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Who is at Risk for Cataracts?

Has your vision been a little blurry lately? If so, the problem might be a cataract.

Of course, you’ve probably heard the word “cataract” many times before. But what exactly does it mean?

When the proteins that form your eye’s lens start to break down and stick together, cloudy areas called cataracts can form.

Cataracts can be scary, and if left untreated, they can lead to permanent blindness.

Fortunately, routine eye exams, cataract removal surgeries, and lens replacement operations can all save and protect your eyesight.

At this point, though, you might be wondering: Who is most likely to suffer from this problem?

To answer that question, let’s look at some of the major cataract risk factors.

Age

A person’s age is the primary contributing factor to cataracts. In fact, the proteins of the lens start to break down around the age of 40. And symptoms of cataracts typically start to appear after a person turns 60.

Gender

Women run a somewhat higher risk of cataracts than men, especially earlier in life. It’s not precisely clear why, but it may be connected to the hormonal changes that women can experience, particularly during pregnancy and menopause.

Diabetes

When people have diabetes, their higher blood sugar levels can damage their ocular blood vessels, making them more vulnerable to cataracts. On top of that, the extra blood sugar can cause structural changes within the lens itself. And those changes can lead to cataracts.

Smoking and Drinking

Cigarette smoke can irritate the eyes and swell their blood vessels, which can induce cataract formation.

Moreover, medical studies have linked ongoing heavy alcohol consumption to cataracts. Heavy drinking is often defined as eight or more drinks in one week for a woman and 15 or more drinks in one week for a man. However, the connection between alcohol and cataracts still needs further study.

Genetics

In some cases, cataracts can run in families. A parent might pass on the genetic mutation that causes cataracts to their child.

Other Eye Problems

Those who’ve experienced eye-related traumas, disorders, or injuries are often more susceptible to cataracts. All of these issues can alter the structure of the lens and its proteins.

Schedule A Consultation

Whether or not you’re experiencing cataract symptoms, regular check-ups are vital to the health and functioning of your eyes. The earlier a cataract or other problem is detected, the better the outcomes are likely to be. That’s where we come in. At Campus Eye Group. our experienced team of specialists can help you maintain your eye health. Simply call our office today at (609) 587-2020, or use our online contact form to schedule a consultation.

Types of Cataracts and Symptoms to Look For

Cataracts are a degenerative disorder that causes one or both of your eyes’ lenses to become cloudy. They impair your vision and can lead to blindness if not appropriately addressed. Cataracts can be caused by aging, long-term UV exposure from sunlight, or diabetes.

Cataracts develop slowly over time, and symptoms may only begin to show around age 40 for most people. If you’re beginning to notice cloudiness or unclear vision, it may be cataracts. Below we discuss types of cataracts and what symptoms to look out for.

Types of Cataracts

It is estimated more than 24.4 million Americans aged 40 and older have cataracts. By age 75, almost half of all Americans have some form of visual disability due to cataracts. Although they’re usually not painful, they must be treated because they will gradually affect your eyesight as the condition worsens.

There are four main types of cataracts.

1. Nuclear Cataracts

A nuclear cataract is the most common type of cataract, beginning with a gradual hardening and yellowing of the central zone of the lens also known as the nucleus. Over time, this hardening and yellowing will expand to the other layers of the lens.

As this type of cataract progresses, it changes the eye’s ability to focus and close-up vision (for reading or other types of close work) may temporarily improve. This symptom is referred to as second sight, but the vision improvement it produces is not permanent.

A nuclear sclerotic cataract progresses slowly and may take several years of gradual development before it begins to affect vision.

2. Cortical Cataracts

A cortical cataract forms in the shell layer of the lens known as the cortex and gradually extends its “spokes” from the outside of the lens to the center. These fissures can cause the light that enters the eye to scatter, creating problems with blurred vision, glare, contrast and depth perception. People with diabetes are at risk for developing cortical cataracts.

3. Posterior Subcapsular Cataracts

Primarily affecting one’s reading and night vision, this type of cataract begins as a small opaque or cloudy area on the posterior (back surface) of the lens. It is called subcapsular because it forms beneath the lens capsule which is a small sac or membrane that encloses the lens and holds it in place.

Subcapsular cataracts can interfere with reading and create halo effects and glare around lights. People who use steroids or have diabetes, extreme nearsightedness, and/or retinitis pigmentosa may develop this type of cataract. Subcapsular cataracts can develop rapidly and symptoms can become noticeable within months.

4. Congenital Cataracts

These are rare, but they can also happen to anyone. They’re when your lens develops abnormally before birth or during childhood. The lens of the eye is normally clear.  It focuses light that comes into the eye onto the retina. Cataract develops because the lens is positioned incorrectly.

Symptoms to Look For

Cataracts can have a variety of symptoms depending on their severity. As cataracts develop, you may experience the following:

  • Blurry Vision – the first sign you might see is something out of place in your vision. This could mean the appearance of halos around objects like street lamps, lights, signs, and buildings. You may also notice that your vision suddenly seems darker than before, even in bright light.
  • Double Vision – this occurs when you have a cataract that has simultaneously affected both eyes’ lenses. The image from each eye is often out of alignment, so both images appear upside down or reversed.
  • Increased light and glare sensitivity – your eyes may be more light-sensitive. This could mean you have to shield them from the sun when you go out or turn off any bright lights you have in your home.
  • Limited night vision – it can be difficult to see in the dark with cataracts. You can have trouble driving at night, reading street signs, and identifying objects.
  • Loss of peripheral vision – this usually occurs when your cataract has become severe enough to affect both eyes at once and impair your field of view. Objects that are close by appear to be farther away, or vice versa.

Schedule an Appointment

If you experience these symptoms, Campus Eye Group can help. Our knowledgeable ophthalmologists can determine whether cataracts are impacting your vision and how they can be removed. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.  

Campus Eye Group Helps You To See The World Clearly

Good eye health is vital to ensure proper vision. It is recommended that you see your eye doctor at least once every year because vision and eye problems can change quickly especially in older adults. There are numerous eye diseases that need the care of an eye doctor who specializes in various techniques to improve vision. The experts are experienced in providing surgical procedures for diseases of the eyes.

About Campus Eye Group

Campus Eye Group, founded in 1981 is a multi-specialty, interdisciplinary eye care practice with multiple offices in Mercer County, NJ and Bucks County, PA.   We are one of the largest, most prestigious free-standing eye care centers in the country.

Our professional staff is comprised of both consulting board-certified ophthalmologists and therapeutically certified optometrists who deliver the highest quality of eye care, innovative medical and surgical care, and the finest optical services available.

LASIK as it Relates to Dry Eyes

Our staff at Campus Eye Group combines our high-level specialists with the latest technology to provide patients with superior treatment and vision care. We specialize in Laser surgery, cataract surgery, diabetic eye disease problems, glaucoma, and more. Many people who wear contact lens will develop a disorder called dry eyes. This can also be a short-term temporary effect of Laser surgery for vision correction. If dry eyes exist before a LASIK surgery, the doctor will consider treating the disorder before the surgery. The treatment will keep you from being eliminated from the LASIK surgery.

Medicare makes Eye Care Convenient for Older Adults

The Department of Health and Human Services has granted Campus Eye Group with a Medicare-certified status. This is beneficial to older adults who are sometimes reluctant to see their eye doctor because they lack the insurance coverage they need. Cataracts are especially common for senior citizens, and our friendly professional staff at Campus Eye Group have made our offices comfortable and relaxing for our patients. This is very important to older adults. Most Medicare plans have vision coverage.

Campus Eye Group Accreditation

Campus Eye Group voluntarily participates in the quality assessment program that is set forth by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). This is the leader in the accreditation of ambulatory health care services. Accreditation is achieved through the development of specific standards, and through their surveys program. A high level of commitment is one of the demands of accreditation. It challenges health care providers to find better options to offer their patients.

