Cataracts Driving

Cataract Surgery, Lens Implants & Driving

People with cataracts often are unaware of the subtle changes in lifestyle and mobility that they adopt as they await the “right time” for cataract surgery. Almost always, people who have cataract surgery immediately feel an improved quality of life from the restored freedom of clear vision, especially for those who wish to continue to drive. A recent study also tells us that the choice of lens implant can play a role in restoring driving habits. When you schedule an appointment for a cataract evaluation or if you are visiting us for a cataract eye exam before surgery, please be sure to discuss and advise us of your driving habits and desires-especially night driving-so that we can counsel you on the different types of lens implants that we might use to help you return to a comfortable, convenient, safe and active driving pattern along with the other activities that the cataract might have limited for you.

If you or someone you know has a cataract or wishes to learn more about cataract surgery and lens implants especially as related to driving and mobility, please schedule a cataract eye exam by calling The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, or visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.

 

Aging eye problems are a fact of life for adults growing older just like wrinkles, slowing metabolism and graying hair. Eventually, your eyes are affected by age so it’s important to understand how your eyes change with age and what you can do to preserve your eye health and vision. Some aging eye changes and problems are expected and normal and others indicate the presence of eye diseases that need to be detected, diagnosed and treated or changes that need to be addressed to preserve vision. For these reasons having regular eye exams at the intervals recommended by your eye doctor is key-especially after the age of 40 years old.

Presbyopia

Beginning in the late 30s and early 40s, the crystalline lens in your eye loses flexibility, making it difficult to focus and read up close. Your “arms seem “too short.” This condition is called presbyopia, which literally means “aging eye”, and is most often treated with reading glasses, progressive lenses or bifocals depending on how you need to use your eyes for various tasks throughout the day, for work or recreation.

Dry Eye

Dry eye often develops with age and is a common problem for women during pregnancy and menopause. These hormonal changes cause changes in the eye’s tear production. Certain medications can also cause dry eye. If you have dry eye, you may be prone to an eyelid irritation called blepharitis, a common cause of irritation or swelling of the eyelids. The cause of your dry eye-either too few tears being produced or too rapid evaporation of tears will need to be diagnosed and then your eye doctor can prescribe a range of treatments including eye drops that add artificial tears, prescription eye drops that help you make more of your own tears called Restasis®, tiny punctal plugs to help you retain more of your own tears, anti-inflammatory eye drops and many other treatment options to get you help for dry eye symptoms and discomfort.

Diabetic Retinopathy

People in their 50s, 60s and 70s with diabetes are most at risk for this disease. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the small blood vessels inside the retina swell, leak fluid or close off completely due to damage from elevated blood sugar levels. But, you can take steps to prevent diabetic retinopathy with tight control of blood sugar, low fat diets, regular exercise and controlling blood pressure levels. It is also critical to see your eye doctor regularly for diabetic eye exams as with early detection, diagnosis and treatment the vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be slowed and often prevented.

Cataracts

Cataracts are very common in older people. As you age, proteins in your crystalline lens begin to clump together and cause the lens to be cloudy. This is the development of a cataract where the lens has become less transparent, causing blurry, cloudy or dim vision and increased glare and haloes around lights. Many people with the condition describe it as similar to looking out of dirty windshield. Cataracts can interfere with daily activities like driving at night and distinguishing colors. While treatment of early cataracts with changes in eyeglass prescription may provide some benefit, the only really effective treatment for cataracts is cataract surgery where the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with a permanent artificial lens implant which can correct the cataract as well as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and even presbyopia.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve that damages the fibers that transmit visual information to the brain. This damage often leads to loss of side vision or peripheral vision. If left untreated, glaucoma will certainly lead to progressive vision loss and ultimately total blindness. Glaucoma is most common in people age 55 and older. One of the problems with glaucoma, especially the most common type of glaucoma, called chronic open-angle glaucoma, is that there are typically no symptoms in the early stages. Many people who have the disease do not know they have it. This is why it is important, especially as you get older, to have regular medical eye exams at intervals that depend on your risk factors-such as smoking, sleep apnea, age, diabetes, high blood pressure, early menopause-as recommended by your eye doctor. 

