What is a Cataract?
Just as everyone develops gray hair, eventually, everyone develops cataracts. A cataract is characterized by the clouding of the eye’s lens. Most individuals begin developing cataracts in their 40s or early 50s, but may not experience symptoms right away. Over time, the symptoms can appear in a variety of ways. Blurry vision, faded color perception, difficulty with night driving, and impaired reading are some of the most common initial symptoms. Cataracts usually develop slowly, but eventually, the rate of progression accelerates and patients notice their vision rapidly deteriorating.
What Causes Cataracts?
The onset of signs and symptoms from cataracts will occur at varying ages. In addition to the normal aging processes, other factors can usually precipitate an earlier onset or more rapid progression of cataracts. From their collective experiences, Alan Mendelsohn MD, FACS and Nathan Klein OD, accentuate seven specific factors that frequently hasten cataract development:
2) Use of steroid/corticosteroids, especially when taken orally
3) Previous eye trauma
4) UV light exposure, especially in Southern states
5) Cigarette/cigar smoking
6) Family history
Minimizing Cataract Symptoms
Until you’re ready for Advanced Laser Cataract Surgery, Dr. Alan Mendelsohn and Dr. Nathan Klein can upgrade your eyeglass prescription and personalize the type of progressive lenses that you wear to achieve better vision and minimize cataract symptoms. As cataracts progress, your eyeglasses prescription will change. Having the most updated prescription will improve your vision.
Better quality progressive lenses lead to better quality vision. Older models of progressive lenses are the equivalent of driving on a dimly-lit two-lane road at night. Newer progressive lenses allow patients to preserve their quality of vision longer and see as though they were driving on a well-lit six-lane superhighway. Alan Mendelsohn MD, FACS and Nathan Klein OD, have had tremendous success with the Varilux S Series and Varilux X series in improving the quality of vision for their patients developing cataracts. Furthermore, Drs. Mendelsohn and Klein can utilize specific lens materials, such as Crizal, to tremendously reduce glare, halos, and other cataract symptoms.
Eventually, despite the best efforts of new glasses, cataract symptoms progress to the point of requiring Advanced Laser Cataract Surgery. Once cataracts have reached this point, waiting too long is ill-advised due to a litany of potential hazards that often arise. First and foremost, adults with moderate to significant cataracts are involved in far more motor vehicle accidents than age-related peers who have had previous cataract surgery. Second, trip and fall accidents, which can cause potentially fatal broken hips and bones, are also more common with untreated advanced cataracts. When it is determined that cataract surgery is the best option to correct your vision, the procedure is straightforward and quick, producing excellent results. For thirty years, Dr. Alan Mendelsohn has been considered a preeminent cataract surgeon in Broward County. As a result of his outstanding surgical and clinical skills, Alan Mendelsohn MD, FACS was awarded the prestigious “Top Doctor” Award, as voted by South Florida physicians, for 12 consecutive years.
To perform Advanced Laser Cataract Surgery, Dr. Mendelsohn uses a laser to precisely and safely preform the majority of the procedure. After which, a new lens (known as an intraocular lens or IOL) is then inserted in place of the old lens. The incision is extremely small and the cornea heals itself quickly, so no stitches are needed. Also, no patches or injections to the eye are required for this five-minute procedure.
Previously, if an individual had a moderate to large amount of astigmatism, their vision could not be fully corrected at the time of cataract surgery, resulting in the need for full-time eyeglass. However, thanks to a wonderful technological breakthrough, an AcrySof® Toric IOL can now be implanted at the time of cataract surgery to improve quality distance vision and decrease these patients’ dependency on glasses.
Dr. Mendelsohn specializes in advanced laser cataract surgery, which is more accurate and safe than older cataract surgery techniques with scalpels. Lasers allow Dr. Mendelsohn to make gentle, ultraprecise incisions in the lens and cornea, thereby producing better visual outcomes. Cataract surgery is virtually pain free, and the actual lens implant can be completed in minutes. In fact, most patients are back to their normal activities the very next day.
There is always a risk of complication or infection for any surgical procedure; however, there are steps to address any issues that may arise. Prior to the procedure, Dr. Mendelsohn will discuss these risks and address any questions or concerns you may have.
If you are interested in scheduling your cataract surgery with Dr. Mendelsohn at Eye Surgeons and Consultants of Hollywood, Florida, please be sure to call (954)894-1500 to book your consultation!