Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mom's cataract

Mom was diagnosed January 2010 of early cataract. She’s complaining of chapters of dizziness so I brought her to an Ophtalmologist, Dr. Eclarinal. His clinic is in front of Olongapo City National High School (OCNHS) Monday to Friday 10:00 AM to 12 PM and 3 PM to 5PM.

She had an early cataract. The doctor showed me on his slit lamp or ophthalmoscope the appearance. It’s only small white dots for now. I read a column in Philippine Star newspaper similar to her case. The title of the column is “Ask your Eye Doctor” by Dr. Edgar U. Leuenberger, Glaucoma and Cataract Specialist in Asian Eye Institue. He answered the most common questions form patients about cataract. I decided to document this in my notes so I can go back when the time I need to refresh some details. Here are some portion:

Cataract is a condition in which the normally clear lens of the eye progressively opacifies or becomes cloudy. Someone who suffers from cataract may feel like he is seeing the world through a cloud, with blurred images, faded colors and indistinct outlines. He may also have difficulty seeing at night, see halos around lights, or be sensitive to bright lights and glare.

Question: I was diagnosed with cataract but was advised to wait until my cataract becomes mature before it can be removed. When is the best time to have my cataract removed?

Answer: Early cataracts require no further treatment but should be monitored on a regular basis. Once a cataract blurs vision enough to affect your daily activities, then it would be a good time to have it removed.

Question: What is the procedure to remove cataracts? How long is the procedure? Is it painful? Is it safe?

Answer: Surgery is the only procedure that can correct vision affected by cataract. The blurring of vision due to cataract cannot be corrected with glasses. Eyedrops or laser cannot treat cataracts.

We remove cataracts through phacoemulsification. In this procedure, the cloudy lens or cataracts is broken into tiny pieces, removed from the eye and replaced with a clear artificial lens, also called intraocular lens or IOL. The procedure is safe and not painful. It takes approximately 15 minutes per eyes. The patient can clearly see and go home after surgery.

Depending on the type of artificial lens they use, as well as their habits and lifestyle, patients may or may not require eyeglasses after the surgery. The artificial lens is permanent and doesn’t deteriorate over time; however, its effectiveness for vision improvement may be affected if the patient has or develops other eye conditions or diseases.

So we are advised by our doctor to go back after six months for another check up to monitor the cataract. In the meantime he recommend my mom to wear corrective eyeglasses, an Ophthalmic Eye Drops to inhibit the cataract namely (Adepos) Adenosine Triphosphate 0.2% Sterile Solution Anti-Cataract and Vitamins for the eyes namely (I-Vites) Multivitamins + Lutein.

Below is a video about how cataract surgery being done. Got from Dr. Manny Alvarez of from his segment Health Storm.

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