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Getting Cataract Surgery? Learn About the Recovery

When cataracts progress and seriously disrupt your vision so everything looks faded and fuzzy, cataract surgery offers effective treatment to restore clear vision.

If you’re ready to join the approximately 8.5 million people in the United States who undergo cataract removal surgery each year, it’s helpful to learn what to expect afterwards. Our eye doctor in Wyckoff and Woodcliff Lake explains all the basic steps of recovery:

  • Cataract surgery is typically done as an outpatient procedure. Typically, the procedure itself takes less than 30 minutes, but you’ll need to stay at the eye clinic for about two to three hours.
  • After the procedure, eye drops will be inserted and your eye may be covered with a bandage or shield to wear for about a day.
  • You will not be able to drive yourself home; be sure to arrange a ride.
  • At home, you’ll need to apply eye drops several times per day (usually for a few weeks) as treatments to prevent infection and reduce inflammation.
  • It’s recommended to wear an eye shield while sleeping during the first week after cataract surgery. Sunglasses should be worn outdoors.
  • Most sedentary activities are permitted by that night. Driving isn’t allowed until your eye doctor checks your vision on the next day.
  • You may experience ocular discomfort, such as watering, grittiness, itching, bloodshot eyes, blurry or double vision. Don’t rub or push on your eye!
  • Blurry vision is normal for the first few days. Then, it should sharpen and colors will appear crisper and brighter than before.
  • On the day after cataract removal, you’ll need to visit your eye doctor for the first postoperative visit. Future follow-up eye exams are generally scheduled at our eye clinics in Wyckoff and Woodcliff Lake at one week, one month, two months and six months later.
  • Complete healing takes about eight weeks, and your final vision prescription should be set about three months afterwards.

At James Tracey Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 646-916-4588 or book an appointment online to see one of our Midtown eye doctors.

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What’s It Like to Live with Cataracts?

More than 30% of all seniors will develop cataracts by 70 years old, according to estimates. That translates into more than 240 million people worldwide. Given the high percentage of people who will be diagnosed with cataracts, it’s probable that you’ll need to deal with them at some point. Do you know what that means? What’s it like to live with cataracts?

Firstly, to find out if you or a loved one has cataracts, book an eye exam with an eye doctor near me. We perform comprehensive eye exams for patients of all ages in our Midtown and Wyckoff, New York, eye care centers.

Cataracts explained

The basic explanation is that cataracts are when the normally transparent lens of your eye develops cloudy spots. These opaque spots blur vision and cause people to require new glasses prescriptions regularly as cataracts progress. It’s possible for people to live with cataracts for a very long time without needing any treatment other than prescription eyeglasses. However, it can seriously affect many daily tasks and compromise a person’s enjoyment of life.

Effects of cataracts on daily life

  • Difficulty reading

Cloudy vision makes it hard to see details and fine print. Your ability to read and write can become increasingly challenging.

  • Uncoordinated walking and movements

Double vision may be a symptom of cataracts, and seeing two of everything can make any action that depends on coordination a challenge, such as walking and eating. You have a much higher risk of tripping or falling over a rug or missed step.

  • Cooking and cleaning can be tricky

Blurry vision can affect your ability to read a recipe or add the right amount of an ingredient into a dish. Additionally, other domestic tasks such as cleaning the house can be harder to accomplish well. Even checking the clock to see the time can lead to frustration.

  • Night driving is unclear

Cataracts typically cause people to see halos around light. Therefore, as cataracts progress, night vision is obviously impaired. Driving at night gradually becomes unsafe.

  • Hobbies become unenjoyable

If your hobby involves seeing vibrant colors or differentiating between hues, cataracts usually take away the pleasure because they cause colors to appear faded and dull. Often, people with cataracts report that the world takes on a yellow tinge. Also, if your favorite hobbies include activities like fishing, sewing or golf, you won’t be able to discern the details you need to see clearly.

  • Reduced independence

In general, living with cataracts leads to a loss of independence. People must rely on family and friends to help them perform household tasks, drive, and read. Decreased independence poses both practical and emotional challenges.

I want to visit an eye doctor near me for cataract treatment

While there’s presently no known method for preventing age-related cataracts, there are actions you can take to help slow their development. Learn more from our eye doctor in Midtown and Wyckoff, New York.

Early detection of cataracts helps you get the most effective treatment. The good news is that cataract removal surgeries are among the safest and most commonly performed procedures out there. If cataracts are interfering with your daily life, consult with an eye doctor near you at James Tracey Eye Care to discuss your candidacy for cataract procedures.

At James Tracey Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 646-916-4588 or book an appointment online to see one of our Midtown eye doctors.

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Why You Regularly Need to Replace Your Sunglasses

Did you know that sunglasses, or at least sunglass lenses, regularly need to be replaced? 

According to a study conducted at the University of São Paulo, the UV protection that sunglasses provide deteriorates over time. You may adore your current ones, but if you’ve been rocking those shades for two or more years, it might be time to get a new pair. 

In addition to the UV-blocking properties, anti-reflective and anti-scratch coatings wear down, and the frame material may become brittle over the years, too. Even if you have the most durable sunglasses available, regular lens-replacement is the best way to ensure that your vision is maximally protected from the harmful effects of ultraviolet light. 

UV Light and Sunglasses

The protective efficacy of your sunglasses comes in large part from the lens coating of dyes and pigments that reflect and absorb ultraviolet radiation. They create a barrier that prevents UV radiation from penetrating your eyes.

