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Health Notes

Cataracts
A cataract is a cloudiness or opacity of the internal lens of the eye. A cataract can form because of aging, injury, inflammation, metabolic disorders such as diabetes, or hereditary factors. Medicines such as steroids, excessive exposure to sunlight, smoking, and high alcohol consumption may also increase your risk of developing cataracts. Surgery is the only treatment currently available. 

Many people have early cataracts and may not be aware of them. Symptoms of blurred vision and increased glare are common as cataracts develop. Your glasses prescription may change often and you may require sunglasses to help with the glare. When new glasses don't help and your vision interferes with the necessities and pleasures of your lifestyle, then it is time for surgery. There are medical circumstances when surgery would be advised as well. If the cataract is preventing the doctor from examining the back of your eye or if it is so advanced to be causing other problems, then surgery may be mandatory. Thus the decision to have an operation can be made only after a thorough examination and discussion with your Brainerd Eyecare Center optometrist.

 CateractsOnce you decide to consider a cataract surgery, we will help you select a surgeon. A consultation at the surgeon's office will be scheduled and a thorough discussion of the procedure including benefits and risks will take place. Most cataract surgery is done under local anesthesia as an outpatient procedure and is painless. It usually takes less than an hour and you go home the same day. The surgeon makes a small incision in the periphery of the cornea. With an ultrasound probe, the lens in your eye is broken apart and removed . A plastic intraocular lens implant is then inserted. Because the incision is only 3 to 4 millimeters, suturing may not be necessary and visual recovery is rapid. 

Can a cataract grow back once it has been removed? No, but some people develop a cloudiness of the membrane behind the implant. This can occur months or years after cataract surgery and causes a gradual blurring of vision.  A Yag laser procedure can clear away this cloudy membrane and clear vision returns.

Cataracts are very common. In fact over half of people between the ages of 65 and 75 have cataracts. If you have cataracts, we will recommend a follow-up examination schedule, help you decide when surgery is necessary, select the best surgeon for you, and provide much of your post operative care. We will be happy to provide you additional information and answer any questions. Please Contact Us. Be sure to ask us for the latest information at your next eye examination.
 
 
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506 Laurel Street - Brainerd, MN  56401 - (218) 829-0946 - (800) 450-2020 - Fax (218) 829-1279
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