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Cataracts Can Lead to an Increased Risk of Falling

January 23rd, 2017

cataracts newport beach

The obvious effect of cataracts is impaired vision. Patients may not even notice that their difficulty seeing is due to cataracts until they go see their doctor for an eye exam. But once cataracts have been detected laser cataract surgery is needed to restore vision.

Unfortunately, impaired vision is not the only symptom of cataracts, although it is definitely the most well known. Studies have linked cataracts to an increased risk of depression in those who suffer from them, suggesting an interesting link between eye care and mental health care.

Another uncomfortable and potentially dangerous side effect of cataracts is dizziness and falling. Older individuals with cataract surgery often complain of feeling dizzy, and falls for senior citizens can be especially devastating. This potentially catastrophic possibility makes getting laser cataract surgery all the more important.

Laser Cataract Surgery Can Decrease Feelings of Dizziness, But Not Falling

Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI), meaning an ophthalmologist’s care after performing laser cataract surgery on a patient is crucial for successful long term outcomes. Feedback from patients have shown that laser cataract surgery significantly reduces or eliminates feelings of dizziness in elderly patients. Unfortunately, there are not reduced rates of falling after laser cataract surgery as well.

A study in Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics observed the dizziness and fall rates of 287 patients. They were evaluated before getting cataract surgery and after getting cataract surgery. The number of patients who reported dizziness six months after the cataract surgery dropped from 52 percent to 38 percent.

Conversely, the rate of falls after cataract surgery only dropped by 3 percent, from 23 percent to 20 percent.

Scientists Have Pinpointed What May Be Causing the Lack of Reduction in Number of Falls

Researchers have found that the people who continue to suffer from falls are switched to multifocal lenses after cataract surgery. Multifocal lenses allow people to correct their near vision and distance vision with the same glasses instead of switching back and forth. But this can cause disorientation in wearers, and lead to an increased risk of falls in those who are already vulnerable to them. Doctors who notice a lot of unsteadiness in their patients after cataract surgery typically advise them to have two pairs of glasses – one for near vision and one for distance vision.

Ask Your Ophthalmologist About Laser Cataract Surgery

Cataracts can easily be removed with laser cataract surgery. Laser cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure meaning you can be in and out of your ophthalmologist’s office the same day. It’s a routine operation. Your ophthalmologist will make an incision in your cornea with a laser, use the laser to break up the ruined lens, remove it from your eye and then insert a brand new artificial intraocular lens.

Feeling uncertain? Stop by our Feinerman Vision office in Newport Beach, California to speak with one of our ophthalmologists. Pick up the phone and give us a call to book your laser cataract surgery consultation today.

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4 Important Facts About Cataracts and Laser Cataract Surgery

September 9th, 2016

Cataracts Orange County

Laser cataract surgery has lent additional accuracy to cataract surgery. For such a straightforward procedure, laser cataract surgery has the power to significantly improve a person’s quality of life. Although they can cause significant impairment, cataracts are easy to treat. Ophthalmological surgical techniques have developed beautifully. Considering the relative ease with which cataract surgery can be performed, there are still many staggering facts about cataracts that bear repeating.

51% of the world’s cases of blindness are due to cataracts

Yes, you read that correctly. It is not a typo. Over half of blind people worldwide are blind due to cataracts. It’s mind-boggling considering the fact that cataracts are not difficult to remove. The problem is that many people in the world lack access to licensed eye care professionals or the money to get to these surgeons. The risk of developing cataracts grows with age, so as the world’s population keeps living longer and longer, the number of people who suffer from cataracts grows as well. Additionally, since women are more likely than men to develop cataracts (and women are less likely than men to gain access to the health care they need) more of the world’s women suffer from cataracts.

Lifestyle changes can delay the development of cataracts

There are no eye drops or medications that can “dissolve” or prevent the formation of cataracts. They are tied to aging, and the best way to treat them is to notice them early and remove them using laser cataract surgery. That being said, it is believed that certain lifestyle changes can delay the formation of cataracts. Wearing sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection in addition to not smoking while maintaining a healthy diet are suspected ways to delay the development of cataracts.

Nothing is being scraped away during cataract surgery

You should not think of cataracts as a substance to be scraped away. What has happened is your lens has developed a cloudy build-up. The solution is to remove the affected lens during a laser cataract surgery procedure. During thisLaser cataract surgery, your ophthalmologist will insert an intraocular lens (IOL) implant that will serve as a replacement. While every surgery involves risk, this is one of the most regularly performed surgeries in the United States and your ophthalmologist has likely performed cataract surgery many times.

Ultrasound technology is used to break up the lens

Phacoemulsification is used to remove the cloudy lens. Ultrasound technology is used to break up the lens before it is aspirated out. As cataract surgery methods have progressed, the incision needed to break up the lens and perform this step has become smaller and smaller. In laser cataract surgery, the laser reduces the amount of ultrasound energy needed to break down the lens.