Floaters and Flashes

As people grow older, the gel, called the Vitreous-that fills the inside their eye starts to shrink, forming clumps, liquid or strands. These strands and clumps can appear as “floaters” that appear as small specks or lines moving in your field of vision. As it shrinks, the gel can also pull away from the back wall of the eye, causing you to see “flashes” which appear as flashing lights or lightning streaks in your vision. While this is normally harmless, in some cases it can lead to retinal detachment and cause serious vision loss and even blindness. If you experience new floaters and flashes, it’s important to see your eye doctor as soon as possible, especially if you are over age 45, are nearsighted or have had eye injuries in the past.

Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

AMD is a senior eye problem that affects the central vision, limiting a person’s ability to read and recognize faces. This can be caused by a thinning and deterioration of the macula which is the center of the retina or by the growth of abnormal blood vessels under the retina. AMD can lead to blindness if not treated and it continues to be the leading cause of blindness in Americans over 65. Fortunately with early detection, diagnosis and treatment, vision loss from AMD is preventable or at least manageable so that we can reduce vision loss and in many cases, recover vision.

If you or someone you know is concerned about ageing eye problems such as presbyopia, dry eye, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, age related macular degeneration (AMD) or cataracts please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.

“After being completely frustrated with my eyes and not being able to read up close or see far or drive safely at night, I decided it was time for an eye exam.  As it turned out, I had cataracts.  There were different lens implants options and my doctor recommended the ReSTOR® Lens.  Of course I was a little nervous about the surgery but the staff was very informative and answered all my questions.  I am so overjoyed with the result of this lens implant.  I have now returned to reading easily without glasses as I did when I was younger and gratefully I can drive at night with no problems.  No more glare or halos!  Thank you to The Eye Clinic of Texas.”

Susan W.

If you or someone you know experiences cloudy, blurry vision and difficulty with night driving and faded colors you might wish to learn more about cataracts, laser cataract surgery and lens implants by scheduling a cataract eye exam at The eye clinic of Texas by calling us at an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.

“I was having trouble driving because I had developed cataracts.  It had reached a point to where I was afraid to drive at night.  Dr. Milstein removed my cataract during a surprisingly quick surgery and implanted the ReSTOR® Lens. The process was quick, painless and more importantly extremely successful.  I now have no visual aids to drive or read and I drive at night with confidence!  I love it.  Thank you.”

Mary B.

If you or someone you know experiences cloudy, blurry vision and difficulty with night driving and faded colors you might wish to learn more about cataracts, laser cataract surgery and lens implants by scheduling a cataract eye exam at The eye clinic of Texas by calling us at an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.

Alice H. was kind enough to share her thoughts about cataract and cataract surgery:

“The glare in my vision while driving at night was so terrible that I quit going to my Bridge card game because I was too terrified to drive at night and afraid I might hurt myself or someone else.  After surgery I can see so well near and far thanks to Dr. Milstein and his staff!  I have now joined my bridge group again and no longer afraid to drive at night!”

If you or someone you know experiences cloudy, blurry vision and difficulty with night driving and faded colors you might wish to learn more about cataracts, laser cataract surgery and lens implants by scheduling a cataract eye exam at The eye clinic of Texas by calling us at an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.

bodymassindex

What does being overweight or even obese have to do with your risk of developing cataracts? As it turns out, more than you may think. Body Mass Index (BMI) is recognized as a well known risk factor for some common diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and joint problems however the relationship between BMI and risk of cataract is controversial and not completely obvious. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines a normal weight with a Body Mass Index (BMI) as18.5-<25 kg/m2, being overweight as BMI of 25-<30 kg/m2, and obesity as BMI of ≥30 kg/m2.

Research of Cataract Risk & BMI

An extensive Meta Analysis and statistical review of BMI and cataracts found that being overweight or obese were significantly associated with an increased risk of cataracts, especially those called “posterior subcapsular cataracts” which typically cause the greatest vision decline. This relationship was independent of sex, alcohol intake, diabetes and hypertension.

If you or someone you know is concerned about cataracts and weight or body mass index (BMI) please share this information with them and ask them to call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas , Google+ or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.

What do calcium, osteoporosis and cataracts have to do with each other? Most people are aware that calcium plays an important role in bone health and the occurrence of osteoporosis. But, most people are unaware that calcium is also an important factor in cataract formation and development.

Research on Calcium, Osteoporosis & Cataract Development

Researchers reporting in the journal Clinical Ophthalmology shared some interesting information regarding an association between cataracts, cataract surgery and osteoporosis.

