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These Lens Can't Be Wiped Clear

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These Lens Can’t Be Wiped ClearDean P. PorterBy Dean Porter, M.D. - oPhthalMologistduce symptoms. Thanks to more rapid fashion over a evated eye pressure, fam-modern surgical techniques period of days or weeks. ily history, eye trauma, age cataract may be cured by Both genetic and environ- 60 or older, and physical or scanned the top of the its removal in a brief outpa- mental factors appear to be anatomical variations of the I patient’s chart to iden- tient procedure that allows involved in causing macu- eye. Persons of African ge-tify the reason for the office rapid improvement in vision lar degeneration. While netic ancestry are approxi-visit: “blurred vision, dif- and return to normal activi- the genetic factors are not mately five times more likely ficulty reading”. While this ties. Patients undergoing treatable at present, envi- to develop glaucoma than may just mean glasses are cataract surgery additional- ronmental factors may be the general populace. Most in order, all too often an- ly benefit from reduction, or modified. Sunglasses that people with mild to moder-other condition is present. in some cases, elimination protect against ultraviolet ate glaucoma will not have And all too often it means of their need for glasses or light and not smoking are any symptoms. Although that another condition has contact lenses. Cataract a good start. A diet rich glaucoma is not curable or advanced to the point of surgery is truly amazing in in ...
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These Lens Can’t Be Wiped Clear
Dean P.
Porter
By Dean Porter, M.D. - oPhthalMologist
duce symptoms. Thanks to more rapid fashion over a evated eye pressure, fam-
modern surgical techniques period of days or weeks. ily history, eye trauma, age
cataract may be cured by Both genetic and environ- 60 or older, and physical or
scanned the top of the its removal in a brief outpa- mental factors appear to be anatomical variations of the I patient’s chart to iden- tient procedure that allows involved in causing macu- eye. Persons of African ge-
tify the reason for the office rapid improvement in vision lar degeneration. While netic ancestry are approxi-
visit: “blurred vision, dif- and return to normal activi- the genetic factors are not mately five times more likely
ficulty reading”. While this ties. Patients undergoing treatable at present, envi- to develop glaucoma than
may just mean glasses are cataract surgery additional- ronmental factors may be the general populace. Most
in order, all too often an- ly benefit from reduction, or modified. Sunglasses that people with mild to moder-
other condition is present. in some cases, elimination protect against ultraviolet ate glaucoma will not have
And all too often it means of their need for glasses or light and not smoking are any symptoms. Although
that another condition has contact lenses. Cataract a good start. A diet rich glaucoma is not curable or
advanced to the point of surgery is truly amazing in in green leafy vegetables, reversible in most cases,
causing symptomatic visual its potential to rapidly im- and vitamin supplements eye drops, laser, and sur-
loss long after an eye exam prove vision. in more advanced degen- gical treatments are effec-
would have detected it. A second common condi- eration, appear to be help- tive in slowing or halting the
The “big three” such con- tion is macular degenera- ful. Research has recently progression of disease.
ditions are cataract, macu- tion. This affects the central improved treatment for wet Well, it is time to examine
lar degeneration, and glau- retina, which is analogous degeneration. New medi- my patient. Regardless of
coma. Think of the eye as to the film in a camera. Al- cations may stabilize or what I find, the important
a sophisticated camera. though macular degenera- even improve vision. point is that this patient isn’t
Cataract is a clouding of tion may cause severe, de- Called the “sneak thief of taking good vision for grant-
the lens, residing inside bilitating visual loss, it does sight,” glaucoma is the third, ed. If it has been more than
the eye behind the colored not cause complete blind- and potentially the most se- a couple of years, some-
iris. As the lens opacifies, ness. Macular degenera- rious of the common condi- one in your family has one
vision gradually blurs and tion is most commonly seen tions. Glaucoma is a de- of these eye diseases, or
sometimes glare, which is in people age 55 and older generative condition of the things are just getting a little
particularly caused by on- and affects approximately optic nerve, which is similar blurry, do your eyes a favor
coming headlights at night, one third of adults over the to a cable linking the eye and schedule a complete
and becomes more bother- age of 75. Macular degen- to the brain. This disease eye exam with an eye care
some. We all develop cata- eration may be wet or dry. may cause progressive professional.
ract with age, most often in The more common dry va- and permanent visual loss, Dean Priest Porter, M.D.
our sixties or later. That’s riety causes a gradual de- leading to total blindness is a board-certified ophthal-
right; if you live long enough cline in central vision, the in the most severe cases. mologist.
you will develop cataract, vision most important for The course of glaucoma is
so don’t be surprised. The driving and reading, usu- highly variable, and may af-
development of cataract is ally over many years. Wet fect individuals of any age.
typically slow, taking years degeneration may cause Many factors predispose
or even decades to pro- similar vision loss in a much to glaucoma, including el-