Our dedicated professionals at Feinerman Eye are ready to sit down with you and discuss the benefits of laser cataract surgery. Cataracts are an unnecessary vision impairment. Drop by our Newport Beach location and speak to Dr. Feinerman about your laser cataract surgery consultation!

Halloween Eyes: Spooky Accessory or Hauntingly Dangerous?

October 8th, 2015

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Halloween, historically, is known as a time to remember the dead. In the United States it is celebrated with costumes, trick-or-treating, festivals, decorating, and pumpkin carving.

Halloween is also a popular time for people to use colored contact lenses to enhance their costumes. From blood-drenched vampire eyes to glow-in-the-dark lizard lenses, costume contacts can certainly add a spooky, eye-popping touch.   But beware!  Make sure that your eye accessories are a treat and not a trick causing you eye issues in the future!

What to know before buying colored contacted lenses

  • Never buy colored contact lenses from a retailer that does not ask for a prescription. There is no such thing as a “one size fits all” contact lens. Lenses that are not properly fitted may scratch your eye or cause permanent damage.
  • Don’t buy them over the counter without a prescription. Contacts are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Places that sell them without a prescription are breaking the law!
  • Even if you have perfect vision, get an eye exam from a licensed eye doctor (ophthalmologist or optometrist) for your costume contacts. An eye doctor must also measure each eye to properly fit the lenses and evaluate how your eye will respond to wearing contacts.
  • Obtain a prescription from your doctor that includes the brand name, lens measurements and expiration date. Buy the lenses from a seller that requires you to provide a prescription, whether you go in person or shop online.
  • Follow directions for cleaning, disinfecting, and wearing the lenses, and visit your eye doctor for follow-up eye exams.
  • Never share contact lenses with another person.
  • If you notice redness, swelling, excessive discharge, pain or discomfort from wearing contact lenses, remove the lenses and seek immediate medical attention from an ophthalmologist.
  • Places that sell decorative lenses without a prescription may give you few or no instructions on how to clean and care for your lenses.

Risks associated with buying colored contact lenses

If you buy decorative contacts without a prescription, a poor fit can cause the following:

  • Scratches on the cornea or permanent damage
  • Corneal infection
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Decreased vision

You should never buy lenses from:

  • Street vendors
  • Salons or beauty supply stores
  • Boutiques
  • Flea markets
  • Novelty stores
  • Halloween stores
  • Record or video stores
  • Convenience stores
  • Beach shops
  • Internet (unless the site requires a prescription)

These are not authorized distributors of contact lenses, which are prescription devices by federal law.

Additional Safety tips

  • Avoid costumes that block visibility: Most Halloween accessories such as masks and eye patches are a lot of fun, but can block visibility. A safer option would be hypo-allergenic make-up.
  • Carry a flashlight: When out trick-or-treating, make sure you have a flashlight. You’re not only visible to cars, but you can light dark pathways and avoid holes in yards.
  • Make sure costumes are reflective: If your child’s costume is not reflective, sew or Velcro reflective tape on it. This way they can be seen crossing streets.

Doctor Gregg Feinerman is a world-renowned eye surgeon based in Newport Beach, California. As an Orange County eye surgeon, he specializes in LASIK vision correction and cataract surgeries. He and his friendly, knowledgeable staff are available to help you achieve your optimal eye health needs at Feinerman Vision Center.

How to Avoid Things that go “Bump” in the Night

September 1st, 2015

In order for our eyes to work properly, they need light to see. If that’s the case, than how do we see so well in almost complete darkness? Our eyes let us see a wide range of lighting conditions due to different parts of the eye working together.

How do we see in the dark?

Our vision range in varying light conditions comes from three parts of the eye:

The Pupil: The pupil contracts and expands depending on the amount of light, and can physically block the amount of light entering the eye in bright situations.

Rod and Cone Cells: Our eyes use two different types of cells to see light: rods and cones. The cone cells perceive fine detail and color but need bright light in order to do so. Rod cells can only see black and white and have poor resolution, but remain sensitive even in very low light. A white barely seen by the rods must be increased in brightness 1,000 times before the cones can pick it up.

Preparing your eyes to see in the dark

It takes time for your eyes to naturally adapt to the dark and is much faster for your eyes to adjust to bright light rather than darkness. Total adaptation to the dark can take hours. Here are a few quick tips to feel more comfortable in the dark.