The best in eye health care, and LASIK, or other eye surgery is provided to our patients in Mercer County, NJ and Bucks County, PA at Campus Eye Group and Ambulatory Surgery Centers.  From minor to major eye problems, our specialists are highly qualified to manage all diseases, and disorders of the eyes. We have all of the innovative technology and equipment to render top-notch service and care for your eyes or the eyes of your senior adult or child.

How Long Does it Take for the Eye to Heal After Cataract Surgery?

What Is Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is performed to take the lens of your eyeball and typically replace it with one that is artificial. Cataracts cause cloudy lenses and make it hard for the person with the condition to see. The surgery is done as an outpatient procedure by an ophthalmologist. This procedure is common and quite safe.

Risks Involved With Cataract Surgery

There are rarely any complications when cataract surgery is performed and most that do occur are treated with high success rates.
The risks include the following possibilities:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding in the retina
  • Swelling
  • The eyelid may droop
  • The artificial lens can possibly slip
  • The detachment of the retina is possible
  • Glaucoma
  • Losing vision
  • A second cataract can develop

If macular degeneration, glaucoma, or other medical conditions are present the risks are greater. Your opthalmologist can evaluate if treatment for other eye conditions is necessary before the consideration of cataract surgery. If you are predisposed to infection, your specialist may prescribe antibiotic eye drops that need to be administered for up to two days before the surgery.

Post-surgical Precautions

Typically patients go home the same day as their procedure, but be aware that you cannot drive yourself and will need somebody with you to take you home. You will need help for about a week if your doctor tells you to be easy on your body. Bending and lifting can put a strain on the eyes, therefore it is not advised to be overly active during the first week of recovery.

Once the procedure has been performed, your ability to see will start to get better within a few days. Your sight may be a bit blurred as the process of healing begins to adjust your eyes to the new lenses.

With new lenses, the colors that you see will likely seem to be more vivid and bright since you are no longer looking through clouds. Cataracts tend to mute colors and patients sometimes don’t realize just how much the condition affected their vision.

You will typically return to your specialist up to two days after your procedure, and again the next week. Once you hit a month post-op, you will have another appointment to be sure you are healing properly.

The first few days after you have the surgery itching and discomfort are normal. Try not to rub your eyes or push on them. It’s possible that the specialist may want you to wear an eye patch to protect and shield your eye on the day of the operation. Some doctors will have their patients wear a shiel that will protect the eye(s) for several days post-op and every night during the time of recovery.

Eyedrops may be prescribed by the ophthalmologist to avoid the risk of infection and bring down any swelling or ocular pressure you may have. Some of these medications can be administered by injection directly into the eye during the operation. Your discomfort should be gone after a few days and you should begin to see improvement healing. It will take approximately eight weeks for the patient to be completely healed.

If you have any of the following symptoms you should get in contact with your specialist immediately:

  • Loss of vision
  • Pain that does not reduce even after using OTC pain relievers
  • Redness or swelling of the eyelid and surrounding areas of the eye
  • Flashes of light or floating spiders in front of the eye

It’s not uncommon for patients to need glasses for at least a short period of time after surgery. Your specialist will wait until your healing is complete to give you a prescription for permanent glasses if they are needed. This can take anywhere from one month up to three months before complete healing is achieved.

If you have cataracts in both of your eyes the second surgery is normally not performed until after the first eye has healed. Both eyes are not typically operated on at the same time as it will leave the patient with no vision for at all for some time.

Cataracts: What Are The Early Signs?

As we become older, the lenses inside our eyes get yellow, harden, and become cloudy. This opaque change of the lens is a cataract which prevents light from penetrating the lens. Cataracts can develop in both eyes symmetrically or more noticeable in one eye, but you cannot have multiple cataracts per eye, they cannot “jump” from one eye to the other, and they are not contagious. How can you know whether you need to consult an eye doctor? Signs that point to early detection include difficulty seeing at night, appearance of halos and glare, cloudy vision, and increased light sensitivity.

