Cataracts Under 40

Cataracts Under 40A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens of the eye. As a lens becomes cloudy, vision is impaired. Although most cataracts develop from the natural aging process, cataracts can affect younger people, including those under the age of 40. Even children and young people can develop cataracts.

Several factors can cause or contribute to cataracts in people under 40:

Disease: Diabetes is a known risk factor for early cataracts. There are many other metabolic conditions that can cause cataracts.

Medications: Steroids among other drugs can cause early cataracts.

Environment: Excessive UV exposure can lead to cataracts.

Trauma: Trauma to the eye can cause cataracts. Trauma may break the lens capsule making the  lens suffer from a protein leak and causing clouding.

Lifestyle: Smokers and those who heavily use alcohol are at an increased risk of developing cataracts.

Cataracts may also be caused by defects in the eye, detachment of the retina or high dosages of radiation.

If you are young, it’s important to protect your eyes from the sun and injuries and maintain regular vision exams. Cataracts are typically easy to treat with cataract surgery. For more information about cataracts under 40, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com.

Read More

LASIK Recovery Tips

LASIK RecoveryLASIK is one of the most popular forms of vision correction in the world today. The ability to experience the world around you without the daily dependence on glasses or contacts to perform functions such as driving and working leads to a deeper enjoyment of your day. One of the many benefits of LASIK is a fast healing and recovery time. Most LASIK patients have clear vision within days of surgery, without the assistance of glasses. Here are several tips that can speed up the recovery process even further and help you avoid any complications:

  • Take Adequate Time to Heal: Immediately following your LASIK procedure, you won’t be able to operate a vehicle, so a means of transportation to and from the doctor is a must. Give you and your eyes time to rest before you go about your daily activities normally. Ease your way back into the flow of things and make sure you take a couple of days off school or work to allow for proper healing and recovery.
  • Consider Taking Baths Instead of Showers: A bath may enable you to protect your eyes better than you would in a shower. Shampoo and soap can contaminate or irritate your eyes, so any contact with these products should be avoided. Water from the shower that hits you directly in the face can also cause complications when the droplets hit your eyes. When drying yourself, make sure you avoid rubbing your eyes at all costs.
  • Follow Through with Scheduled Doctor Visits: There will be several scheduled appointments with your LASIK surgeon in the days, weeks and months following your procedure. It is important that you go to each of these appointments so that your doctor can monitor your recovery progress.
  • Use all Prescribed Medication as Directed: You will be prescribed medicated and lubricated eye drops to assist with the LASIK recovery process. These eye drops are essential for proper healing and can help prevent dryness and discomfort.
  • Avoid Playing Sports: You’ll want to avoid any sports, whether they are contact sports or not, for up to a month. Although it may be possible for you to participate in non-contact sports much sooner, your vision and depth perception may not have fully adjusted. This puts you at risk of having a person or object inadvertently hit you in the eyes which can create complications for your LASIK recovery. Watersports or any other water activities should be avoided until one month after treatment.
  • Use Eye Protection: After your LASIK surgery in Rapid City, Dr. Wright will provide you with an eye shield to protect your eyes. You’ll want to wear some type of eye protection for up to two weeks after your procedure to prevent damage that may occur while you sleep or an inadvertent blow to the eye from a person or object.
  • Avoid Facial Applications: Creams, lotions and makeup should be avoided to prevent infection. Eye liner, eye shadow and mascara are especially dangerous because small particles from the makeup can enter or irritate your eye.
  • Protect Your Eyes from The Sun: You’ll find that your eyes are extra sensitive to bright light, especially sunlight, post-surgery. Wearing sunglasses with full UV protection is important for helping your cornea heal.
  • Do Not Touch Your Eyes: No matter how bad they burn or itch, do not touch your eyes after LASIK surgery. Rubbing or scratching your eyes is a natural tendency that everyone is born with, and refraining from doing this will be the most challenging thing you face during the recovery process. No matter how irritated they feel, don’t rub your eyes. It can damage the corneal flap, and may require your doctor to readjust it.

