Cataracts: Symptoms and Treatment

CAR CRASHES LESSEN AFTER CATARACT SURGERY By Dr. Martha Jay, Ophthalmologist at Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin

By user-admin
April 1, 2019

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association - Ophthalmology last September looked at whether the rate of car accidents involving injuries in older adults was affected by having cataract surgery. The subjects were all more than 65 years-old.  Those with other eye problems, such as macular degeneration or glaucoma, were excluded. Most who had cataract surgery had the procedure done in both eyes. Accident rates from before and after the cataract surgery were compared.  The accident rates came from emergency room admissions.

The findings showed a 9% decrease in injury causing car accidents in the years following cataract surgery in the driver.  As we all know, those living in Ozaukee County are very dependent on their ability to drive to get around as public transportation options are not plentiful or particularly convenient.  While many seniors want to continue to drive, they also want to be safe on the road.  This is not just for their own safety but also for the safety of those who share the road.

There have been numerous studies about the benefits of cataract surgery including decreasing the frequency of falls, lessening depression and improving the general quality of life. I sometimes hear: “Why should I bother to have cataract surgery at my age?”  The study mentioned above adds another argument for going ahead with the procedure.

If it has been some time since you have had your eyes examined or if we have suggested cataract surgery for you in the past, you may want to consider coming in for a comprehensive eye examination.  Should we find significant cataracts, consider scheduling the procedure.  Plenty of information about cataract surgery can be found on our web site or by calling us. Consider it not just an investment in your future but also a gift to others on the road.

Dr. Martha Jay is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist specializing in small incision cataract surgery and blade-free LASIK. For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.MadisonMedicalEyeCare.com.


CATARACT SURGERY CHANGED HER LIFE: NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE

By user-admin
March 29, 2019

Click on the image to the left for a recent New York Times article describing the impact that cataract surgery had on the author.


IS CATARACT SURGERY DONE WITH A LASER? By Dr. Martha Jay, Ophthalmologist at Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin

By user-admin
March 13, 2019

The question as to whether cataract surgery is done with a laser comes up from time to time. While the beginning portion of the procedure can be done with a laser at this time, I have not elected to incorporate that technology into my surgical practice.  My three main reasons are that at this point the laser makes the procedure cost considerably more, it makes the procedure take longer and there is no convincing evidence that the laser improves visual outcome.

What the laser can do at this time is make the initial incision in the eye, something that I now do quite nicely by hand with a specially designed disposable instrument. It can help manage astigmatism (turn a football shaped eye into a rounded one) but this is more effectively done with special toric lens implants. The final intended benefit is that it can soften the cataract so the ultrasound we use to remove it can work a little quicker. The problem is that the few saved seconds do not appear to translate into better vision or a quicker recovery.

I’m not saying I’ll never use a laser to help with the first few steps of cataract surgery, what I am saying is that at this time the expense just does not seem worth it for the patient. Cataract surgery gets better all the time and I am sure the industry is up to the challenge to make this technology more efficient and affordable.

For now laser cataract surgery is really a marketing device, it impresses some patients that their eye surgery would be partially done with a laser. This is not like when LASIK changed from using a blade to a laser. That was a major improvement in safety and why we now jokingly refer to it as “LASIK for Chickens.”

Once you are ready for cataract surgery, we will thoroughly discuss all your options including special implants that do have a major impact on how well you see after the procedure.

Dr. Martha Jay is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist (Eye Physician & Surgeon) who specializes in medical and surgical eye care including small incision cataract surgery and blade-free LASIK. She practices at Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin.

For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.MadisonMedicalEyeCare.com.


iSTENT: SURGICAL OPTION FOR GLAUCOMA JUST GOT BETTER By Dr. Martha Jay, Ophthalmologist at Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin

By user-admin
February 28, 2019

For those with both glaucoma and cataracts, we began using a new surgical option to tackle both at the time of cataract surgery in 2017 with an iStent. This tiny device (1 mm by 0.3 mm) controls eye pressure by increasing the outflow of fluid from the front of the eye. The eye is like a small plumbing system: fluid is constantly entering the eye from behind the pupil and leaving it through a sponge-like meshwork at the edges of the eye in front of the colored iris. The iStent bypasses this meshwork, allowing the fluid to leave more quickly to decrease eye pressure.

The iStent is part of a new type of glaucoma care called Micro-Invasive Glaucoma Surgery or MIGS.   In the past glaucoma was mainly managed with eye drops, lasers or extensive surgery. This new option is less traumatic to the eye than traditional glaucoma surgery but does need to be done at the time of cataract surgery. Once the cataract procedure is completed and the lens implant in place, we then turn the patient’s head to one side and insert the iStent. You cannot see or feel the stent.

What already was a great device recently got even better. The new iStent inject is easier to place and works even better than the original version. A recent study showed a 37% decrease in eye pressure and a 68% reduction in the need for glaucoma eye drops compared to the original model.

