Salamat Dok: Eye cataracts

Posted at 10/03/2010 12:26 AM | Updated as of 10/04/2010 5:48 PM

Are you one of those who make an effort to make out shapes of things around you? Well, you may be suffering from cataract.

Cataract is a condition that implies the blurring of vision. It is the leading cause of blindness worldwide.  In the Philippines, 400,000 suffer from this disease.
The condition can occur at any age but is most common among people 40 years old and above owing to protein build-up around the lens.  Protein hinders the passage of light, leading to cloudy vision. Aside from age, steroid use and trauma also contribute to this condition.

“Cataract cannot be prevented. As long as you live enough, you will get it.  But it can be treated through intraocular lens (IOL) implant technology. First, we remove the protein and put on the new lens. That will be the patient’s new lens for the rest of his life. Before, doctors are just after the removal of cataract. Now, after removing it we want to give the patient a new vision by also getting rid of his eye grade,” says Dr. Harvey Uy of the Asian Eye Institute.

Thanks to technology, you can now come out of the dark or throw your eyeglasses away without the burden of poor vision. The Intraocular Lens or IOL’s provides the answer to vision problems, and yes, even blindness due to cataract.

Intraocular lens are artificial lenses that are used as replacement to the damaged natural eye lens during cataract surgery. The natural eye lens is removed through a small incision in the cornea then the IOL is implanted through the same incision. This technology gives the patient freedom from having to wear thick eyeglasses after surgery. In fact, they can even enjoy 20/20 vision.

There many kinds of IOL’s for different eye problems, not just cataract. The three major IOL’s are the following:

The Phakik IOL is good for nearsightedness, a condition where a person sees near objects clearly, while objects in the distance are blurred. This is highly recommended for 40-year old and below for it does not need maintenance and is good for a lifetime.

Restore IOL is recommended for high eye grade and cataract, a single lens which can give the patient a full-range vision, near and far, after the procedure. 

Toric IOL is best for astigmatism and cataract. It has the same success effect with Restore IOL.

Intraocular lenses depend on the shape and size of the eyes. Each has corresponding grade according to eye need. Careful measurement is being done before operation.

Case Study I

Now in his mid - 60’s, Omar Byron Mier, a retired bank executive had been experiencing the signs of aging.

He was diagnosed with cataract and other signs of glaucoma. Dr. Harvey Uy says, Mr. Mier had three eye conditions: farsightedness, cataract and Presbyopia -- an eye condition common to old age. He was operated on at the Asian Eye Institute two months ago.

Mr. Mier told us: “The specialist said that i have this very clear vision and to maintain it for life, i have to have the IOL. I’m very confident with the doctor. He knows what he's doing. I didn’t ask anymore.”

With Restore IOL, his normal vision was restored. It gave him total independence from spectacles!

“Very fast, it was just ten minutes. What took long are the pre-operation and the recovery period. But I didn’t notice it was over. I feel so very young again. I can do all the things that i want to do and more. I can now go swimming without eyeglasses and i can see all the lovely ladies in their bathing suits (laughs),.” Mr. Mier added.  

Case Study II

24-year old Grady Palao has been suffering from poor vision. Worried about his failing eyesight, he consulted a specialist and was diagnosed with mild glaucoma and told to take drastic measures to save his vision.

“I was in law school and swamped with too much readings. I noticed a gradual decline in vision and having a hard time. I already have 1000 eye grade, it continued to increase so I went to see a doctor,”  Grady Payao told Salamat Dok team.

Payao believes it runs in the family. Fond of reading and working in front of his personal computer, he was afraid to undergo laser eye surgery. The doctor recommended Phakik IOL, a procedure that was fast, non-invasive and which required no down time.

 “It was a fast procedure in just 20 minutes. After the procedure, you will have few hours rest period then the following day it’s like a new life for me. I can see all so clearly. In fact, I had been to Boracay and enjoyed all the water activities there,” Grady remarked.


Feature: Common Misconceptions

Washing the face 

“It is wrong to wash the face after a day’s work!” This is a common belief especially in the province. Well, experts say this is not true. In fact, washing our face helps refresh our eyes.

After long hours at the computer, television or any activity involving eyes, doctors offer some tips: Look at a distance, blink several times, close eyes for a few seconds, and that’s it, you can now go back to work!


Sleeping with wet hair

It has not been proven that falling asleep with wet hair can cause blindness. There’s not enough study done to back this belief.

What the experts prove is the direct effect of sunlight when we directly look at it. It will cause retinal burn and might lead to total eye damage and blindness as time passes.

Parenting: Tips on how to talk to your kids about sex and relationship 

There’s this joke that one of the indicators of aging is when your son or daughter begins to talk about their crushes. Funny but true! The fact that they are open to talk about this is a good sign. But how do you handle this?

Parenting and relationship expert, Maribel Dionisio, advises parents to learn how to be comfortable in discussing this matter to their children. Here are some tips:

  • Read books.
  • Talk to other parents.
  • Attend seminars
  • Do not rely in school in guiding their children.
  • Do not hesitate to ask.
  • Be calm.

“How to talk to your kids and tips about sex especially the value of relationship and marriage. It’s important to hear from parents because they are the first ones whom the child listens to.” Maribel Dionisio added.

Barangay Healthwatch: Los Baños, Laguna

Believe it or not, there’s a natural spring inside a health center!

Every morning, elderly people, sick ones and the like enjoy the 45-degree heat from the water. What makes this unique? Well, this hot spring therapy is included in the wellness program of Los Baños Health Care. Local health officials believe in the effectiveness of this spring in healing many illnesses.

Not only that, the municipal health office offers a lot of health programs for their constituents. They have newborn screening, cervical cancer screening, digital rectal exam, animal bite center and comprehensive health care program for the elderly.

In an interview with Alvin Isidoro, Municipal Health Officer, “We also do minor surgery. Basically for all age groups, we offer services. This is in partnership with the Makiling Medical Society. When we get lucky to find sponsors, we give free ECG.”

Los Baños prides of its Nutrition Center to counter the problems of malnutrition. It offers special program for the youth to protect them from engaging in vices so that they can be assets to their community.

This is the second visit of our team in the area together with our health correspondent, Pier Pastor. Significant developments are noticeable. In a scale of 1 to 5, we gave Los Baños Health a perfect score for the over-all health efforts. Bravo!
September 26, 2010