Notice to Baby Boomers
Get your eyes checked for cataracts
The incidence of cataracts is estimated to increase 50 percent over the next twenty years due to the aging of America's Baby Boomers. Cataracts cause vision loss for more than 20.5 million Americans and the total number is estimated to reach 30.1 million by 2020. Contrary to popular belief, cataracts don't just occur among senior citizens. People as young as 50 years old may need treatment. That's one of the important reasons why The Eye Institute of Utah is reminding Baby Boomers about getting a yearly eye exam.
A cataract is a clouding of the eye's natural lens. The cataract blocks the light entering the eye, preventing it from focusing sharply on the retina. Symptoms of a cataract include blurred vision, sensitivity to bright light, reduced vision in bright light, impaired depth perception or frequent changes in eyeglasses. Risk factors for cataracts include smoking, and continuous exposure to sunlight. People who have diabetes are also at risk. Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and wearing sunglasses to block ultra violet rays may also reduce the incidence of cataracts.
"Cataracts are not painful and can form slowly over time so you might not be aware that you have them. Many people with cataracts think they need a stronger prescription for eye glasses, when what they really need is to have their cataracts removed," said Dr. Robert J. Cionni, world-renowned cataract surgeon and the newest addition to The Eye Institute's staff. Over the past 20 years, Cionni has been established as one of the top minds in advanced cataract surgical techniques, and one of the world's leading authorities on complex cataract procedures.
"Luckily cataracts are treatable with a state-of-the-art procedure that is quick and painless," added Cionni. "Most patients have crisper vision in a matter of minutes."
Anesthetic eye drops rather than injections prepare the eye for surgery. The cataract is removed through a small incision, and a foldable lens implant is inserted in its place. The eye recovers quickly with little discomfort, and patients do not have to wear a bothersome patch while the eye heals. Because the incision is so small, the eye tissue seals itself naturally, usually without the need of sutures. In most cases, patients can continue their daily activities almost immediately.
Most recently, Dr. Cionni has become an authority in the use of implants that may eliminate or minimize the use of glasses after cataract surgery. These new generation of implants are available at The Eye Institute of Utah.
Cionni is a pioneer in treating challenging cases including cataracts induced by trauma or disease. He has designed special implants and surgical techniques to improve the outcomes for patients with these conditions. Patients who have eye injuries come from all over the world seeking Cionni's expertise.