Difficulty Seeing at Night

People with the early stages of cataracts say they have worsening of the nighttime vision. Cataracts can cause vision to dim or darken, making good vision more difficult. People that have early stage cataracts may not notice these vision changes during the day because daylight can compensate for worsening of the vision. However, the worsened vision may be noticeable at night. Cataracts distort light that enters your eyes and as a result you may see halos around lights. When you have difficulty seeing at night, it is time for an eye exam.

Appearance of Halos and Glare

You are driving and you notice the oncoming cars’ headlights are not two distinct points. Instead, they have multiple rings or shadows around them. It could be a sign of the beginning of cataracts, and you would benefit from the eye exam to make sure your vision is still good for driving.

Cloudy Vision

Another sign of cataracts is foggy or filmy vision. As the cataract gets worse, less and less light gets through the lens of the eye to the retina. This is related to halos and glare. If you notice that your vision becomes more and more hazy, you should consider removing the cataracts.

Increased Light Sensitivity

Usually, when one is young, sensitivity to light only appears when looking at the sun. However, when one becomes uncomfortable with the ordinary headlights and/or home lights, it can be a sign of cataracts. The increased need for darker sunglasses can also be another sign of cataracts. Since nearly 1/3 of blindness is because of untreated cataracts, it makes sense to stay on top of your eye health. Maybe you just need to update your glasses, but maybe you do have cataracts. A visit with Campus Eye Group can help to put your mind at ease when you are concerned about your eye health.

What Are the Side Effects of Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery is an extremely effective way to restore your vision if you’ve been struggling with cataracts. However, it can help to know what to expect from your surgery. Here’s what to know about cataract surgery so you can begin preparing and bring the right questions with you to your consultation with our expert team.

What Is Cataract Surgery?

Cataracts are caused by a buildup of protein on the natural lens of the eye. The goal of cataract surgery is to replace the cloudy lens capsule of each eye affected by cataracts with a clear artificial lens (an intraocular lens implant). The surgery is done as an outpatient procedure by an ophthalmologist. This procedure is common, quite safe, and is one of the most effective ways to treat cataracts in the long term. Your eye surgeon will only recommend cataract surgery if they are confident that you are a good candidate.

The Risks of Cataract Surgery

There are rarely any serious complications when cataract surgery is performed by an experienced ophthalmologist. However, every surgery comes with risks. Some of the risks of cataract surgery include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding in the retina
  • Swelling
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Misplaced lens implant
  • Detachment of the retina
  • Glaucoma
  • Loss of vision
  • Secondary cataract

If you have eye diseases like macular degeneration, glaucoma, retinal detachment, or other medical conditions, the risks are greater. Your ophthalmologist can evaluate if treatment for other eye conditions is necessary before you consider cataract surgery. If you are predisposed to infection, your specialist may prescribe antibiotic eyedrops that need to be administered for up to two days before the surgery.

What to Expect After Cataract Surgery

Typically, patients go home the same day as their procedure but be aware that you cannot drive yourself and will need somebody else to take you home. You should plan on resting for around one week as you recover. Bending and lifting can put a strain on the eyes, so you should not be overly active during this time.

Temporary Blurred Vision

After surgery, your sight may be a bit blurred as the process of healing begins to adjust your eyes to the new lenses. Your vision will begin to return to normal within a couple of days. With new lenses, the colors you see can seem more vivid and bright since you are no longer looking through cataracts. A clouded lens mutes colors and patients sometimes don’t realize just how much the condition affected their vision until after their surgery is completed.

Protect Your Eyes

In the first few days after surgery, itching and discomfort are normal. Try not to rub your eyes or push on them since this could cause a dislocated intraocular lens. It’s possible that your ophthalmologist may want you to wear an eye patch to protect and shield your eye after the operation. You may also need to wear a shield that will protect your eyes for several days post-op and every night during your recovery period. Light sensitivity is a common temporary side effect so it is important to wear sunglasses when outdoors.

Use Eye Drops

Eyedrops will be prescribed to avoid the risk of infection and bring down any swelling or ocular pressure you may have. Your discomfort should be gone after a few days and you should begin to see improvement in healing. If not, then be sure to see your ophthalmologist as soon as possible. It will take approximately eight weeks to be completely healed.