Dr. Wright is committed to helping all patients achieve clear vision through LASIK. To schedule a LASIK consultation in Rapid City, contact Wright Vision Center at 615-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com.

Read More

How Long Does Cataract Surgery Take?

How Long Does Cataract Surgery TakeCataract surgery is a procedure used to treat cataracts where changes in the lens of the eye cause cloudy, blurry or misty vision. The lens is the crystalline structure that sits just behind your pupil, which is the black circle in the center of your eye. Cataracts occur when changes in the lens of the eye cause it to become less transparent, making it difficult to see clearly.

Cataracts sometimes start to develop in a person’s eye lens as they get older (age-related cataracts), stopping some of the light from reaching the retina. Although cataracts are often associated with age, in rare cases babies are born with cataracts or young children can develop them (childhood cataracts).

Once cataracts have developed and vision is compromised, surgery to remove the clouded lens and replace it with an intraocular lens is the only way to restore vision.

Cataract surgery is a relatively straightforward outpatient procedure performed under local anesthetic, which means you’ll be awake during the procedure and can go home on the same day. During cataract surgery in Rapid City, Dr. Wright will make a tiny incision in your eye so that the cloudy lens can be removed. After it’s been removed, it is replaced with a small plastic lens called an intraocular lens (IOL).

If you have cataracts in both eyes, you will need two separate surgeries performed a few weeks apart. This gives the first eye time to heal and time for your vision to be restored.

There are two main types of cataract surgery and the timeframe of the procedure depends on which surgery you have.

Phaco Surgery: With phacoemulsification, the most common type of cataract surgery performed in the U.S., the procedure can take as little as 10 minutes.

ECCE Surgery: The extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE) can take longer than phacoemulsification; ECCE usually takes 30 to 45 minutes to complete.

Recovery Time: If there were no complications with the surgery, the patient will remain in recovery for a short amount of time, often 20 to 30 minutes, and then are able to go home.

Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most commonly performed procedures and has helped restore clear vision to thousands of patients. If you would like to discuss cataract surgery with Dr. Wright, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com to schedule an appointment.

Read More

Laser Vision Correction Options

Laser Vision CorrectionRefractive laser surgery for vision correction has made tremendous advances over the last several decades.

Today, many different options exist to help the majority of people who wear glasses or contact lenses reduce or eliminate their dependence on their corrective lenses. In almost all cases, refractive laser surgery is considered elective and cosmetic.

Here are some facts about laser vision correction:

  • Vision correction surgery can benefit people with myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism.
  • Myopia occurs when near objects appear clear but distant objects are blurry. The eye is too long and/or the cornea is too steep for its focusing ability, thus, objects are blurry.
  • Hyperopia occurs when near objects are blurry and far objects are clear. In this case, the eye is too short and/or the cornea is too flat for its focusing ability, which causes the blurriness.
  • Astigmatism is best described as distorted or warped vision due to the surface of the eye being somewhat irregular in shape. With this condition, the eye has various focal points causing images to be distorted.
  • Vision correction surgery modifies the cornea and/or the lens in order to focus light on the back of the eye without the need for corrective lenses.
  • Vision correction surgery will usually not benefit people with presbyopia (the inability to see objects up close). Presbyopia describes the condition in which the eye exhibits a progressively diminished ability to focus on near objects with age. This condition affects all people older than 40-45 years of age and is corrected by bifocal glasses or bifocal contact lenses. In presbyopia, the lens loses its ability to change shape and thus focus the eye on objects up close. Presbyopia is not a problem of the eye being too long or too short. Research is ongoing to develop corrective surgical procedures for presbyopia, but the technique has not yet been established.

