zinc helps the body absorb vitamin A

Things to avoid that can cause vision problems and eye diseases:

  • High fructose corn syrup that is found in fast food and almost all packaged foods
  • Foods that are high on the glycemic index, which includes sugar and simple carbs
  • Those with high sodium that can cause high blood pressure

The best diets for promoting healthy eyes are:

  • The heart healthy diet. The basis of this diet is to limit saturated fat to maintain healthy arteries and allow proper blood flow. It also works to control cholesterol and helps with weight loss.
  • The diabetic diet is all about balance. It requires counting carbs and pairing them with protein to avoid blood sugar spikes.
  • The Mediterranean diet, which is high in healthy fats like olive oil.

A healthy diet includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, legumes, nuts and fish.

Anti-Cholesterol Drugs May Prevent Blindness

Friday, October 18, 2013 @ 07:10 AM
Author: Amit Mathur

Age-related macular disease (AMD) is a gradual loss of vision in older adults. It’s a common cause of blindness and often requires surgery.

New research has shed light on the treatment possibilities of AMD, however. It’s believed that AMD is caused by small deposits of cholesterol. Drops and injections containing anti-cholesterol medications are being tested and showing to be helpful in slowing down the vision loss associated with AMD.

Anti-cholesterol medicines (statins) may be used in the near future to prevent blindness.  Much like heart, the eyes rely on healthy arteries, blood vessels, and veins. When they become blocked by cholesterol deposits, either from a poor diet or heredity, it limits the amount of blood and oxygen that can pass through. And much like having a heart attack, once those passages are clogged, it causes a host of problems.

Heart disease is often treated with cholesterol reducing medications known as statins. Th problem with these cholesterol-reducing drugs is that they carry a risk for side effects, such as:

  • Joint pain
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • High blood pressure
  • Liver damage
  • High blood sugar
  • Confusion and memory loss

The good thing about the anti-cholesterol drugs to prevent blindness and reduce AMD is that they have fewer side effects than their oral counterparts. The medicine is targeted specifically to treat the tiny vessels in the eye.

Only time will tell if this new treatment method will be offered as a treatment option for AMD in place of surgery.

Alternative Medicine to Treat Cataract

Sunday, October 13, 2013 @ 07:10 AM
Author: Jason Lau

Cataract is defined by cloudy vision that is common in older adults. The vision blockages worsen over time and can lead to blindness. The most common treatment for cataract is surgery, which caries some risk and side effects. Aside from traditional medicine, however, there are some other options for treating the condition.

The following vitamins, supplements, and natural remedies support healthy eye function and either reduce the risk of getting cataract or slow it’s progression: 

  • Pink bark extract is an antioxidant with vein support that helps by improving blood flow to the eye.
  • The antioxidant properties of vitamins C and E kill free radicals that can cause damage to the eye.
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in spinach, as well as yellow and orange colored fruits and vegetables. They reduce the risk of cataract.
  • The flavonoids in berries and basically any red or purple fruits act in the same way as antioxidants.
  • Likewise, Bilberry is high in antocyandins. They strengthen veins and blood vessels. They also fight free radicals.
  • Ginkgo biloba carries oxygen to the eye and helps cleanse toxins.
  • Grape seed extract also prevents the progression of cataracts.

Aside from these items, the best thing to manage cataract is to make lifestyle changes. Avoid smoking and a high fat diet. Pay closer attention to the nutritional value in the foods you eat and make sure to get plenty of fruits and vegetables to get a variety of vitamins and minerals.

Aging is Key Factor in Cataracts

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 @ 07:10 AM
Author: Amit Mathur

Cataracts is an eye disease that is common among elderly people. It is when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. The lens is the clear outer part of the eye and once it becomes cloudy it impairs the ability to let light in and focus. Images become blurry. In addition to the cloudy spots, some people experience a blown or yellow tint to everything because their natural lens has stained over time.

Causes of cataracts vary. What happens is that the proteins on the lens, which are designed to allow light it, get stuck together and form clouds that block vision and prevent light from getting in. This can occur because of:

  • Aging
  • Genetics
  • Trauma
  • Sun exposure
  • Radiation
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol consumption

Symptoms of cataracts are blurry or faded vision, halos, double vision, and compromised night vision. It’s vital to see an eye doctor immediately if these symptoms occur. The easiest fix for the problem is to update or start wearing glasses or contact lenses.

The other treatment option, of course, is surgery. The original lens is simply replaced with an artificial one to restore vision. Recent changes in technology make eye surgery a common and low risk option. The rate of vision recovery is very high and though the surgery does come with risks, they are minimal.

Cataracts isn’t a given with aging. Preventative methods can preserve your lens so it holds up over time. This includes simple things like consuming antioxidants and wearing sun glasses to avoid overexposure.