Has your eyesight become worse over time? Do objects appear cloudy or blurry while colors seem faded? Do you have poor night vision and does the glare from headlights, lamps, or sunlight appear too bright? Then you maybe suffering from a cataract on one or both of your eyes that is making daily activities like driving or reading more difficult. According to the National Eye Institute, by age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery.
If you are experiencing vision problems, join Dr. Timothy Kisla, ophthalmologist, to learn the latest treatments for people with cataracts and glaucoma including a new medical device called iStent. This free lecture Restoring Vision will be held on Monday, June 16 from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., Pavilion A, New Lenox. Register to attend at www.silvercross.org or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).
What is a Cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision. In a normal eye, light passes through the transparent lens to the retina. Once it reaches the retina, light is changed into nerve signals that are sent to the brain. The lens must be clear for the retina to receive a sharp image. If the lens is cloudy from a cataract, the image you see will be blurred.
The risk of a cataract include:
• Certain illness such as diabetes.
• Personal behavior such as smoking and alcohol consumption.
• The environment such as extended exposure to sunlight.
“You don’t have to be a senior citizen to get a cataract,” said Dr. Timothy Kisla, ophthalmologist on staff at Silver Cross Hospital. “In fact, people can have an age-related cataract in their 40s and 50s. But during this time, most cataracts are tiny and do not affect vision. It is after age 60 that most cataracts steal vision.”
Treatment of Cataract
The symptoms of early cataract may be helped with anti-glare sunglasses or magnifying lenses. If these measures do not help, surgery is the only effective treatment. “Surgery involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens,” stated Dr. Kisla.
Treatment of Glaucoma
Many people who need cataract surgery also have other eye conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration or glaucoma. Unlike cataracts, these two conditions, if left untreated, can lead to permanent vision loss. Glaucoma treatment options include: eye drop medications, surgery, laser surgery, or other minimally invasive procedures that can relieve eye pressure and reduce the patient’s risk for vision loss. “It’s important for you and your eye doctor to discuss what is the best treatment choice for you depending on your eye conditions,” said Dr. Kisla.
A new, micro-invasive device now exists called the iStent that offers enhancements to cataract surgery. “The iStent actually improves your eye’s natural fluid outflow to safely lower eye pressure by creating a permanent opening in the tissue that is at the base of the cornea,” said Dr. Kisla.
Benefits to the iStent include:
• Spares important eye tissue that is often damaged by traditional surgeries
• Does not limit treatment options that could help maintain your vision in the future
• The iStent is the smallest medical device ever approved by the FDA. It is placed in your eye during cataract surgery and is so small that you won’t be able to see or feel it after the procedure is over.
- An FDA approved device that is placed in the patient’s eye at the time of cataract surgery.
- Cost is typically covered by Medicare and many insurance plans.