What Will Happen if a Cataract is Left Untreated?

Cataracts occur when changes in the lens of the eye cause it to become less transparent, resulting in cloudy or blurry vision.

Cataracts interfere with the passage of light through the lens of the eye. The lens is a crystalline structure that sits just behind the pupil – the black circle in the center of the eye through which light enters. The light is focused by the cornea and the lens on the retina, a layer of light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye which creates electrical impulses of the image then transmitted to the brain, enabling us to see.

Cataracts most often start to develop in a person’s lens as they get older. Over time, cataracts become worse and start to interfere with vision. Important skills can be affected, such as driving, and loss of vision can affect the overall quality of life in many ways including reading, working, hobbies and sports. If left untreated, cataracts will eventually cause total blindness.

The good news is that cataracts can be easily treated. The primary treatment for cataracts is surgery to remove and replace the cloudy lens. Cataract surgery is a simple procedure that typically takes just about 15 minutes to complete.

If you suffer from cataracts, it is recommended that you have cataract surgery before your cataracts start seriously impairing your vision. If you wait too long, your cataracts can become hyper-mature which makes them more difficult to remove and can cause surgery complications. In general, the best outcomes for cataract surgery take place when surgery is performed soon after vision problems develop.

The best way to decide how and when to treat your cataracts is to discuss your options with your eye doctor. During an examination in Rapid City, Dr. Wright will discuss treatment options with you based on your individual needs. To schedule an appointment at Wright Vision Center, contact us today by calling 605-718-5123 or visiting wrightvisioncenter.com.

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How Do I Choose a LASIK Doctor?

Choosing a LASIK doctor is one of the most important decisions to make once you have decided to have LASIK surgery. But how do you know who the best person is for such a task? When choosing a LASIK doctor, consider the following key factors:

Credentials – One should make sure that their LASIK doctor is board-certified, meaning that an entity recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties has certified the surgeon to practice their specialty. Also, make sure that the surgeon is licensed in the state they are performing the procedure.

Technology – Understanding the type of technology that a surgeon uses is another important factor to consider. There are several different technologies that LASIK surgeons may use and there are many differences that contribute to precision and results achieved. For example, some surgeons may still use a microkeratome blade to create the corneal flap during LASIK surgery whereas many surgeons now use an all laser approach to laser vision correction. Other surgeons may offer the latest LASIK technology which provides a more individualized correction and more precise results. Modern lasers track and scan the cornea to deliver a consistent and effective outcome for the patient.

Patient Reviews – Reviews from patients who have previously had LASIK performed by the surgeon you are researching can give great insight as to what you can expect. Knowing that the majority of the surgeon’s patients are satisfied with their experience and would recommend the surgeon can be helpful to feeling more comfortable.

Number of Surgeries Performed – Theoutcome of your LASIK procedure will largely depend on the level of skill and experience your LASIK doctor has.Making sure that the LASIK doctor you choose to perform your laser eye surgery has adequate experience is very important. The more surgeries a LASIK doctor has performed, the more time they have had to perfect their skills.

Comfort: Finding a LASIK doctor to trust your sight to is an important decision. A good LASIK doctor should make you feel comfortable and help you decide on the best procedure for you and your vision needs. Make sure you feel comfortable with your doctor and all the information you’ve received before you proceed with scheduling your procedure.

Choosing a LASIK doctor is very important and should be researched carefully. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Wright in Rapid City, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com.

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Are You Awake During Cataract Surgery?

Cataracts are a common age-related condition where the lens of the eye starts to become cloudy. This leads to progressive vision impairment. Cataracts are easily treated with a simple surgical procedure to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a new, clear lens, known as an intraocular lens or IOL.

Today, most cataract surgery is done on an out-patient basis, and the entire process usually takes no more than two hours from check-in to heading home! The procedure itself usually lasts less than fifteen minutes and is virtually painless.

Typically, patients are awake during cataract surgery. This eliminates risks associated with general anesthesia (where you are put to sleep) and enables Dr. Wright to communicate with you during your procedure.

