The aging eye: treating cataracts - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

The aging eye: treating cataracts

(Source: Raycom) (Source: Raycom)

Mary Thomson is the office manager for optometrist Chris Teichmiller at Innovative Eyecare. She says recently she began to experience something odd in her own vision.  

"About the last year and a half it was so gradual that initially I didn't notice it," Thomson said. "But my vision became less vivid, a little more foggy, and then more blurry."

Then a sudden change.

"And it scared me because it was such a drastic change over, it seemed like two or three weeks even," she said.

The answer was cataract surgery, and she says it was a breeze. 

"I believe it is just a matter of making a flap... in the cornea of my eye, and opening that up so he can get in there, through the pupil, take that lens out and replace it with another lens," she said of the procedure.

 "I was back at work the next day. That day I had the surgery, because they make you feel all comfortable and everything," she continued. "I was told I would need to go home, and it would be a good idea for me to just use my drops and go to bed."

As we age, some people develop cataracts.  For others it's a simple matter of reading the morning paper to realize we need glasses.

There are many age related ailments like glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and more, according to optometrist Dr. Chris Teichmiller.   

"It takes more light to see the same when we're older as it does when we are younger," he said. I've heard it can take 3-10 times more light for a 60-year-old person to see what a 20-year-old person sees."

He says the aging eye also doesn't handle glare well.  But there are ways to protect your eyes, like annual checkups.   

"Take frequent breaks from computer usage.  Make sure that you're blinking often and completely and staying hydrated.  And a lot of people can also benefit from taking a good quality fish oil product," the doctor advised.

He says that can lubricate the eyes, help joints and brain activity.  

He says the best advice is to get to the doctor as soon as possible before there is any permanent damage to the eye.  

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