  • Wear sunglasses. A few hours of exposure to bright sunlight can reduce your ability to adjust to the darkness by 10 minutes and 10 days of exposure can cause a 50% loss of night vision. Be sure to wear glasses with a grey tint to block out the entire visible spectrum and the darker the lenses the better.
  • Lower the brightness on your computer screen: By keeping the brightness on your computer or TV low, your eyes won’t have to adjust as much.
  • Don’t look directly at what you’re trying to see: Your eyes see with rods and cones. The concentration of of cones (see more color) is greater at the center of your vision than it is on the edges. Since cones require more light than rods you’ll see best at night with rods, which are more concentrated in the periphery of your vision.
  • Avoid looking directly at bright lights: Looking directly at a bright light can greatly increase the amount of time your eyes need to adjust to the darkness. If you must look towards a light, try closing one eye to maintain some dark adaptation. When driving at night, try not to look directly at high beams coming towards you and look to the lines in the road to stay on course.
  • Use the pirate method: Pirates didn’t always wear eye patches because they had lost an eye. Often times they used patches to improve their night vision. By wearing an eye patch they could keep one eye adapted to the darkness so that when they went below deck they could just lift up the eye patch and be able to see again. You don’t need to walk around wearing patch, you can do this by holding one hand over your eye if you need to turn on the light for any reason and then only one side will lose night vision. Give it around four minutes and then cover one eye before turning on the lights. Wait a few seconds and then turn the lights off again and open both eyes.
  • Let your eyes adjust naturally. Before going into a dark area and risking bumping into something, close your eyes and cover them for a while to let them adapt. Also, applying slight pressure with your palms can help speed up the adjustment process.

Being able to see well at night is important for both your convenience and your safety. To help preserve your night vision, be sure to get enough vitamin A, avoid smoking, and wear sunglasses when outside.

Doctor Gregg Feinerman is a world-renowned eye surgeon based in Newport Beach, California. As an Orange County eye surgeon, he specializes in LASIK vision correction and cataract surgeries. He and his friendly, knowledgeable staff are available to help you achieve your optimal eye health needs at Feinerman Vision Center.

5 Reasons Why Millennials Should Invest in LASIK

August 3rd, 2015

If you’re looking to improve your overall health and you’re a millennial, chances are eye care may not be on the top of your list. However, it should be. As you age, eye sight is one of the first things to be effected. Taking care of your eyes while you’re young can decrease the chances of complications down the road.

Active Lifestyle

Leading and active lifestyle is important for many millennials. Working out, running, spin classes and dancing are increasing in popularity, one can imagine how inconvenient glasses can be. If you’re used to wearing glasses during your workout, you may be familiar with the constant adjustments needed and that’s never pleasant.  Even if you wear contacts and have the advantage of better peripheral vision, there’s always the hazard of your contacts drying out and ruining your focus.

After receiving LASIK surgery, you no longer have to worry about packing a glasses case or refreshing eye drops in your gym bag. All the little things you used to have to keep in mind in relation to your eyes are no more, and you can focus on leading an active and healthy lifestyle.

Confidence

Glasses have come a long way when it comes to fashion. However, for many, wearing glasses can still affect confidence and self-esteem. When you look online now, you’ll find many articles about how to develop and grow a sense of confidence while wearing glasses. While it is a necessity for some to where glasses, why do it if you don’t have to? Not wearing glasses anymore can be just the thing you need, to give your ego a boost and increase your level of self-confidence. LASIK surgery can drastically decrease your dependency on glasses.

Little out-of-pocket expense

One of the main reasons that you may not elect to have LASIK surgery is cash. Do your research and you’ll find that LASIK will actually save you money in the long run. If you have a flex savings account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) through your employer, you may pay little or nothing out of pocket, as LASIK is an approved FSA or HSA expense. If you do pay for LASIK out of pocket, the cost is reasonable, and flexible payment options are available.

Recovery Time

Since your career is the probably at the top of your list of priorities, there is a big concern about taking too much time away from work. Recovery from LASIK is very rapid. The first couple of hours after surgery your eyes may feel irritated and dry. Vision may also be blurry, but will improve over the next day.

The day after your eyes still may feel irritated and dry. Recovery time varies from person to person, but most are able to return to work the next day. Since recovery is so rapid, you don’t need to have a bunch of vacation time saved up before you go in for LASIK.

Safety

The LASIK procedure is very safe, which is why it has been accepted by so many worldwide. As with any procedure there are still risks, but with LASIK they’re very low. In most cases, the patient does well and recovers with improved vision. The most common side effects of LASIK are dry eyes and seeing a glare or halo around lights.

You should always confirm the experience of your surgeon ahead of time and make sure that they have specialized training in cornea surgery. Knowing how to handle a complication, should one occur, can make a significant difference in the patient’s outcome.

No matter how long you’ve worn them, let’s face it—glasses and contact lenses are inconvenient. If you lead an active lifestyle and are tired of worrying about, and paying for, glasses and contacts, LASIK gives you freedom to enjoy the things you love.

Doctor Gregg Feinerman is a world-renowned eye surgeon based in Newport Beach, California. As an Orange County eye surgeon, he specializes in LASIK vision correction and cataract surgeries. He and his friendly, knowledgeable staff are available to help you achieve your optimal eye health needs at Feinerman Vision Center.

 

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Feinerman Vision Center
320 Superior Avenue, Suite 390
Newport Beach, California 92663

Phone: 949.631.4780
Fax: 949.631.7854

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