You will be given an oral medication prior to the procedure to help you relax during your surgery. Before you are taken into surgery, the area around your eye will be cleansed and drops will be put into your eye to dilate the pupil. An anesthetic shot or numbing eye drops will be used to make sure you’ll be comfortable throughout the surgery. You should not feel pain or discomfort during your procedure.

Cataract surgery is one of the safest, most successful surgeries involving the eye. 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.

To learn more about cataract surgery in Rapid City, contact Wright Vision Center to schedule a cataract surgery consultation. Call 605-718-5123 or visit wrightvisioncenter.com to schedule your appointment today!

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What is the Best Age to Get LASIK?

LASIK is a great option for many people who suffer from poor eyesight. But one question many people have before considering this procedure is what the best age is to get LASIK? There is a right and wrong age for LASIK.

The Best Age For LASIK

Generally, the perfect candidate for LASIK is someone between the ages of 20 and 40. This is because a major determining factor in LASIK candidacy is a stable eye prescription for at least two years. Just as your body grows and matures through adolescence, so do your eyes. Research shows that your eyes begin to stabilize and your prescription is more likely to remain steady after the age of 20.

LASIK for Teens

Although LASIK is a safe and effective way to improve vision, the FDA has not approved the procedure for people under the age of 18 because their eyes are not fully developed. In some cases, a person’s eyes may not fully develop until the age of 21. A teenager who undergoes LASIK surgery when their eyes are not fully developed will find the results to be temporary and may need corrective surgery in the future.

Older LASIK Patients

Older patients typically suffer from age-related conditions that cannot be treated with LASIK surgery, such as cataracts, and therefore may not be good candidates for the LASIK procedure. Cataracts occur when the natural lens in the eye becomes cloudy, resulting in blurred vision. It is one of the leading causes of vision loss among older people. Patients with cataracts should consider undergoing cataract surgery, in which the eye’s natural lens is replaced by an artificial lens.

The benefits of LASIK have convinced millions of people to undergo this procedure. To determine whether you are a good candidate for LASIK surgery, schedule a consultation with Dr. Wright in Rapid City by contacting Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com.

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Do You Wear an Eye Patch After Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery is the removal of the natural lens of your eye when it has become opaque or cloudy, typically due to age. There are many bad habits that can cause cataracts, however, it is generally related to age. During cataract surgery in Rapid City, the cloudy lens is replaced with an artificial clear lens to restore crystal clear vision. It is the most common and quick eye surgery when performed by a skilled surgeon.

Upon completion of your cataract surgery, a clear, plastic shield will be placed over your eye. It is important that you wear the shield as instructed by Dr. Wright. This eye shield is more protective than a standard eye patch, guarding your eye from dust or any potential injury as you heal. You may be instructed to sleep with the shield for at least one week following your surgery.

Other things you can do to ensure that your cataract surgery is successful include:

  • Use your eye drops as prescribed
  • Be sure not to rub or press on your eye
  • Avoid strenuous activity until your doctor informs you that it is acceptable
  • Return for all your post-operative appointments as scheduled

Taking these precautions are necessary in order to prevent any infections that may prevent you from restoring your vision.

Taking good care after cataract surgery is essential to prevent eye infections, minimize side effects and restore clear vision at the earliest possible time. Recovery time for cataract surgery varies from person to person, which is why proper care is essential.

If you’re interested in cataract surgery in Rapid City, contact Wright Vision Center today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Wright. You can contact us by calling 605-718-5123 or visiting wrightvisioncenter.com.

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Cataract Surgery Recovery

Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure completed in less than one hour. Cataract surgery has a high success rate for improving your eyesight and should allow you to return to your normal activities, like driving, following a few weeks of recovery.

Your cataract surgery recovery begins immediately following your procedure. A light shield will be placed over your eye immediately after surgery to keep you from accidentally rubbing it. Most patients are able to go home within a few hours of the procedure. You will be required to have a friend or family member drive you home following surgery.

