Dr. Steven Schendel Patient Education Platform
So a cataract is an opacification of the lens that occurs over time as people age and just like a camera has a lens in it, the eye requires a lens in it to focus images on the back of the eye. As we are young we have a nice clear lens in the eye, and then as we age it tends to get a little bit green or brown over time, and we call that development of a cataract.
Right now there’s no way to deal with cataracts besides actually doing surgery, so despite all sorts of advances in medicine, cataracts remain a surgical disease. What that involves is patients have a topical anesthetic that means eye drops put on the surface of the eye, and we do have a procedure where we make a small incision in the surface and use a probe, an ultrasound based probe, to help break up the cataract and take it out of the eye.
Glaucoma is a potentially blinding disease that is characterized by progressive damage to the optic nerve of the eye. Now the optic nerve is like a cable that brings information the eye sees about the world and brings it to the brain, and when there’s damaging glaucoma, patients often first lose a bit of their peripheral vision, and as it progresses they can eventually lose their central vision.