From the age of 50-60, people begin to suffer from two visual problems closely related to the aging. One, presbyopia or eyestrain. Other: cataracts.
Presbyopia is the result of aging, explains the medical director of Oftálica Clínica Oftalmológica de Alicante, Dr. Enrique Chipont. As we get (older), the lens of the eye loses elasticity and that loss of elasticity affects our near vision, he adds.
Presbyopia manifests when we change the plane of vision, because this loss of elasticity of the lens prevents our eyes from adapting at the desired speed to the changes of plane that we experience almost constantly.
The characteristic gesture of the patient with presbyopia manifests when it should squint to read a novel or you need to extend your arm to hold the mobile and see clearly the letters of the WhatsApp or the agenda.
Both gestures are clear indications of a problem with presbyopia or eyestrain. and the immediate reaction that they should arouse in us is to go to the specialist for diagnosis and treatment.
What is and how do cataracts occur in the eyes?
Cataracts are caused by a clouding of the lens as a result of ageemphasizes Dr. Chipont, which causes us to begin to see in a way as blurry as when we look through a waterfall. Hence, the name of cataracts that this problem receives.
A recent study highlighted that 9 out of 10 people were concerned that vision loss could disrupt their daily activities. In the case of patients with cataracts, the gradual loss of vision will alter (and greatly) daily activities.
In addition, cataracts can put the patient’s physical integrity at risk because losing sight grows risk of falls in older people.
Those who suffer from cataracts lose autonomy as their loss of vision increases, explains Dr. Chipont. Increasingly, the person affected by cataracts stops developing activities until recently habitual, such as lead, concludes.
In addition, the medical director of Oftálica emphasizes that the patient with cataracts faces very unpleasant symptoms, such as stop seeing people’s faces clearly you know (family, friends …) and begin to perceive those clearly blurred faces. The panorama, then, begins to be bleak both for those affected by presbyopia and for those affected by cataracts.
The patient of presbicia begins to suffer headaches and / or dizziness after being forced to stare. Must live with him itchy and stinging eyes and your eyeballs become easily red. And also with eyestrain and blurred vision.
As for the patient of waterfalls, this loses autonomy both at home and in some activities, such as driving, suffers the danger of falls and cannot see faces, but blurred silhouettes. His vision deteriorates day by day.
In these circumstances, the question is clear: Should we live with presbyopia and / or cataracts or there is some kind of solution or solutions for these eye problems?
Dr. Chipont maintains that “the good news is that, today, Presbyopia and cataracts have a solution, and it is surgical “.
The presbyopia surgery, the cataract surgery and combined presbyopia and cataract surgery – adds Dr. Chipont – “solve these problems in just 15 minutes through a simple surgical procedure in the operating room, which is performed with local anesthesia. The surgery in all three cases is ambulatory or, what is the same, does not require hospitalization “.
Intraocular lens replacement and cataract surgery
And in all three cases, the specialist removes the natural lens and replaces it with an intraocular lens, that from the surgery it will play the role that, until its deterioration, made the lens.
exist three types of intraocular lenses. Each of them has its own characteristics.
· Monofocal: With a single graduation.
· Bifocal: With graduation from near and far.
· Trifocal: With graduation from near, far and in medium distance. The difference of these lenses with respect to the other two is that with trifocal intraocular lenses it is possible to say goodbye to glasses, because if the implanted is a trifocal intraocular lens, the patient will be able to see without glasses at short, medium and far distance. That is, you will not need to wear glasses again.
Ultimately, it is the specialist who must decide when it is possible to apply each type of lens based on the characteristics of the patient.
What are the initial symptoms of cataracts?
It is possible that, at certain times, such as the current one, it is difficult for us to make the decision to go to the ophthalmologist. However, we must know the consequences of delaying the ophthalmological examination, diagnosis and treatment.
Consequently, the question is, What happens if we delay the visit to the specialist and, consequently, the diagnosis of cataracts?
· The initial symptoms of cataracts are blurred vision, difficulty reading, recognizing faces and / or viewing a screen (computer, tablet, mobile, television) …
· Halos of light that generate serious problems when driving.
· Increase in myopia and decrease in hyperopia.
· Double vision in one eye.
· Gradual loss of vision.
The advice of the specialist is in this circumstance that “go to the ophthalmological consultation. If you suffer from any of these symptoms you may have an eye problem related to cataracts and, in these circumstances it is not advisable to wait”, Explica el doctor Chipont.
Cataracts and presbyopia. Diagnosis
Cataracts are not perceptible to the human eye. This circumstance forces the ophthalmologist to carry out a thorough examination to determine the type of visual problem we are facing.
The same goes for presbyopia. In both cases, the specialist must determine the diagnosis based on a series of tests.
Advantage of combined surgery: cataracts and presbyopia
Cataract surgery ends the risk of accidents by recover lost vision and it also puts an end to the visual impairment that the patient had experienced. Again, see again correctly other people’s faces, you can drive again and regain your personal autonomy lost as the effects of the cataracts increased.
The presbyopia or eyestrain patient also notices a major change: get your near vision backNotice how the aches and pains due to presbyopia or eyestrain disappear.
All these advantages occur in the combined cataract and presbyopia surgery and, to it we must add that if the implanted lens is trifocal, in addition, the patient will be able to say goodbye to glassesSince these trifocal intraocular lenses allow you to see correctly at short, medium and long distances.
Cataract surgery: myths
Dr. Chipont explains that “it is also important to explain some myths created around cataracts. The first is that cataracts are not contagious. They are not a disease, but a visual problem caused by age. Therefore, they are not spread from one eye to another or from one person to another ”.
“The waterfalls -added- neither are growths outside the eye or inside. They are opacifications inside the eye. It is also not true that cataracts can grow back once operated, because the surgery consists of the extraction of the lens. If there is no lens, they cannot reappear ”.
“Cataracts are not reversible. There is no improvement, but a worsening. The only solution is surgical”.
“It is not true that reading, sewing or doing tasks that require staring is the cause of worsening cataracts. The cataracts got worse because the process is unstoppable and only surgery solves it”.
Presbyopia operation: myths
In the case of presbyopia, Dr. Chipont explains that “a myth about presbyopia or eyestrain is that it is produced by a loss of strength of the eye muscles. The reality is that the origin of presbyopia is the loss of elasticity of the lens ”.
“Presbyopia and cataracts only have a surgical solution,” explains Dr. Chipont. “It may happen that people with myopia and presbyopia see worse from afar than up close. However, this does not mean that they do not have presbyopia, but myopia compensates for presbyopia. However, the problems resulting from having tired eyes will continue to affect ”.
Is it safe to have surgery now?
Dr. Chipont states that “the operating rooms they are safe places. They keep all the cleaning, hygiene and aseptic measures in an equally clean and controlled environment ”. In the case of Oftálica “we have a professional team always aware of patient care and we implement each and every one of the recommendations of the health authorities. We include others such as the use of anti covid air purifiers to avoid the presence of viruses, germs and bacteria in the environment ”.
Location of Oftálica Clínica Oftalmológica
Av. Padre Espla, 58, 03013 Alicante
Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Telephone: 966 378 620
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.