During your cataract surgery recovery, it’s normal to experience grittiness, watering, blurred vision, double vision, red or bloodshot eye. These side effects usually improve within a few days, but it can take 4 to 6 weeks to recover fully.

Dos and Don’ts for the first few weeks after surgery:

Do:

  • Keep your eyes moist
  • Use your eye drops as instructed to reduce inflammation and avoid infection
  • Rest and take it easy for the first few days
  • Use your eye shield at night for at least a week
  • Take painkillers if you need to
  • Bathe or shower yourself as usual
  • Wear your eye shield when washing your hair
  • Read, watch TV and use a computer
  • Use your shield or sunglasses outdoors
  • Avoid swimming for 4 to 6 weeks
  • Avoid any type of straining

Don’t:

  • Rub your eye
  • Allow soap or shampoo to get into your eye
  • Drive until you get clearance from your doctor
  • Do any strenuous exercise or housework
  • Wear eye make-up for at least 4 weeks
  • Fly without seeking advice from your doctor

You can expect to return to most normal activities during the first week. If you work, how soon you can return will largely depend on your type of job and if you need new glasses. Dr. Wright will advise you on the most appropriate times to resume other activities. Following your surgeon’s instructions regarding what you should and should not do after your cataract surgery is important.

Several follow up appointments will be scheduled during your cataract surgery recovery time. A secondary cataract may develop during the first few months following cataract removal. This is a common complication following cataract removal and can be corrected with a painless procedure called a capsulotomy.

Within a month or two your vision should be clear, and your eyes should be comfortable. You will want to continue wearing sunglasses outdoors and consider wearing safety glasses while playing sports.

The best candidates for this procedure are patients with blurred or cloudy vision, light sensitivity and color dullness. If you suspect that you have cataracts, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com to schedule an appointment with Dr. Wright.

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What Eye Conditions Does LASIK Treat?

LASIK surgery uses the latest technology to correct a number of refractive errors that cause blurry vision. LASIK stands for laser in-situ keratomileusis and has proven to be highly effective in correcting and reducing the refractive eye conditions that it is used to treat. This surgical procedure makes use of a highly precise laser to carefully reshape the cornea to the desired results.

LASIK surgery can correct three types of refractive errors:

Myopia (Nearsightedness) – Myopia occurs when the eyeball is slightly longer than usual. This causes light rays to focus at a point in front of the retina, rather than directly on its surface. Patients who are nearsighted have difficulty seeing objects that are at a distance. LASIK surgery corrects myopia by flattening the cornea so that light entering the eye focuses on the retina rather than in front of the retina.

Hyperopia (Farsightedness) – Hyperopia occurs when the image formed by the focusing mechanism of the eye is behind the retina. This condition is caused by an eye that is shorter than normal, or a cornea that’s not as curved as it should be. Patients who are farsighted have difficulties seeing objects that are close, and typically have trouble with reading or viewing any item up close.

Astigmatism – Astigmatism is a common condition caused by an imperfection in the curvature of the cornea or lens of the eye. When the cornea or lens is unevenly steepened, it can result in objects having an irregular focus. This very a common refractive eye disorder and can be found on its own but it can also accompany hyperopia and myopia.

Patients with varying degrees of refractive error have found success with LASIK vision correction in Rapid City. To find out if you are a good candidate for LASIK, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com to schedule a consultation with Dr. Wright.

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How Do You Keep Your Eyes Healthy?

There are many things you can do to keep your eyes healthy and make sure you are seeing your best. The following simple tips can help keep your vision as clear as possible for many years to come:

Maintain Routine Vision Care: You might think your vision is fine or that your eyes are healthy but visiting your eye care professional for a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to really be sure. Your eye doctor is the only one who can determine if your eyes are healthy and if you’re seeing your best.

Know Your Family’s Eye Health History: Talk to your family members about their eye health history. It’s important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with a disease or condition since many are hereditary. This will help to determine if you are at higher risk for developing an eye disease or condition.

Maintain a Healthy Weight: Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing diabetes and other systemic conditions which can lead to vision loss such as diabetic eye disease or glaucoma.

