Where Compassion Meets Excellence in Eye Care
About the aging eye and cataracts:
by Dr. Milan Patel
Life is full of changes. Gaining an awareness and understanding of these changes can sometimes help to make our life journey a whole lot easier.
At Milan Eye Center the objective is simple…to create the most safe, educational, and pleasant experience possible. We realize that you value your vision tremendously, and in return, value your trust in our abilities.
When you were a child, if someone asked your age, your reply may have been, “five and a half.” Becoming older was something you eagerly anticipated and you couldn’t wait until your next birthday! Changing and growing was a good thing. At some point, the fascination of becoming older began to lose its thrill. Never the less, aging is inevitable, birthdays are still fun, and the alternative is a lot less exciting!
Everyone expects certain changes to occur as they grow older. Fortunately, the physical changes that take place over a lifetime usually transpire gradually. Wrinkles and gray hair may not always be welcome, and fortunately there are cosmetic products available to camouflage. Even if you have maintained a fit and healthy lifestyle, as you age, you probably will notice some physical signs of weakened strength.
At the same time the signs of aging are occurring, there are physical changes occurring in your eyes. If you were one of the many fortunate individuals who had good eyesight throughout your youth, you may have just assumed that it was going to remain that way. Then sometime in your 40’s or 50’s, a perfectly normal change occurs in your ability to focus on objects up close due to a hardening of the lens inside your eye. This condition is presbyopia. No longer can you read a book or the newspaper without the aid of reading glasses, multifocal contact lenses or undergoing corrective surgery such as LASIK.
As you continue to enjoy birthdays, your eyes still undergo even more natural changes. Sometime in your late 60’s or 70’s, as a natural part of aging, you will most likely develop cataracts. According to the National Eye Institute, more than 20 million Americans have a developing cataract. While cataracts are quite prevalent, many people don’t know what they are, or why they affect vision.
A cataract is a clouding of the lens within the eye that occurs gradually as you age. It is not a disease, but rather a condition affecting the eye. A healthy, transparent lens absorbs light and accurately focuses it onto the retina (the back of your eye), providing a crisp, clear image.
As you age, proteins in the lens begin to clump together, forming opaque clusters. Over time, these protein clumps will eventually cloud the lens, allowing significantly less light to pass through. The small amount of light that does make it to the retina is diffused or scattered, leaving vision defocused. These clusters can also change the coloration of the normally clear lens, tinting it a brownish shade that affects color perception. When a cataract occurs, light becomes distorted and is not focused clearly on the retina. This causes gradual impairment of vision. A cataract does not spread form one eye to the other, but cataracts will usually develop in both eyes at the same time. If left untreated, cataracts can cause needless blindness.
Cataract Surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries with an exceptional success rate. Cataracts can be removed as soon as they start to interfere with your lifestyle. Dr. Milan Patel and Dr. Alexa Lu at Milan Eye Center have successfully performed several thousand cataract surgeries. The procedure generally takes less than 10 minutes and there is little or no discomfort. Medicare covers cataract surgery, including lens implants.
Rest assured that cataract surgery is one of the safest and most effective procedures performed today. During cataract surgery most people need minimal anesthesia and numbing drops without having to be put to sleep. A special instrument is used to hold your eye open. A tiny incision is made, the natural clouded lens is removed, and a new lens implant is placed within the eye. Results should be permanent and life changing. Generally one eye is corrected and then the second surgery is performed a week or two later.
After surgery, a shield will be placed over your eye and you will be asked to rest for a short time. Since it is not recommended that you drive home after your surgery, you will want to have someone to drive you. Dr. Patel will prescribe special eye drops to aid in healing and to control pressure inside your eye. Most patients are back to their normal activities the very next day with total healing in about 6 weeks.
There was a time when cataract surgery could only restore a patient’s distance vision. But today, thanks to the breakthrough AcrySof ReSTOR® ,Crystalens , and TECNIS Multifocal intraocular lens (IOL’s), you can enjoy crisp, clear, glasses-free vision from near to far. Unlike standard cataract replacement lenses, multifocal IOL lenses correct your cataracts and give you back your full range of vision. They focus like your eyes natural lens. Most patients never need glasses or contacts again!
Milan Eye Center is a premier ophthalmology practice located in the Johns Creek / South Forsyth area and affiliated with Atlanta’s finest hospitals including Emory Johns Creek Hospital and Northside Hospital.
Founding physician, Milan R. Patel, M.D., and associate physicians, Xiaoquin Alexa Lu, M.D. and Gary O. Richman, M.D., FACS, are all board certified ophthalmologists. They take the time necessary to provide each patient with information needed to understand their condition and to achieve the best possible outcomes.
Milan Eye Center offers a full range of eye treatments and corrective procedures including cataract lens replacement surgery , LASIK refractive surgery, PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) laser surgery, corneal transplant surgery, blepharoplasty (eyelid) surgery, SLT laser treatment for glaucoma, diabetic eye care, dry eye treatments, and treatments for many other eye diseases.
Your eyes are your windows to the world, and they would like to have the opportunity to help you attain and maintain a sharp and clear outlook. We invite new patients to experience the Milan Eye Center level of excellence and thank our existing patients for continuing to trust us with the care of your eyes.