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Three Things Patients Should Know About Cataracts

 (Image via AAO)

Approximately 25 million Americans have cataracts. A cataract occurs when proteins clump together in the eye’s lens and interferes with light passing through to the retina. This causes a progressive clouding of the eye's natural lens, which results in blurred, fuzzy vision and sensitivity to light. Many young people in Louisville, and half of all people over the age of 60 suffer from cataracts in one or both eyes.

While age is often the cause, there are many other factors that can lead to someone getting cataracts. Trauma to the eye, diabetes, glaucoma, smoking, and exposure to ultraviolet radiation can all increase someone’s risk of getting cataracts. Small cataracts that form in middle-aged people often do not affect vision until the person grows older and the cataracts have grown larger.

There is currently no medical treatment to reverse or prevent the development of cataracts. Once they form, the only one way to achieve clear vision again is through cataract surgery. Cataract surgery involves removing the eye’s blurry lens and replacing it with an artificial one called an intraocular lens. Patients who have another eye disease in addition to cataracts may not be able to have the surgery, in which case special contact lenses or high magnification glasses may be suggested.

Dr. Lloyd Taustine is our cataract specialist. With over 30 years of experience and tens of thousands of cases of microscopic surgery performed on the eye, Dr. Taustine continues to be on the leading edge of surgical advancements in his field. He was one of the first doctors to perform no stitch cataract surgery. Dr. Taustine is listed in the “Best Doctors in America” and has been chosen as the “Best Adult Ophthalmologist in Louisville” repeatedly by Louisville Magazine polls since 2001.

Now let's take a look at some facts patients should know about the condition:

1). Age isn't the only risk factorThough most will develop cataracts with age, recent studies show that lifestyle and behavior can influence it as well. This might range from diabetes, extensive exposure to sunlight, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, prior eye injury

2). Cataracts cannot be prevented but you can lower your riskWear UV-blocking sunglasses and brimmed hats when outside, eat vitamin-C rich foods, don't smoke

3). Surgery might help improve more than just your visionDuring the cataract procedure, the natural clouded lens is replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens. This should improve your vision significantly. Plus, studies have shown that cataract surgery can improve quality of life and reduce the risk of falling

READ MORE: I encourage you to read more about these facts and read a story on a patient who said, “Having the surgery was life-changing.” 

Please contact us at the Taustine Eye Center to learn more, 502-458-9004. 

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