Whether you’re new to our blog or a long-time reader, you may have missed some of the popular cataract surgery-related information we’ve shared through the years. So this week, we present a recap of some of our top-trending posts since 2017. Read on to find the answers to questions like can cataracts grow back? And can cataracts be prevented?
1. Why do cataracts make it difficult to read text on colored backgrounds?
If you’re a frequent magazine reader and you have cataracts, you’ve probably noticed that articles and advertisements that use similar colors in both the foreground and background can be difficult to read. Why is that?
Cataracts, which are a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, can prevent light from reaching the part of the eye that creates an image. They can cause the lens to actually change color, which reduces sharpness of vision and makes it more difficult to distinguish an object from its background. So, when the color of text is too similar to the color of the background, letters and words may look muddled and difficult to distinguish. Eyes with cataracts need increased contrast, for example black letters on a white background, in order to distinguish between the object and the background. Read more on this topic here.
2. Can cataracts grow back?
It’s more common than you might think for vision to become blurry again after cataract surgery. This leads many people to think that their cataracts came back. Fortunately, that is not possible. What is likely happening is a phenomenon called a “secondary cataract.” What is it?
There is a small sac called the capsule that holds the eye’s natural lens in place. During cataract surgery, the natural lens is removed and an artificial lens, known as an intraocular lens or IOL, is inserted in its place. The IOL is typically placed inside the capsule. Sometimes, the back or posterior side of the capsule can become cloudy, causing blurry vision and making it seem like the cataract returned. Fortunately, a secondary cataract is easily treated with a simple laser procedure typically performed in an eye doctor’s office. Read more about secondary cataracts here.
3. Can I get cataract surgery if I have dry eyes?
Dry eye is a condition where the eyes either don’t produce enough tears, or produce tears of poor quality. Dry eye is very common, so it’s a good thing the answer to this question is YES! Cataract surgery is possible in patients with dry eye, but extra steps will usually be taken prior to surgery to control the dry eye. Patients themselves can also undertake steps to reduce symptoms, for example increasing the humidity in the air at home, keeping well hydrated, wearing sunglasses outdoors and remembering to blink regularly when working in front of a computer screen. For more information about dry eyes and cataract surgery, read here.
4. Is there anything I can do to prevent cataracts?
While cataracts are a natural part of aging, there are some steps you can take to slow their growth.
Studies show that smoking increases the risk of eye diseases. In fact, people who smoke more than 15 cigarettes a day have up to three times the risk of cataracts compared with people who don’t smoke. So quitting smoking may decrease cataract risk. But what about nonsmokers? Are there prevention steps they can take as well? Yes!
In several studies, early indicators point to exercise as a way to reduce the risk of cataract development. In addition, eating a diet rich in nutrients, particularly leafy green vegetables, can lower the risk of cataracts by keeping those damaging free radicals in check. And let’s not forget our sunglasses! Invisible, harmful UV rays can increase the risk of cataracts and other eye diseases too. Read more about preventing cataracts here:
5. Can I have cataract surgery if I’ve previously had LASIK?
Because both cataract surgery and LASIK surgery are both quite common, it’s a good thing the answer to this question is YES!
The two surgeries actually treat different parts of the eye. LASIK reshapes the cornea, whereas cataract surgery replaces the eye’s natural lens with an artificial one. However, if you’ve previously had LASIK it is important that you provide your eye doctor with complete records of your vision prior to LASIK. It will help your surgeon select the correctly powered IOL for you. Read more about cataract surgery post LASIK here.
6. Are there recent technological advancements in cataract surgery?
Technology advancements in intraocular lenses, such as the IC-8 lens, have even minimized the need for glasses after cataract surgery. Learn more about the IC-8 lens technology and how it works in seeing near to far after cataract surgery.
You can also read more here about how technology is making life easier for cataract patients.
We hope you’ll check back on our blog frequently to read more news and information about cataracts and cataract surgery.