Today, various options in vision correction surgery include the following:

  • Radial Keratotomy (RK)
  • Photorefractive keratotomy (PRK)
  • Laser in situ Keratomileusis (LASIK)
  • Femtosecond laser-assisted LASIK (iLASIK)
  • Laser thermal Keratoplasty (LTK)
  • Conductive Keratoplasty (CK)
  • Intracorneal ring segments (ICR)
  • Phakic intraocular lens implants

With so many laser vision correction options available, it is important to select the appropriate method for your specific needs. In Rapid City, Dr. Wright can meet with you to evaluate your vision and help choose the surgery method best suited for you. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment, please contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com.

Read More

Laser Eye Surgery: Procedure Time

laser-eye-surgery-procedure-timeLASIK is the most commonly performed laser eye surgery used to correct myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism. Like other types of refractive surgery such as PRK and LASEK, the LASIK procedure reshapes the cornea to enable light entering the eye to be properly focused onto the retina for clearer vision.

In most cases, laser eye surgery is pain free and completed within 30 minutes for both eyes. The results, improved vision without eyeglasses or contact lenses, can usually be seen in as little as 24 hours.

In the 30-minute LASIK laser eye surgery procedure time, the following steps are performed:

Creating a Corneal Flap – For LASIK to work, the laser beams must reach the inner region of the cornea. Wright Vision Center in Rapid City offers the safest technology and utilizes the all-laser approach when creating this first step of flap creation.

Reshaping the Cornea – Once the flap is folded back, Dr. Wright uses the laser to correct corneal imperfections in just a few seconds. This highly specialized laser uses a cool, ultraviolet light beam to remove microscopic amounts of tissue from the cornea to reshape it so it more accurately focuses light on the retina for improved vision.

Replacing the Flap – After the cornea has been reshaped, Dr. Wright puts the flap back into place and it immediately begins to re-bond with the surrounding tissue. Because of the natural bonding qualities of the corneal tissue, effective healing begins immediately without stitches.

To find out if laser eye surgery is right for you, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com to schedule a consultation.

Read More

Vision Conditions LASIK Corrects

LASIK laser vision correction in Rapid City with Dr. Wright could be the path to better vision for you. LASIK not only improves your vision; it improves your quality of life. There are four general vision conditions that LASIK corrects.

Myopia: Myopia is also called nearsightedness and is a condition where you can see objects close-up much clearer than objects at a distance. If you have myopia, it is because your eye shape is longer than normal and/or you have an excessively steep cornea. Because of this, light entering your eyes does not focus on the retina as it should, but instead focuses on images at a point in front of the retina.

Hyperopia: Hyperopia is also known as farsightedness and is the opposite of myopia. Objects that are at a distance are clearer than objects that are up close. If you have hyperopia, it is because either your eye shape is too short or you have an excessively flat cornea. This is because light entering your eye focuses on images at a point behind the retina. In some cases, hyperopia may cause blurriness at both distance and near vision.

Astigmatism: Astigmatism is a common condition which results in blurry vision due to an unusually shaped eyeball. If you have astigmatism it is because you have an eye that is not spherical or basketball-shaped like a normal eye is, but is shaped more like a football and this causes the light rays to focus on two points instead of one. In addition, those with the condition of astigmatism often have myopia or hyperopia as well.

Presbyopia: Presbyopia is a common eye condition that normally occurs with aging and strikes people in between the ages of forty to fifty. It is the result of the eye lens losing its elasticity. This causes objects to become blurry the closer they become. This condition is usually corrected with reading glasses. LASIK cannot correct presbyopia alone but can compensate for the condition through a procedure known as monovision. One eye is corrected to see far away and the other is corrected to see up close so the brain is tricked into seeing clearly.

During LASIK in Rapid City, Dr. Wright uses an excimer laser to remodel the cornea to properly refract light for corrected vision based on your unique eye condition and vision needs. Contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com to schedule your free LASIK consultation today.

Read More

LASIK Alternatives

lasik-alternativesAlthough LASIK has greatly improved the vision of tens of thousands of patients, it’s not the best option for everyone. There are several LASIK alternatives to consider if you are interested in vision correction and are not a good candidate for the LASIK procedure.