However, this protective coating can, and often does, break down over time. Wear and tear can cause an invisible web of tiny abrasions, compromising its UV-blocking power. Furthermore, the protective dyes and pigments aren’t able to absorb UV rays indefinitely; the more sunlight they’re exposed to, the more rapidly they’ll become ineffective. 

A pair of shades worn on occasion and in mild conditions is likely to remain effective longer than a pair that is heavily used in a more intensely sunny environment. For example, if you spend long days on the water paddling, kayaking, or canoeing, the protective coating on your lenses will deteriorate more quickly than it would if you only wear your shades to go grocery shopping or sit in a cafe. 

Why It’s Important to Protect Your Eyes From UV

Protecting your eyes from the sun is critical no matter where in the world you are, as UV exposure places you at risk for developing eye diseases like eye cancer, pterygium, and pinguecula — which can result in disfigurement and discomfort — as well as cataracts and macular degeneration — which cause vision loss and, in severe cases, blindness.

Even short-term overexposure can result in photokeratitis, a corneal sunburn. Symptoms include eye pain, swelling, light sensitivity, and temporary vision loss. Some people experience it when spending too much time boating or skiing without wearing eye protection. Snow and water can increase solar exposure because they reflect sunlight toward your face.  

What to Look for When Getting New Sunglasses

When choosing new sunglasses, make sure they’re labeled 100% UV protection or UV400. Although most pairs sold in the United States and Canada offer this degree of protection, it’s still worth confirming before making the purchase. Keep in mind that factors like cost, polarization, lens color, or darkness don’t have much to do with the level of UV protection. Even clear prescription lenses can be UV protective. 

It’s important to note that there is a lot of counterfeit sunwear in the marketplace. This is dangerous since counterfeit eyewear may not provide much-needed ultraviolet protection. So if the price of a renowned brand is too good to be true, it’s probably a fake. 

The size and fit of the sunglasses is important. Bigger is definitely better if you spend a lot of time outdoors. Larger wrap-around eyewear is best if you regularly ski or spend many hours in the water, as this style blocks light from all directions. 

To find out whether it’s still safe to wear your favorite shades, visit a Midtown eye doctor to determine whether your lenses still offer the right level of UV protection. It’s also a good opportunity to discuss prescription sunwear. 

For more information about UV safety, or to get the perfect sunglasses tailored to your vision needs and lifestyle, contact James Tracey Eye Care in Midtown today!  

 

References 

https://biomedical-engineering-online.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12938-016-0209-7

 

Does Obesity Impact Eye Health?

Nation-wide awareness about the vast dangers of obesity is at an all-time high, with TV shows like “The Biggest Loser” and health initiatives such as Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign shining a spotlight on the importance of fitness and good nutrition. However, despite the public’s knowledge of obesity’s effects on hypertension, stroke, and diabetes, many are not aware of how it damages eye health and vision.

Increasing evidence shows that people who are clinically obese have an elevated risk of developing serious eye diseases. It is widely known that expanding waistlines place people at a higher risk of getting diabetes, heart disease, and cancer — but researchers say the link between obesity and deteriorating vision is the “risk factor that no one talks about”. Professor Michael Belkin and Dr. Zohar Habot-Wilner, from the Goldschleger Eye Institute at the Sheba Medical Center, found a consistently strong correlation between obesity and the development of four major eye diseases that may cause blindness: 

  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Diabetic retinopathy

The researchers said that although the evidence was out there suggesting a link between obesity and these conditions, their study emphasizes the optometric risks of obesity which can help motivate people to shed those extra pounds.

How Obesity Contributes to Eye Disease

A Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 is considered overweight and above 30 is regarded as obese. A high BMI is tied to several chronic systemic health conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke, among others. Recent research indicates that a handful of ocular diseases can now be added to that list. 

Serious eye conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration are more common in individuals with obesity, as well as floppy eyelid syndrome, retinal vein occlusions, thyroid-related eye diseases, and stroke-related vision loss. 

The connection between obesity and these eye diseases is likely due to the increased risk of peripheral artery disease. This occurs when the tiny blood vessels bringing oxygen to parts of your body like the feet, kidneys, and eyes become compromised.

Your eyes are particularly prone to damage from obesity because the blood vessels in the eyes (called arterioles) are easily blocked, since they’re extremely thin and small — as thin as ½ the width of a human hair! 

Most people are not aware that obesity may increase the rate of developing cataracts, too. Cataracts result when the focusing lens in the eye becomes cloudy and requires surgery to be replaced. In addition to age, cataract development is associated with obesity, poor nutrition, gout, diabetes and high blood sugar levels, though the exact cause isn’t clear.

A Healthy Lifestyle Can Reduce Your Risk of Ocular Disease

Knowing about the risk of vision loss may give those with a high BMI the extra motivational boost they need to lose weight. The good news is that a few lifestyle changes can reduce the associated risks.

An active lifestyle and a balanced, nutritious diet lower obesity and improve overall physical and eye health. Give your body a boost by incorporating important nutrients, such as vitamins C and E, zeaxanthin, omega 3, zinc, and lutein, many of which are found in green leafy and dark orange vegetables, as they have been shown to reduce the onset, progression, and severity of certain eye diseases. 

We Can Help Keep Your Eyes Healthy in Midtown

While a healthy diet and regular exercise greatly increase your chances of living a disease-free long life, they alone are not enough to ensure long term healthy eyesight. Regular eye exams with Dr. James Sinoway can help prevent or detect the onset of ocular disease, and maintain vision that is clear and comfortable.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your vision or eye health, don’t hesitate to call James Tracey Eye Care — we’re here for you. 

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