You will typically return to your ophthalmologist up to two days after your procedure, and again the next week. About one-month post-op, you will have another appointment to make sure you are healing properly.

Symptoms to Look Out For

If you have any of the following symptoms, you should get in contact with our office immediately:

  • Loss of vision or persisting blurry vision
  • Pain that does not go away even after using over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Redness or swelling of the eyelid and surrounding areas of the eye
  • Flashes of light or floating “spiders” in front of the eye

Schedule a Consultation

Cataract surgery is an excellent, long-term option for restoring your vision. To learn more about your options and what to expect from recovery, contact our offices by calling or filling out our online form.

Take Care of Your Eyes as You Age

When you reach about 40 years of age, you may start noticing that your eyes begin to change. At first, you may simply ignore the change and not think much of it. But as time continues to pass, you may notice it is harder to read or see things close up.

These eye changes are normal due to your age. It is called “presbyopia”, and it means you will need to use reading glasses to comfortably read small print from now on.

It is essential that you have a comprehensive eye exam regularly. You need a regular eye exam because many eye diseases do not come with red flags or early warning signs. However, a comprehensive dilated eye exam can detect eye disease while it is in the early stages. By detecting a problem early, it will be easier to manage for years to come.

You may wonder, what are some other age-related eye conditions?

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

For people over 50 years of age, this condition is the leading reason for the loss of sight. There is a small spot near the center of your eye called the macula. The macula is responsible for your central vision, the loss of which can set limits in your life. AMD can restrict your ability of face-recognition, driving, reading, writing, or any activity that requires you to look close. Risk factors for AMD are:

  • Age (over 60 usually)
  • Smoking
  • Family History and Genetics

Dry Eye

Sometimes as you get older, your tear ducts do not work like they used to. The quantity or quality of the tears from your tear duct is not enough to keep your eyes lubricated. This ends up feeling like sand is in your eye or it may feel scratchy. You may also have other symptoms, such as:

  • Burning
  • Pain
  • Redness in the Eye
  • Excessive tearing

Here are some of the other reasons that may contribute to your dry eye condition:

  • Advancing Age
  • Medications
  • Rosacea
  • Autoimmune Disorders
  • Windy or Dry Environments

If you are suffering from this condition, it is essential to make an appointment with the eye doctor to get some relief.

Low Vision

Even though you may wear glasses or contact lenses, you may still have a hard time seeing. Some of the health or eye conditions that can cause low vision are:

  • AMD
  • Cataracts
  • Diabetes
  • Glaucoma
  • Birth defects

In treating this condition, it is crucial to catch it early. The earlier the doctor finds the problem, the more likely they can help you preserve as much of your vision as possible.

Here are some of the warning signs:

If you have a hard time…

  • Recognizing the faces of people you know
  • Reading, cooking, fix-it work
  • Choosing and matching your clothes
  • Seeing clearly with the lights on
  • Read large signs with driving or department store signs

If you have any of these signs, it is essential to make an appointment for a complete comprehensive eye exam with dilation. The phone call can preserve your sight.

Today we just covered a few of the eye conditions you may experience as you grow older. Whether you have these symptoms or not, the most important piece of information to take from this article is the need for a comprehensive eye exam. If you have not had an exam in the last year, it is time to call and make an appointment. Before you feel regret and you have lost some of your vision. Call Campus Eye Group at (609)587-2020 and make your eye appointment today.

Eye Health Tips for Men and Women Over 60

Your eye health can begin to deteriorate with age. Men and women over the age of 60 might begin to notice certain conditions that require treatment. There are also certain precautions and tips that men and women should follow to maintain their eye health. 

Women May Be at a Higher Risk for Certain Eye Diseases

Women are more likely than men to have vision problems and issues due to glaucoma. It is important for all women to follow the screening guidelines and listen to what their ophthalmologist recommends when they go in for an appointment. Putting off treatment can result in worsening conditions that could even lead to blindness. 