Regardless of the treatment for glaucoma, close follow-up is important to be sure this condition is well controlled. That generally means seeing you about twice yearly: One appointment with dilating drops to look in the back of the eye and another with the side vision testing along with a scan of the back of the eye.  See you soon!

Dr. Martha Jay is a board certified ophthalmologist (Eye Physician & Surgeon) specializing in small incision cataract surgery, glaucoma care and blade free LASIK.  For more eye care information, visit www.MadisonMedicalEyeCare.com or call 262-241-1919.

 


WHAT IS CATARACT REALLY SURGERY LIKE? By Dr. Martha Jay, Ophthalmologist at Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin

By user-admin
January 28, 2019

Have you been delaying having cataract surgery because you are apprehensive about what the experience may be like? Does just the word “surgery” scare you? Does it bring to mind pain, long recovery and time off from your favorite activities? Fear not, nothing could be farther from the truth with cataract surgery these days.

We do cataract surgery generally without shots, stitches or patches and the whole procedure takes only 10-15 minutes. We use mild I.V. sedation to relax you and numbing drops on the surface of the eye to prevent pain. Afterwards, you look pretty much the way you did on the way in: no patch over the eye, no black and blue bruising. You should take 2 days off your regular activities, one for the actual procedure and the next day to allow your vision to settle down. Then the only restrictions then are to avoid eye make-up, swimming or pushing on the eye for 2 weeks.

On the day of surgery, you change into a hospital gown and an I.V. is started. Once in the operating room, your job is to look at a bright light. You may see pretty colors like a prism as we remove your natural lens and replace it with a tiny plastic implant.  About 30 minutes after the procedure, you go home or even out to lunch. You do need a ride, as some of the sedation may still be in effect, but you won’t need extra help at home.

So, breath-in and breath-out, cataracts surgery is generally a quick and easy event. It is the most common operation in America and patients are typically thrilled with the results.  If every procedure worked as well as cataract surgery, the world would be a much better place!

Dr. Martha Jay is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist (Eye Physician & Surgeon) specializing in medical and surgical eye care including small incision cataract surgery and blade-free LASIK Vision Correction.

For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.MadisonMedicalEyeCare.com.

 


HOLIDAY LIGHT HALOS By Dr. Martha Jay, Ophthalmologist at Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin

By user-admin
December 20, 2018

Holiday season is here along with many displays of decorative exterior lighting.  While they can be quite beautiful, sometimes how the holiday lights appear can alert you that something might not be quite right with your vision.

Starbursts and halos are a common vision complaint when looking at holiday lights or even headlights all year long.  We use the term “starburst” to describe what you see when a pinpoint of light appears to have radiating spokes coming off it. The term “halo” describes when you see circles around a light source. Both symptoms can be due to something as benign as not having the most up-to-date glasses or contact lens prescription to more serious problems such as cataracts. If you are noticing these symptoms, during the holiday season or anytime during the year, your first move is to call us for a comprehensive eye examination so we can determine the cause and take care of it.

Cataracts are a clouding of the lens in the front of the eye, behind the colored iris.  They can make lights appear dim, cause glare or make colors appear dull.  Cataracts are removed with a 10 minute outpatient surgery generally these days without shots, stitches or patches. The surgery involves replacing the cloudy lens with a clear plastic lens implant.  There are a number of options for these implants which will be discussed should this be found to be your problem.

Take time this holiday season to enjoy the many wonderful lighting displays.  But if the lights appear a little different this year, consider getting an eye examination. Your problem could be cataracts but it could also just be that your glasses need updating or that you have dry eyes. Have a very happy holiday season!

Dr. Martha Jay is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist (Eye Physician & Surgeon) specializing in medical and surgical eye care such as blade-free LASIK and small incision cataract surgery. She practices at Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin.

For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.MadisonMedicalEyeCare.com.

 


A GIFT FOR OUR CATARACT PATIENTS By Dr. Martha Jay, Ophthalmologist at Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin

By user-admin
December 14, 2018

This holiday season we have a gift for our cataract patients: we have simplified the drops you use after cataract surgery! We heard you when you said the surgery was nothing but the drops were quite a chore. We had been using three types of drops, each in their own bottle. Not only was it annoying to deal with all the bottles but Insurance coverage for the drops was inconsistent, some plans covered them and some did not. That meant that not only did you have the fuss with three different bottles, you might have had to contend with a significant out-of-pocket expense to purchase them.

Over the last few months we have been transitioning to an all-in-one eye drop bottle for our cataract patients. A pharmacy combines all three kinds of drops in a single bottle for your convenience. You get the benefit of a steroid drop (like prednisone), a strong antibiotic drop and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drop (like Advil) all in one. The new product is called Pred-Gati-Brom as it contains Prednisolone (the steroid), Gatifloxacin (the antibiotic) and Bromfenac (the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory). All three are necessary to be sure your eye heals well after cataract surgery so you can enjoy the best possible vision.

Convenience is one thing but what about cost? The new drops are very reasonably prices at $50 per bottle which is enough for one eye.  We dispense the drops in the office when you come in for the pre-operative measurements prior to surgery. Compared with the hundreds of dollars patients were spending on the three separate drops, this is quite a deal.

