Talking About Diagnostic Tests For Medical Care
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Talking About Diagnostic Tests For Medical Care

Hello, my name is Gregory. When I was a young lad, I had to enter the health care world in an unexpected way. I developed a serious disease out of the blue that took doctors by surprise. I went through so many different testing procedures before my doctors could diagnose the rare disease. Everyone around me reeled as they tried to understand the purpose and process of the diagnostic tests. I hope to help others understand these important tests better through this website. Please come by often to learn all you need to know about medical diagnostics and working closely with health care professionals.

Talking About Diagnostic Tests For Medical Care

Panicked By Your Cataract Diagnosis? Here's Why You Shouldn't Be

Nanja Bongers

If you've been told that you have the beginnings of cataracts, those cloudy clumps or yellowed proteins in the lens of the eye that can rob you of your vision, you may feel understandably frightened and depressed -- but don't panic. While a cataract diagnosis should be taken seriously, your visual future is much brighter than you may think. Here are some heartening thoughts to help you face your situation with a smile.

You May Not Have a Problem for Years

While some types of cataracts are associated with eye trauma, diabetes or other abnormal situations, the majority of them are age related. If your cataracts are in an early stage now, chances are that you've got many years to go before your vision becomes so clouded that you need to look into cataract replacement surgery. Your optometrist will monitor your eye health and visual acuity from year to year to check the rate of the cataracts' progress. Regular changes to your corrective lens prescription can keep you enjoying decent vision well into your 60s, which is when cataracts tend to start impairing quality of life significantly.

At this early stage of your cataract development, you can also take some effective steps to slow or even arrest this condition's progress. First and foremost, always shield your eyes from UV rays whenever you're out in the sun by wearing sunglasses. Make sure the sunglasses are designed to filter both UVA and UVB rays, and look for a "UV 400" label indicating that they block light waves down to 400 nanometers in length. Other healthful anti-cataract measures include smoking cessation and a diet high in antioxidants.

Cataract Surgery Is a Cinch

Once your vision reaches the point where glasses or contacts can no longer correct it adequately, your optometrist will probably recommend that you undergo cataract removal surgery. By this time, you'll be more than glad to trade in that foggy lens for a crystal-clear artificial intraocular lens (IOL). Some people are scared stiff by the prospect of eye surgery, but cataract surgery is actually astonishingly easy for the patient in this day and age. Modern cataract replacement surgery takes only a few minutes is completely painless and is usually done as an outpatient procedure.

In a standard cataract replacement procedure, you're given a sedative to keep you still and calm, along with numbing eyedrops as a local anesthetic. The surgeon then makes a tiny incision in the capsule that contains the lens, breaks up the lens with ultrasound waves, removes the bits of cataract-ridden lens and inserts the artificial one in its place. Cataract laser surgery is an even quicker and more accurate variation on the procedure, partly because of the laser beam's pinpoint precision and partly because the laser helps breaks up the lens.

New Treatments Are Being Developed

As painless and streamlined as cataract laser surgery may be, there's a chance that someday you may not need surgery for your cataracts at all. Medical science continues to advance, introducing some exciting new concepts for conservative cataract treatment. These include:

  • Eye drops - Studies indicate that eye drops containing a steroid called lanosterol can dissolve cataracts. This approach has succeeded on animals, leaving human studies as the next logical step.
  • Stem cell therapy - Scientists have successfully regenerated human lenses using stem cells, removing congenital cataracts in infants and growing new, healthy lenses in their place. Researchers hope to apply this technique to age-related cataracts as well.

From curbing the progression of early-stage cataracts to state-of-the-art laser surgery and exciting future treatment options, cataract patients have less reason to fret about their diagnosis than ever before. So do your best to protect your eyes, see your optometrist regularly -- and relax! For more information, contact a local eye clinic or visit sites like