Low Vision

Having low vision can cause even the most mundane daily tasks to become difficult. Normal aging won’t always lead to low vision. This problem can also be a result of injuries, eye disease, or both. Low vision symptoms may include the loss of peripheral or central vision, night blindness, or blurred vision. A person with these symptoms might have problems recognizing faces, shopping, reading, or driving. An ophthalmologist will look for any underlying conditions that may be causing you to experience these symptoms. Some people simply need brighter lighting sources in their homes. Always speak to your ophthalmologist if you have any concerns. 

Avoiding Eye Injuries

Home improvements can cause eye injuries in men and women who do not protect their eyes. Of course, wearing protective eyewear can easily prevent this from occurring, so everyone should have one or more pairs of safety glasses readily available.

It is also very important to reduce fall risks, which can occur more often as we age because of changes in balance and vision. 

Systemic Health Issues

Systemic health issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure may also cause eye health problems in women and men. If you frequently cannot see clearly, this could be a sign of diabetes or high blood pressure. Always inform your ophthalmologist about your current health conditions and any medication use. 

Exercise

Regular exercise does more for a person than just weight loss. It also stimulates oxygen intake and blood circulation, something the eyes need. However, weight loss is important for more than just aesthetic reasons. Staying within a healthy weight range will reduce your risk of diabetes and then diabetic retinopathy. Gentle exercise can be effective ways to stay healthy and happy. Consider stretching, bike-riding, walking, tai chi, or yoga. Always wear protective eyewear during sports activities to protect your eyes from injury. You should also wear sunscreen every time that you are outside. 

Sleep

Our eyes continuously lubricate themselves as we sleep. They also clear away any irritants that may have accumulated during your day, as well. There are studies that propose that there are light-sensitive cells in our eyes that help to regulate every one of our wake-sleep cycles. Because of this, we need to always protect our eyes from too much exposure to ultra-violet light. In order to maintain a normal wake-sleep cycle, we should also make sure to regularly expose our eyes to natural light sources. 

Campus Eye Group & Laser Center offers men and women full-service eye care. We have been in business for over 35 years and are dedicated to our patients. Contact us today if you are concerned about your eyes or if you have any questions that we can answer. We are here to help. 

 

Cataract Surgery

When you imagine a cataract, think about something that covers the lens of your eye and that prevents you from seeing like you normally would. Glasses won’t make a difference in how well you can see when you have a cataract, which is why you’ll likely need to have surgery performed. 

Benefits of Cataract Surgery in Trenton

One benefit of cataract surgery is that you might not need to rely on wearing glasses as often as you did before the procedure. You’ll usually discover that cataracts are a normal part of the aging process and that there is a high percentage of people over the age of 80 who have had them at some point. With modern technology and the care provided by Campus Eye Group, this type of surgery is effective and safe. 

How is Cataract Surgery Performed in Trenton?

Most cataract surgeries are performed in an outpatient facility. You won’t be put to sleep as you would with other types of surgeries, but you’ll be sedated so that you’re comfortable. Keep in mind that your eye will need to remain open during the procedure so that the cataract can be removed. 

After you’re comfortable and in the operating room, your doctor will remove the lens that has become clouded. An artificial lens will then be placed in your eye. This artificial lens will provide the clear vision that you had before the cataract developed and often better vision than you had before surgery. Since the procedure is performed in an outpatient facility and usually doesn’t take long to complete, there’s typically no need to stay in a hospital overnight. 

During the surgery, ultrasound technology is used to break apart the cataract so that it’s in small pieces. This makes it easier to remove through a suction procedure instead of making multiple incisions in your eye. Since there are fewer and smaller incisions made, the recovery time is faster and an easier process. There are also fewer complications that present with this type of surgery including a decreased risk of an infection. Once the lens is completely removed, your doctor from Campus Eye Group will place the clear lens. This is placed right where your natural lens was so that it can function as naturally as possible. You usually won’t be able to tell that there is a different lens in your eye as it’s the same size and shape as your natural one. You will need to go back to your doctor at Campus Eye Group the next day after your surgery and then as necessary to ensure that your eye is healing properly. 

To get started on your treatment and to learn more about cataract surgery, contact Campus Eye Group today.