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Gulf & Main Magazine

Living with Cataracts - Be informed about your eyes and how to protect them as you age

Jun 20, 2015 08:20AM ● By Kevin

Many of us feel that our eyesight is the most precious of all of our senses. How beautiful is it to look into the eyes of a child, to see the sunrise or sunset in brilliant color. Watching plays, movies, TV or simply reading a book are all things we value greatly. When a cataract develops, it interferes with our ability to enjoy these things. Even more devastating, vision loss from cataracts or other causes can take away our independence, making it impossible to drive to work, the grocery store, or to visit a friend or family member.

Cataracts are a major cause of preventable blindness, and yet many people aren’t sure what a cataract is or how it is treated. As you age, the lenses in your eyes become cloudy, causing blurry vision, sensitivity, glares and rings of light known as halos — often at night and while driving. Surgery is the only way a cataract can be removed. However, if symptoms from a cataract are mild, a change of glasses may be all that is needed to function more comfortably for a while.

There are no medications, eye drops, dietary supplements, exercises or optical devices that have been shown to prevent or cure cataracts. Protection from excessive sunlight may help prevent or slow the progression of cataracts. Sunglasses that screen out ultraviolet (UV) light rays or regular eyeglasses with a clear, anti-UV coating offer this protection.

Dr-Frantz-performing-laser-cat-sx-smCataract surgery should be considered when cataracts interfere with your ability to live your desired lifestyle or perform daily tasks. When surgery is needed, keep in mind that not all cataract surgeons possess the same skill, nor do they have the same success rate. Modern technology is critical to successful cataract surgery and today’s lasers have replaced blades as the safest and preferred method for cataract surgery.

When I introduced bladeless laser cataract surgery to Southwest Florida in 2012, it was the biggest advancement in cataract surgery in more than 20 years. Many surgeons continue to perform cataract surgery with the same old techniques and technology they used 20 years ago. At Frantz EyeCare we now have the capability with skillful microsurgical techniques, lasers, advanced measuring devices and the latest technology in intraocular lenses to not just remove a cataract, but to do it in such a way as to minimize your need for glasses.

1212Eyesight is truly a precious commodity and there are more sunsets, and a life full of beautiful pictures and memories waiting. So, if you have been diagnosed or think you may have cataracts, call Frantz EyeCare for a cataract evaluation to learn about the difference between traditional cataract surgery and bladeless laser cataract surgery, as well as the various intraocular lens options that are available to you. Informative seminars held throughout the year are listed on our website: You can schedule your appointment online or call our main office in Fort Myers at 239-418-0999.

Written by Jonathan M. Frantz, MD, FACS, named in The Guide to America’s Top Ophthalmologists. He and his team of doctors at Frantz EyeCare offer a broad spectrum of patient-focused comprehensive care, from eye exams and eyewear to bladeless laser cataract removal, treatment of eye diseases, bladeless WaveLight LASIK laser vision correction, and eyelid surgery. Offices are located in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Punta Gorda, Lehigh Acres and Naples.