Because Dr. Wright in Rapid City is committed to providing the best possible outcome for every patient, Dr. Wright will only recommend LASIK if it’s the best option for you. A variety of preexisting conditions and variables, such as having thin corneas or certain corneal diseases, may prevent you from having LASIK. Dr. Wright will determine whether any of these conditions affect you during the comprehensive exam you receive at your initial LASIK consultation.

If Dr. Wright determines that you aren’t a LASIK candidate, you may qualify for LASIK alternatives such as photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) or intraocular lenses (IOLs).

PRK: Like LASIK, photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) uses an excimer laser to reshape the eye’s cornea. With PRK, however, the first step of LASIK – creating a corneal flap – doesn’t occur. Instead, the excimer laser ablates the epithelium (the thin outer layer of the cornea) to correct vision, flattening the cornea in a nearsighted eye and smoothing the irregular cornea in an eye with astigmatism. This allows light entering the eye to better focus onto the retina, which results in clearer vision.

IOLS: Intraocular lenses (IOLs) are an alternative to LASIK and PRK eye surgery for correcting moderate to severe myopia (nearsightedness). This procedure is generally indicated for younger patients who are not good candidates for LASIK. IOLs are clear, implantable lenses that are surgically placed either between the cornea and the iris (the colored portion of your eye) or just behind the iris, without removing your natural lens. These lenses enable light to focus properly on the retina for clearer vision without corrective eyewear. Implantable lenses function like contact lenses to correct nearsightedness. The difference is that IOLs work from within your eye instead of sitting on the surface of your eye. Also, IOLs offer a permanent correction of myopia, unless the lens is surgically removed.

Dr. Wright in Rapid City is dedicated to providing the right vision correction procedure for you. To find out if you are a good candidate for LASIK, or if another option is more appropriate for your vision correction needs, please contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com to schedule an appointment.

Read More

Types of Cataract Surgery

types-of-cataract-surgeryIf the lens inside your eye has become cloudy, you may want to consider cataract surgery. During cataract surgery in Rapid City, Dr. Wright removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with an artificial lens (called an intraocular lens: IOL) to restore clear vision. The procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis and does not require an overnight stay in a hospital or other care facility. There are three types of cataract surgery, the most common form today is a process called phacoemulsification.

  1. Phacoemulsification: With the use of an operating microscope, your surgeon will make a very small incision in the surface of the eye in or near the cornea. A thin ultrasound probe, which is often confused for a laser, is inserted into the eye and uses ultrasonic vibrations to dissolve (phacoemulsify) the clouded lens. These tiny fragmented pieces are then suctioned out through the same ultrasound probe. Once the cataract is removed, an artificial lens is placed into the thin capsular bag that the cataract occupied. This lens is essential to help your eye focus after surgery. In this most modern method, cataract surgery can usually be performed in less than 30 minutes and usually requires only minimal sedation and numbing eye drops, no stitches to close the wound and no eye patch after surgery.
  2. Extracapsular Cataract Surgery: This procedure is used mainly for very advanced cataracts where the lens is too dense to dissolve into fragments (phacoemulsify). This technique requires a larger incision so that the cataract can be removed in one piece without being fragmented inside the eye. An artificial lens is placed in the same capsular bag as with the phacoemulsification technique. This surgical technique requires a various number of sutures to close the larger wound, and visual recovery is often slower. Extracapsular cataract extraction usually requires an injection of numbing medication around the eye and an eye patch after surgery.
  3. Intracapsular Cataract Surgery: This surgical technique requires an even larger wound than extracapsular surgery and the surgeon removes the entire lens and the surrounding capsule together. This technique requires the intraocular lens to be placed in a different location – in front of the iris. This method is rarely used today but can still be useful in cases of significant trauma.

For more information about cataract treatments including these cataract surgery procedures, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com.

