What You Need To Know About Cataracts

CataractAs you may or may not know, September is Healthy Aging Month. When you’re looking at your own personal health, it’s important and pretty easy to look at your skin condition, blood pressure, heart rate, eating habits, etc. But don’t forget your eyesight.

Especially as you age past 55, you’ll need to start checking for the most common eye ailment: cataracts. Cataracts are cloudy or opaque areas in the normally clear lens of your eye. It occurs when proteins slowly build up directly behind the lens of the eye and can lead to impaired vision and even blindness.

So how do you check for cataracts?

The first thing you need to know are that cataracts generally form very slowly. So slowly, you may not notice you have them until they’ve progressed significantly. However, there are early signs you can watch for. If you notice any of the following it may be time to visit your ophthalmologist:

  • Blurred or hazy vision
  • Reduced intensity of colors
  • Increased sensitivity to glare from lights, particularly when driving at night
  • Increased difficulty seeing at night
  • Change in the eye’s refractive error

So how do you prevent cataracts? 

The cause of cataracts, other than aging, is still not entirely clear. There is no proven way to fully prevent cataracts. Researchers have linked eye-friendly nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc with reducing the risk of certain eye diseases, including cataracts, however there are several practices you can acquire that will reduce your risk of developing cataracts.

  • Have regular eye examinations
  • Quit smoking
  • Wear sunglasses that block ultraviolet B (UVB) rays when your outdoors
  • Choose a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid sunlamps or tanning booths

So what happens if you get cataracts?

When you first discover or suspect you have cataracts, it is important to schedule an appointment with your eye physician. Your physician should be able to diagnose your eye problem and tell you the proper forms of treatment. Typically, not everyone needs surgery; however surgically removing the cataracts is an option you should consider (if your physician recommends it), because cataracts worsen with time. Your physician may not recommend surgery for several years, but might recommend purchasing new glasses, strong bifocals, anti-glare sunglasses or other appropriate visual aids to slow the cataract’s growth.

Surgery becomes necessary when the cataract is interfering with your vision, especially if it’s impairing your ability to drive. If you need eye surgery for another reason, such as age-related macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy, the cataract may impede the surgery and the cataract will need to be removed. If cataracts are found in both eyes, two separate surgeries are needed to remove them. There is low-risk in cataract surgery and are often successful, greatly improving your site.

Since September is Healthy Aging Month, it is important to check up on all the little things so that you can always be at your best. Eye site is a crucial element in our daily functioning and one that we so often take for granted. Remember, if you’re age 55 or older, you may be at risk for developing cataracts. Cataracts are the most common ailment of this age group; so this month when you take a look for all of those yearly check up’s, don’t forget your eyes too.

How To Shop For Glasses This Fall

With fall on the horizon it may be time to switch from your sunglasses to daily eyewear. During the summer months, it’s important to keep your eyes protected from sunrays. But now that summer is coming to an end, it’s time to look a different kind of lens.

According to the Vision Council of America, about 75 percent of adults use some sort of vision correction and most of them — roughly 64 percent — choose to wear eyeglasses rather than contacts.  And while the main purpose of corrective eyewear is to help you see … sometimes it’s just as important how you look. One of our optical lens experts, April Scott, was a guest on THV Monday morning to discuss the latest trends and fashion in eyewear with anchor Alyse Eady.  You can view the video below to see the interview and read further down for more information.

When it comes to eyeglass shopping, everyone looks at the frames first. There’s not much fashion that can be attributed to a transparent piece of glass, so the frames are where the style comes in. Your frames are going to be the first thing people will notice when they see your new glasses, so it makes sense that you want to spend some time choosing the right ones. It’s often best to go with a frame that contrasts your face shape.

Here’s a handy table to help you figure out what works best:

FACE SHAPE                                    BEST FRAME

Square                                                Oval, Round, Butterfly

Oval                                                     Most Frames Work

Round                                                 Angular, Geometric

Heart                                                   Narrow, Round, Bottom Heavy

Oblong                                                Broad, Top Heavy

 

So while frames are fun to hunt down, you have to be practical. If your frames are cool and stylish that’s great, but you have to make sure you’re being practical. You need frames that match your lifestyle. Some things to remember are:

  • If you’re active and sporty, you want frames that are extra durable and lightweight.
  • If you’re at a computer all day, you might want to make sure your glasses are designed to reduce glare.
  • Constantly on the go? You might want glasses that transition with you so you’re not always changing from regular glasses to sunglasses or perhaps your main glasses should be sunglasses.

Eyeglasses are not what they once were. In the past, glasses were more of a style detriment than they are now. Remember the high school geek always pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose? Well nowadays, glasses are in. You see more and more people choosing glasses over contacts, and as such the brands that make them have responded. Now there are plenty of brands from some of the most famous designers, such as Dolce & Gabbana, Tory Burch, Gucci, Prada, Kate Spade and Versace.

So whether you’re glasses have reached the point beyond repair or if it’s time for an update, take a step into our in-clinic optical shop to see what we selection we have available. And if you need a new eye exam to update your prescription, our expert optometrists are just a few steps away.