JUNE 2021
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EYE CARE

Cataracts? Should you wait?

Dr. M. P. Ravindra Nathan

By DR. ARUN C. GULANI

Let me change your mindset since June is cataract awareness month

If you are over 55 years of age, you most likely have grey hair and cataracts too!

Whaaaaaaat? Yes, you read that right with your cheesy “cheaters” (since to be at 55, you most likely crossed the age of 45 when you started wearing reading glasses).

First, let’s smash this myth and cave-man logic to smithereens – this concept of wait till your cataracts are “ripe” like it was some fruit with “vision nectar.”

Let me define cataract for you. Our natural lens in the eye is clear as a diamond and soft as jelly when we are born. Over time, as we mature (age), this lens becomes gray (like your hair) and harder in consistency to then take on an elaborate name: cataract!

So, it’s not a disease of any kind and in most cases is an age-related change, which impacts vision.

What I like to teach eye surgeons is not to look for maturing of that cataract or waiting for it to ripen. Instead, look for glasses or contact lens prescription with such eyes and then using that cataract, no matter how minimal it is as an excuse, to correct that patient’s vision to see without glasses and be done forever.

Thinking about the cataract as a “lens” with a prescription number (our natural lens has 15 diopters of power) is vital so patients or surgeons won’t look at it like a pathology but as an opportunity.

Also, remember what I have mentioned here, by the time you have cataracts, you most likely are also needing reading glasses and those too can be corrected.

Cataract surgery takes minutes but don’t fall for a cookie-cutter surgical practice where you are hurtled as a number. Instead, ask for a custom-designed surgery with new generation lens implants that can also help to see at most distances without glasses.

Though there are tremendous surgical and technological advances available, insist that your surgeon provides proof of their innovation and results with a long and consistent track record of success. Do also ask the surgeon if he or she can handle a side effect.

Do not fall for a menu card of three choices only. There are more than 30 lens implant options in the USA and over 80 lens options worldwide.

Also, if you have had previous Lasik or Radial Keratotomy surgery in the past, your cataract surgery requires a higher expertise and you must look for a surgeon with experience.

Custom cataract surgery and new Technology Lens Implants (IOLs)

Custom cataract surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure using the “no needles,” “no patch” and “no stitch” technique with computer programmed, high-speed ultrasound along with diamond instruments. The cataract is replaced with an artificial lens implant (IOL). Exciting advances in IOL designs give patients the option to choose between a Monofocal, Toric, Multifocal, Bifocal, Trifocal, Extended Depth of Focus and Accommodating, Presbyopia-Correcting IOLs (like progressive glasses)and even new generation lens implant that can be modified after it has been implanted into the eye (light adjustable lens) which provide a range of vision at near and distance. This allow a person to perform most of their daily activities with reduced or no dependence on glasses.

When designing a customized cataract surgery plan, your eye doctor needs to perform a wide range of state-of-the-art diagnostic tests to determine two major aspects of the plan:

I. Surgical Plan:

  1. The surgical technique based on cataract densitometry analysis.

  2. Incision (entry) site and size based on three-dimensional corneal topography.

  3. Calculations for lens implant power, sizing and orientation based on IOL Master V, A-Scan Analysis and Scheimpflug Virtual Imaging.

II.Technology Plan:

  1. Type of lens implant: Monofocal/Multifocal/Toric/Accommodating/Dual

  2. Type of incisional technology: femtosecond lasers

  3. Advanced lasik laser vision surgery as staged combination

  4. Diamond Astigmatic Keratotomy (AK) incisions.

Additionally, combined knowledge of the technologies as well as the optics of the eye will allow measurement of higher order aberrations along with secondary refractive errors and optical zones with corneal asphericity (factors that affect vision beyond the three common refractive errors, i.e.; nearsighted, farsighted and astigmatism).

So, do not fret about being diagnosed with cataracts. Smile and ask your eye doctor if you can now have the vision always desired to see at all distances and read without glasses – for the rest of your life.

Arun C. Gulani, M.D., M.S., is director and chief surgeon of Gulani Vision Institute in Jacksonville. He can be reached at gulanivision@gulani.com or visit www.gulanivision.com


STREAM THIS! Indian movie reviews

NEW SHOWTO WATCH:

The Family Man: Season 2” (Amazon Prime, June 4)

The story of a seemingly simple middle-class man, Srikant Tiwari (Manoj Bajpayee), secretly working as an intelligence officer for the National Investigation Agency (NIA), was an instant hit with the streaming audiences. In the midst of balancing home life with a wife and two children, Srikant is investigating a possible terror attack termed as Mission Zulfiqar. At the end of season one, we saw that Mission Zulfiqar isn’t over yet. Moosa, played by Neeraj Madhav, is planning to release nerve gas canisters on everyone in Delhi within two hours through his chemical plant. The agents sent to stop it fail, and we see season one ending in a cliffhanger. The recently released trailer shows Srikant and his wife Suchitra (Priyamani) meeting a marriage counselor thanks to his secrets and going MIA at crucial times. Srikant also seems to have taken a break from being a NIA spy and is seen at a desk job. The humorous sequences feature Bajpayee’s dry wit and serious dialogue delivery. The action then shifts to Chennai – his colleague JK (Sharib Hashmi) is caught in a hostage situation. Before long, Srikant is involved. The plot involves a new character played by the Telugu star Samantha Akkineni who appears to be a highly trained rebel. Directed and produced by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K. The ensemble cast includes Priyamani Iyer, Sharib Hashmi, Kishore Kumar, Gul Panag, Ashmith Kunder and Mehak Thakur.


TAMPA ARTIST DONATING PROCEEDS TO HELP INDIA

As the pandemic ravages her home country, the place where she was born and raised, Shashi Arora of Tampa worries about loved ones that still reside in India. “I hear the stories, read the news, and see the images on television and I feel saddened and helpless,” she said. “To help from afar and do what I can, I am donating proceeds from art sales to help provide pandemic relief for India.” (www.aroragallery.info)

A native of Amritsar, Arora grew up in Mumbai. At a young age, her family moved to Karachi and became well-established, but eventually migrated to Mumbai after the partition. As a child, Arora developed a passion for painting. Without much opportunity for any formal education in art, she taught herself how to paint. Eventually in 1962, she gained the support of her family to attend the well-known J.J. School of Art in Mumbai.

Arora has won numerous awards and been trained by famous and talented artists such as Robert Butler. In addition to painting on canvas, she began sculpture painting in 1991 at Off-the-Wall Ceramics under the teachings of Sharon James.

Arora and her husband Hari have three grandchildren and two children. “My thoughts and prayers for all those impacted by Covid,” she said. “Love and strength to India.”

Visit www.aroragallery.info to view images of prints for sale.

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