CHARLESTON, SC – June 20, 2019: Did you know that everyone will develop cataracts in their lifetime? With that eternal statistic and June also being Cataract Awareness Month, Charleston’s own Dr. Kerry Solomon – world-renowned ophthalmologist and the leading laser cataract and LASIK surgeon in South Carolina – has shared some interesting facts (even debunking common myths) that you might not have known, signs and symptoms, and what you can do to treat cataracts.
“Similar to the wrinkles on your skin, everyone will develop cataracts,” said Dr. Kerry Solomon. “The quality of your vision affects the quality of your life, so it’s important to be aware of cataract symptoms and what you can do about them.”
EVERY PERSON WILL EVENTUALLY GET CATARACTS.
Affecting nearly 22 million Americans age 40 and older, cataracts are the most common ocular conditions in the country. Cataracts are a normal part of the aging process, and everyone will eventually get them if they live long enough. Cataracts can occur in one or both eyes.
CATARACTS ARE A CLOUDING OF THE EYE’S NATURAL LENS – SIMILAR TO SMUDGES ON A WINDOW PANE.
A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens that is caused by a buildup of protein. To enter the eye, light must first pass through the lens of your eye. The lens focuses the light onto the retina, which is located at the back of the eye. When the lens becomes cloudy, light passes through it less effectively, causing a blurred ‘cloudy’ vision – similar to the way fingerprints or smudges obscure light coming through a window.
CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF, CATARACTS ARE NOT PAINFUL.
Cataracts do not cause pain, redness, discharge, or other symptoms that would normally merit a quick trip to the eye doctor. Instead, many patients with cataracts often describe feeling as if they’re looking at the world through waxed paper or fog.
CATARACTS DEVELOP GRADUALLY, SO PATIENTS MAY NOT NOTICE THEM UNTIL THEY’RE MORE ADVANCED.
Many patients that have cataracts may not realize the effect they have on their vision until they are removed. If you’re over 55 and have any of the following symptoms, you may have a cataract:
• Cloudy or blurry vision
• Frequent changes in your prescription
• Trouble reading in low lighting
• Difficulty with nighttime driving due to glare
• It becomes hard to distinguish the contrast of objects with similar color (For example: It is hard to track your golf ball or tennis ball when it travels through the air)
• Colors appearing faded or washed out
YOU CAN’T PREVENT CATARACTS.
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent cataracts, as they naturally develop as our eyes age. But thankfully, cataracts can be removed with a safe and simple procedure.
CATARACTS CAN OCCUR AT ANY AGE.
Though most cataracts occur as you age, and are widely noticeable in people the age of 55 or older, cataracts can occur at any age. Cataracts in babies, youth and young adults are attributed to genetics, trauma and other systemic medical conditions.
CATARACTS CAN ONLY BE REMOVED WITH SURGERY, WHICH IS ONE OF THE SAFEST TYPES OF SURGERY.
Cataract surgery is one of the most common and safest operations performed today, and Dr. Solomon holds a 98% success rate.
CATARACTS DON’T COME BACK AFTER SURGERY.
Once cataracts are removed with surgery, they will not come back. Few patients experience a posterior capsule opacification, which can cause similar symptoms to cataracts such as clouding. However, this condition is easily treated with a very simple laser procedure called Posterior YAG Capsulotomy.
IN ADDITION TO REMOVING CATARACTS DURING SURGERY, YOUR VISION CAN ALSO BE CORRECTED. THERE ARE MULTIPLE LENS OPTIONS TO HELP FIT YOUR LIFESTYLE, ALLOWING PATIENTS TO BE LESS DEPENDENT ON GLASSES.
During cataract surgery, your eyes clouded natural lens is removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens – called an IOL for short. Previous versions of cataract surgery used a “one-size-fits-all” basic IOL that was effective at improving distance vision but still left patients reaching for glasses for near-distance tasks.
But today’s modern IOLs are available in a variety of options to correct a larger range of vision errors, making you much less dependent on glasses and contacts for your everyday activities. Depending on the lens you select, you can correct near and far sightedness (refractive errors), astigmatism (distorted vision), and presbyopia (aging of the eye resulting in reading glasses). Two birds – one stone!
CATARACT SURGERY IS MINIMALLY INVASIVE AND CAN BE PERFORMED WITH MODERN LASER TECHNOLOGY.
Cataract surgery technology and techniques have advanced vastly in recent years. Using the newest major advancements in cataract surgery, LenSx laser system and ORA Technology, results in improved safety, comfort, and outcomes. Dr. Solomon’s patients typically do not require stitches, patches, or needles – not even an IV! The healing process only takes a few days to weeks, compared to months. Most patients are back to their normal activities the very next day!
WHEN SHOULD YOU GET CATARACT SURGERY?
First thing is first – For your overall health, it is important to have an annual eye exam to know the state of your vision. But when your glasses and contacts can no longer fix your vision issues, it may be time to explore cataract surgery.
Dr. Solomon asks his patients post-surgery if they felt they should have had the surgery earlier, and most patients report wishing they would have completed the surgery two to five years earlier.
ABOUT DR. KERRY SOLOMON:
Over 25 years of practicing medicine, Dr. Kerry Solomon is a world-renowned ophthalmologist with Carolina Eyecare Physicians and the leading laser cataract and LASIK surgeon in South Carolina.
Dr. Kerry Solomon has been a pioneer in the field of advanced cataract and refractive surgeries by consistently pursuing new research with groundbreaking developments. With patients traveling across the country to receive treatments and procedures, Dr. Solomon is committed to providing his patients with the latest in research, technology and techniques.
Dr. Solomon has been ranked in the top 1% of ophthalmic surgeons nationwide in US News and World report, has been named one of the “Top 50 Opinion Leaders in the Fields of Cataract and Refractive Surgery” by his peers every year since the award’s inception since 2005, and has been awarded the prestigious title of being one of the “Best Doctors in America” for 16 consecutive years. He is a perennial research leader, and has been named one of the top 250 innovators in the field of premium IOL surgery by the publishers and editors of Premier Surgeon. He has also been cited in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Money, Redbook, and Reader’s Digest. His television appearances include NBC’s Today, ABC’s World News Tonight and the PBS series Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, which aired in more than 140 countries.
Learn more about Dr. Kerry Solomon, his medical research, and information about ophthalmic surgeries at www.drkerrysolomon.com.
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