Wear Protective Eyewear: Protective eyewear includes safety glasses and goggles, safety shields, and eye guards specially designed to provide the correct protection for a certain activity.

Avoid Cigarette Smoke and Other Irritants: Smoking is as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body. Research has linked smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to blindness.

Protect Your Eyes from the Sun: Too much ultraviolet (UV) exposure can damage your retina and cause lasting vision loss. It can also raise the risk of cataracts. When purchasing sunglasses, look for ones that block out 99 – 100% of both UV-A and UV-B radiation.

To learn more about how to keep your eyes healthy or to schedule an eye exam with Dr. Wright in Rapid City, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com today.

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How Successful is LASIK?

During LASIK in Rapid City, Dr. Wright uses the latest laser technology to carefully and effectively reshape your cornea to improve vision. LASIK has proven to be an incredibly safe procedure. Studies show that 55% of all LASIK patients achieve vision of 20/20 or better and 93% of patients achieve 20/40 or better.

While LASIK is considered to be highly successful, not every patient experiences the crisp vision they desire. Up to 10% of those that have a LASIK procedure will need to undergo a second surgery in order to get the results that they were hoping for.

LASIK success may vary depending on several factors:

  • Those who are under the age of 18 are rarely good candidates for the surgery because their vision is typically still changing.
  • Women who are pregnant or are nursing may experience vision changes and are therefore not well-suited for LASIK.
  • There are a number of prescription medications that could have an impact on the successfulness of the surgical procedure, including oral steroids like prednisone.
  • Patients with dry eye may not be ideal LASIK candidates because the surgery will exacerbate dry eye symptoms.
  • Those who are diabetic or have lupus, glaucoma, cataracts and retinal disease should be sure to discuss their unique situation with their LASIK surgeon.

While some of these concerns may not exclude patients from qualifying for LASIK, it is always best to mention all potential concerns to your surgeon so that the best possible results can be had from the surgery.

Always be sure to discuss your expectations about LASIK with your surgeon. Realistic expectations will ensure that you are not disappointed with the results that your LASIK surgery yields.

LASIK is very successful in the majority of cases, which means that if Dr. Wright deems you to be a good candidate for the procedure, it is likely that you will experience positive results. The closer you follow post-surgery instructions, the better your chances of a full recovery will be. Remember that you will likely see good improvement in your vision almost immediately after the surgery, and your vision will continue to improve over the months that follow.

To schedule a LASIK consultation with Dr. Wright, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com today.

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How Long Do You Have to Wear Sunglasses After LASIK?

Caring for your eyes after your LASIK procedure is vitally important. Your eyes will be extra sensitive to light for the first month after the LASIK surgery and you will be required to wear protective goggles and sunglasses following the procedure.  

On the day of your LASIK surgery, you will need to keep your eyes in the dark for the rest of the day. Immediately following your procedure you will be given dark goggles to wear home and for the first few days of recovery. In addition to protecting your eyes from harmful light, these goggles also protect from rubbing the eyes during this important stage of recovery when the LASIK flap could become easily damaged.

As you continue to heal from your LASIK procedure it is recommended that you wear high-quality sunglasses anytime you are outdoors, even on a cloudy day. If your eyes are exposed to UV rays without protection shortly after the surgery, your eyes may suffer from corneal haze which means a hazy or foggy view. It is very important that you make sure that your sunglasses have 100% UVA and UVB protection. The sunglasses should also fit well and make you still feel comfortable after long time of wearing.

Style can be an important issue when choosing your sunglasses after LASIK surgery because if you have a pair of sunglasses that you don’t like or don’t find comfortable, you are more likely to not wear them as often as you should. So, buy a pair of sunglasses that are comfortable, yet stylish, but most importantly offer proper protection.

Wearing sunglasses after LASIK will help keep your eyes healthy and protected for years to come. If you need help choosing sunglasses or would like more information about LASIK in Rapid City, contact Wright Vision Center at 605-718-5123 or wrightvisioncenter.com.

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