Easier to use and costing less, what’s not to like? MERRY CHRISTMAS, enjoy your delayed present on us.

Dr. Martha Jay is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist (Eye Physician & Surgeon) specializing in medical and surgical eye care such as small incision cataract surgery and blade-free LASIK. She practices at Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin.

For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.MadisonMedicalEyeCare.com.


WHAT IS CATARACT SURGERY LIKE? By Dr. Martha Jay, Ophthalmologist at Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin

By user-admin
July 13, 2018

What exactly happens during cataract surgery?  Many with cataracts are afraid to have the surgery because they don’t really know what it would be like. Just the word “surgery” scares them. It brings to mind pain, long recovery and time off from your favorite activities. Nothing could be farther from the truth with cataract surgery.

Modern cataract surgery is done without shots, stitches or patches. It takes only about 10 to 15 minutes. We use only mild I.V. sedation to relax you.  You don’t feel anything because there are numbing drops applied to the surface of the eye. Afterwards, you look pretty much the way you did on the way in: no patch over the eye, no black and blue bruising. We recommend that you take 2 days off your regular activities, one for the actual procedure and the next day to allow your vision to settle. Then the only restrictions are no eye make-up, swimming or pushing on the eye for 2 weeks.

On the day of surgery, you change into a hospital gown and then an I.V. is started. Once in the operating room you look at a bright light. There IS NO PAIN. You may see pretty colors from a prism like effect of the lens as we remove it and replace it with a tiny plastic implant.  About 30 minutes after the procedure, you go home or even out to lunch. You do need a ride as some of the sedation may still be in effect but you won’t need extra help at home.

So, breath-in and breath-out, cataracts surgery is generally a quick and easy. It is the most common operation in America and patients are thrilled with the results.  If every procedure worked as well as cataract surgery, the world would be a much better place!

Dr. Martha Jay is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist specializing in medical and surgical eye care including small incision cataract surgery and blade-free LASIK. For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.MadisonMedicalEyeCare.com.

 

 


SHOULD YOU HAVE CATARACT SURGERY ON YOUR SECOND EYE? By Dr. Martha Jay, Ophthalmologist at Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin

By user-admin
May 18, 2018

Cataract surgery is the most common operation in the America. It is generally a 10 minute procedure done without the need for shots, stitches or patches. 95% of patients who have cataract surgery are thrilled with the results.  Occasionally the question comes up about whether someone should have their second eye done after doing well with their first eye.

The obvious advantages of having the second eye done are convenience: you only have to be measured for the implants once, you only need one physical with your doctor and you only need to change your glasses once. The eyes also work better when both have about the same vision, this improves depth perception and overall acuity.

A recent study in the medical journal Ophthalmology identified even more advantages.  They followed 328 patients undergoing cataract surgery and judged their vision related quality of life after each surgery with the National Eye Institute Visual Functioning Questionnaire. While there was a larger improvement after the first eye, as generally the eye with the worst vision is done first, there was still a statistically significant improvement after the second surgery.

When seen for a cataract evaluation, we will let you know if one or both eyes are eligible for surgery at this time. This is based on vision, how the cataract looks on examination and your visual complaints. If we suggest both eyes, then the new study indicates that you won’t regret having that second eye done.

Dr. Martha F. Jay

Martha F. Jay, Ph.D., M.D.

Dr. Martha Jay is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist (Eye Physician & Surgeon) specializing in small incision cataract surgery and blade-free LASIK. For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.MadisonMedicalEyeCare.com.


POOR VISION IS DEPRESSING by Dr. Martha Jay, Ophthalmologist at Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin

By user-admin
April 13, 2018

Do you know an older person who seems depressed? Common symptoms include decreased energy, insomnia, irritability or an appetite change. While getting older has many challenges, a recent study indicates that poor vision may contribute to depression in older adults. The good news is that many causes of poor vision can be treated providing literally a new view on life for seniors.

The study appeared in Investigative Ophthalmology, a scientific journal.  The link between poor vision and depression was found to be due to the decreased mobility vision impaired adults experience.  After a lifetime of being able to care for themselves and go wherever they want, being stuck at home is not good for the psyche.

If you think this is a problem with your friend or family member, a first step is to schedule a complete eye examination with us and a thorough medical evaluation with their primary care doctor.  Many vision problems like cataracts and some types of macular degeneration can be treated with successful improvements in vision. Medical issues such as over-medication or an underactive thyroid can also be easily adjusted.

If all that checks out, you can ease the burden by being there to transport and engage that at-risk senior. Let them feel like life is worth living. Sure you may hear "I don't know why they call them the golden years," but at least you can make the transition a bit easier.

Dr. Martha F. Jay

Martha F. Jay, Ph.D., M.D.

Dr. Martha Jay is a board certified ophthalmologist who specialized in medical and surgical eye care such as blade-free LASIK and small incision cataract surgery.  For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.MadisonMedicalEyeCare.com.


Stay Connected


We want to hear from you