Read More

Dry Eye and LASIK

dry-eyes-and-lasikDry eyes are no fun: They itch, sting and tear up. They’re a possible side effect of LASIK eye surgery, but usually they clear up within the first year of recovery. It is important when considering LASIK that you understand the possibility of experiencing dry eyes after your procedure. If you suffer from dry eye prior to LASIK, proper preoperative treatment can be provided to you so that you will have the best possible LASIK results and experience.

The eye requires that it be continuously covered by natural tears produced by the eye. Dry eye is a condition where not enough tears are produced to keep the eye comfortable and healthy.

In Rapid City, Dr. Wright uses several diagnostic tests to help diagnose dry eyes. There are many ways to treat dry eyes depending on your particular situation.

Dry Eye Before LASIK Surgery

Having dry eyes does not rule you out as a candidate for LASIK surgery, although it may postpone your treatment. Patients with dry eyes who wish to undergo LASIK require treatment for their dry eyes prior to undergoing surgery.

A normal, healthy tear film is a requirement for a successful LASIK eye surgery procedure. A healthy tear film contains several components that help to protect the eye against infection, and it provides a smooth optical surface that is integral to clear vision.

Before LASIK and during your consultation, Dr. Wright  will evaluate your tear film and may measure the quantity of tears you produce. The goal is for Dr. Wright to be comfortable with the quantity of your tears so that you can get the best possible results from your LASIK procedure.

Dry Eye After LASIK Surgery

It is normal and expected that during the creation of the flap in surgery a certain number of the corneal nerves will be temporarily damaged. This means that for some time after your LASIK procedure, the regular nerve impulses that ordinarily would have told the lacrimal gland to produce tears will be interrupted, which may cause dry eyes. This is a normal and expected part of the healing process after LASIK. Every LASIK patient will need to use lubricating and moisturizing drops often after their procedure. In almost all cases dry eye symptoms disappear within a couple of months—and sometimes within a few weeks.

If you are interested in LASIK and would like to set up a consultation, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com today.

Read More

Is Cataract Surgery Safe?

is-cataract-surgery-safeA cataract is a clouding of the eye lens that can make it hard for you to see. The condition is most common in older people, but anyone can have one.

As cataracts grow, they can cause symptoms that interfere with daily activities. Cataracts can cause dim, blurred, yellow or double vision. This can make it hard to read, work on a computer and anything else that calls for clear eyesight. You may also experience poor night vision and find it harder to drive when it’s dark. People with advanced cataracts can even fail the vision part of a driver’s test. Cataracts can make you more sensitive to glare from the sun. You might see a halo around bright lights. This can keep you from being outdoors as much as you’d like.

If you have any of these symptoms, cataract surgery could be a great solution for you. During cataract surgery, the lens inside your eye that has become cloudy is removed and replaced with an artificial lens (called an intraocular lens – IOL) to restore clear vision. The procedure typically is performed on an outpatient basis and does not require an overnight stay in a hospital or other care facility.

Cataract surgery is one of the safest, most successful surgeries involving the eye. Although cataract surgery is very safe and side effects are rare, there is a chance you could experience a complication such as:

  • Eye infection or swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Retinal detachment
  • Feeling of pressure inside your eye
  • Loosening of new implant
  • Fluid buildup in eye
  • Drooping eyelid

As your eyes heal in the days following surgery, you may experience various visual disturbances such as glare and halos. This is normal and they usually subside over time.

Most people notice a significant improvement in their vision and can resume everyday activities within 24 hours after cataract surgery. However, depending on which intraocular lens you have implanted, it can take between two to six months to completely adjust and for you to achieve your optimal vision. Because IOLs are made of durable material, it’s rare that they need to be replaced.

If you are ready to see clearly again, contact Wright Vision Center in Rapid City to schedule a cataract surgery consultation.  Call 605-718-5123 or visit wrightvisioncenter.com to schedule your appointment today!

Read More