 

calcium

 

The researchers evaluated the association between osteoporosis and cataracts.

First the noted that age, female sex, higher socioeconomic class, smoking, chronic renal failure, hyperthyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases are all associated with an increased prevalence of osteoporosis. Then through careful statistical modeling also found that these factors and osteoporosis are ALL associated with an increased prevalence of cataracts.

Thus, they concluded that osteoporosis is associated with the presence of cataracts which may be related to calcium imbalance, hormonal abnormalities, and even a shared genetic predisposition.

If you or someone you know is concerned about osteoporosis and their risk of cataracts, please feel free to call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.

While it might seem obvious, we now know with even greater conviction that having cataract surgery in both eyes gives the best results as compared to having cataract surgery in only one eye. Having a cataract in one or both eyes often causes blurry, cloudy or dimming of vision but more importantly it can cause a meaningful decrease in visual functioning that impacts daily activities and lifestyle. In general it is well known that the presence of a cataract negatively affects both subjective quality of life and objective performance measures. It is also important to know that having cataract surgery in one is likely to improve vision and visual functioning, however the improvements are found in patients who undergo second eye cataract surgery.

Reporting in the journal Ophthalmology, researchers studied the impact that cataracts and cataract surgery have on clinical measurements of vision, reading speed, objective mobility performance and subjective visual functioning. The results showed that patients who had the cataract surgery in both eyes demonstrated better visual performance, better mobility-based task performance and even scored better on the Activities of Daily Vision Scale (ADVS). Thus, even though patients might find a great improvement after having cataract surgery in only one eye, the data indicate that having cataract surgery on both eyes provides the best visual functioning.

If you or someone you know has questions about cataracts, and getting the best results with cataract surgery and lens implants in both eyes, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas or facebook.com/ecot.lasik to schedule an appointment.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas 77550.

You might be able to reduce your risk of cataracts by moderate exercise such as walking or more vigorous exercise such as running according to a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports by researchers at the Life Sciences Division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Running Couple

Previous studies showed that  the risk of cataract formation was found to be lower in runners over time. In this Berkeley study when the incidence of cataracts was adjusted for sex, race, age, education, smoking, and intakes of meat, fruit and alcohol, lower cataract risk was significantly associated with both running and walking with no significant difference in risk reduction between running and walking, or between men and women. Further, the cataract risk appears to decrease linearly with increasing exercise energy expenditure.

If you or someone you know has questions about how to reduce the risk of cataracts by running or walking please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas or facebook.com/ecot.lasik to schedule an appointment.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas 77550.

Houston seniors need to know about the symptoms of cataracts as developing a cataract is a pretty common occurrence as we transcend our 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.  In fact more than 20 million Americans age 40 and older have cataracts and more than half of all Americans over 65 have some degree of cataract development. Cataracts are actually a leading cause of vision loss among seniors. We are quite fortunate in that with cataract surgery and lens implants we can readily help people achieve very good vision and lead a normal active lifestyle.

Symptoms of Cataracts

 

A cataract is a clouding of the crystalline lens of the eye preventing light rays from passing through it easily. For many patients cataracts start out slowly and have little effect on vision at first. As the cataract progresses it often results in a clouding and blurring of vision. As the cataract becomes denser, so does the impact on vision. Other common symptoms that bother patients with cataracts can includedimming of vision, sensitivity to light and glare,double vision in one eye,poor night vision, fading or yellowing of colors and a need forfrequent changes in glasses or contact lens prescriptions. While these are the visual symptoms, people do not realize is that the poor vision in seniors is often associated with premature or accelerated mental decline and that reduced vision creates difficulty with mobility and safety  and thus can also put patients at increased risk for orthopedic injury-especially hip fracture.

cataract surgery

Treatment of Cataracts

 

When cataracts begin to interfere with daily activities or with patient comfort, mobility and safety, they can be treated surgically. Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most frequently performed surgeries in the United States. Today, we have a full range of lens implants available that allow us to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and even near vision problems after cataract surgery, as well as distance vision, without requiring bifocals or reading glasses for the vast majority of patients.

If you or someone you know has questions about symptoms or treatment of cataracts, cataracts in general, cataract surgery or lens implants please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas or facebook.com/ecot.lasik to schedule an appointment.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas 77550.