Staying Open-Minded About Your Healthcare

When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I didn't know what I was going to do. After the devastation subsided, I decided to take a very standard, western approach to my healing. Although initial efforts were successful, my cancer recurred a few months later. I endured many additional months of treatment before I started focusing on myself. I decided it was time to incorporate complimentary alternative treatments into my healing regimen, including massage therapy. I can't even begin to tell you how much it changed my life. My healing became a process, instead of something I simply had to endure. I hope that the articles on my website can inspire you to stay open-minded about your own healthcare.

Your Opthalmologist Visit: Understanding A Cataract Diagnosis


The ophthalmologist tells you that you have cataracts. Uh-oh. Before you panic, or even stress, know that in most cases cataracts are treatable. Learning more about this common condition, understanding the facts and knowing what isn't true can help you to feel more comfortable with your upcoming eye care. Okay, so you might already know that a cataract is a cloudy area in the eye that can interfere with your vision. But, what don't you know? Check out these not-so-well-known facts about cataracts.

There are different types of cataracts.

Cataracts affect different areas of the eye. Nuclear cataracts are in the center of the lens, cortical cataracts are found in the layer of the lens around the nucleus and posterior capsular cataracts are in the lens's back outer layer.

Cataract surgery is extremely effective.

Yes, any surgery has its risks. And no, not every surgery is a success. That said, cataract surgery has a 95 percent success rate, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. In most cases, you can go back to your normal activities the following day (except for heavy lifting). You may also notice an immediate improvement in your vision. On top of that, your vision is likely to get better and better over the next few months.

There isn't just one type of surgery.

There are two main approaches that doctors use: Small-inclusion and extracapsular surgery. Small-inclusion surgery requires the doctor to make an incision in the side of the clear covering of your eye. The surgeon then puts a small probe into your eye and uses ultrasound waves to break up the lens. Extracapsular surgery involves removing your eye's lens and replacing it with a clear plastic one.

You might not even need surgery.

Not every patient with cataracts needs surgery. Your ophthalmologist may decide that your condition isn't serious enough to warrant this option. It's possible that a change in corrective lenses may provide the vision improvement that you need. In any case, the eye doctor will monitor your situation closely.

Healthy eating affects cataracts.

While diet alone won't completely prevent (or treat) cataracts, it has been shown to reduce risk of developing this type of eye disease. Eating a diet rich in nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, lutein and zeaxanthin can all benefit your eyes.

If your ophthalmologist has diagnosed you with cataracts, you aren't alone. More than half of all Americans are diagnosed with this eye issue (or have had surgery for it) by the time they reach age 80, according to the National Eye Institute. Whether you need surgery or your doctor recommends a new prescription for your glasses, this condition is both common and treatable.


5 August 2016