Smoking: Connection to Macular Degeneration & Cataracts

A novel study in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, and the University of Newcastle found that smokers develop age-related macular degeneration five-and-a-half years earlier than non-smokers. Moreover, people who suffer from second-hand smoke are twice as likely to develop age-related macular degeneration. 

Jude Stern, head of Knowledge Management from the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness said, “Smoking increases your risk of developing serious eye conditions and permanent sight loss. Quitting smoking and having regular eye tests can help improve eye health and prevent avoidable sight loss.” 

The only way to restore vision after a cataract diagnosis is to surgically remove and replace the cloudy lens. Annually, roughly 94 million people have significant or extreme distance vision impairment or blindness due to undiagnosed cataracts. 

Cataracts are the world’s leading cause of blindness and can develop slowly without pain. 

People who use e-cigarettes are not safe, either: these devices can produce free radicals, damaging DNA and leading to cataracts or poor vision. Also, retinal function might be diminished by the use of e-cigarettes since they can reduce blood flow to the eyes, leading to an increased risk of eye cancer. 

Vinayak Prasad, head of the No Tobacco Unit at the World Health Organization said, “WHO urges everyone not to use tobacco and e-cigarettes to protect their overall health, including eye health.” 

There are several other tactics people can try to limit their risk of cataracts, including the following lifestyle changes: 

  • Quit smoking
  • Reduce alcohol consumption
  • Limit UV exposure
  • Get routine eye exams
  • Control related conditions (hypertension, obesity, chronic kidney disease, diabetes)
  • Reduce your weight
  • Ingest antioxidants (omega-3, lutein, zeaxanthin, flaxseed, bilberry, turmeric, walnuts)

Cataracts might seem inevitable, but cutting your risk can be an easy way to mitigate a diagnosis. 

Are you suffering from cataracts? Contact the experts at Zen Eye Institute to schedule a consultation today. 

Rohr Eye & Laser Center is now Zen Eye Institute! We offer the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems:

Performing Simultaneous Cataract Surgery

Age-related cataracts can affect both eyes, requiring the endogenic lens to be replaced with an artificial Intraocular Lens (IOL) surgically. Generally, there is a lapse in time between surgeries for each eye, but the surgery can be performed on both eyes on the same day.

A study by Cochrane suggests that there are unlikely to be any large, clinically significant differences between both approaches, though the overall quality was assessed as moderate to very low.

Several advantages to performing the surgery in both eyes simultaneously include fewer hospital visits, faster bilateral vision recovery, and lower procedure costs. 

Risks of simultaneously performing cataract surgery in both eyes consist of developing a postoperative complication in both eyes, and not being able to use the visual acuity from the first operation during the second procedure, since there would only be one. 

The Cochrane review authors noted that the complications generally occurred up to three months post-op, and there were little- to no differences noted between the two methods. Most of the study results were limited by an overall small number of endophthalmitis, postoperative complications, and a lack of specific data, among other variables. 

Thomas Kohnen, MD, PhD, chair of the German Commission for Refractive Surgery (KRC), set up by the German Society of Ophthalmology (DOG), and the Professional Association of German Ophthalmologists (BVA) at the University Clinic Frankfurt, said, “In Germany, there is only very little data on ISBCS because it is barely a topic here. “We have very good medical infrastructure with widespread and prompt ophthalmological care, such that even people living in the countryside do not have to travel great distances or experience long waiting times for a first or second cataract surgery, which is different from many places abroad. The procedure with bilateral operations on the same day is not recommended in the guidelines from our professional societies, [because] any complications that occur postoperatively could potentially entail lengthy legal liability procedures for the surgeons.”

In Germany, sequential bilateral cataract surgery is typically performed with two outpatient operations spaced several days (or weeks) apart. Medical, social, or personal reasons can create exceptions to the rule, requiring both eyes to be operated on with a shorter amount of time between each procedure, under general anesthesia in one sitting, or with an overnight gap. 

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 to learn more.Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: