Cataract News Archive (2011)
...continued from Current Cataract News
FDA Approves Catalys Laser for Cataract Surgery
December 2011 The Catalys Precision Laser System by OptiMedica is now available for use in the United States for cataract surgery.
In this video, a cataract surgeon explains how he uses the Catalys laser system by OptiMedica for cataract surgery. Warning: You may not want to view this if you're not used to seeing eye surgery performed.
The system includes a femtosecond laser, optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging and a proprietary scanning technology.
During cataract surgery, the laser can first perform a capsulotomy (a circular incision in the capsule that contains the eye's natural lens). Then it can perform lens fragmentation, which means segmenting and softening the lens so it is ready for removal.
Laser use during cataract surgery is fairly new. According to cataract surgeons who prefer using a laser, it has the potential to provide more precision in the size, shape and placement of the lens capsule incision. Better placement of the artificial lens may result, leading to a better visual outcome. It may also make lens fragmentation easier. Watch the video, in which a cataract surgeon explains how he uses the Catalys.
Can Cataracts Cause Sleepless Nights?
September 2011 By keeping blue light from entering the back of the eye, cataracts may increase the risk of sleep disturbances, says a Danish study.
Blue light helps release the hormone melatonin in the brain, which can help induce sleepiness, so scientists examined the eyes of 970 volunteers to see how much blue light was getting through to their retinas.
They also asked the volunteers about their sleep habits to determine whether they had a sleep disorder and whether they had purchased prescription sleeping pills in the last year.
Higher rates of sleep disorders were most often reported by the older volunteers, women, smokers and diabetics. Including these factors in their calculations, the researchers found a significant link between less blue light transmission and more sleep disturbances.
One of the scientists commented that in other studies sleep has been shown to improve after cataract removal. A report of the study appeared in the Sept. 1 issue of the journal Sleep.
Long-Term Risk of IOL Dislocation Is Low, Says Study
July 2011 Long-term dislocation of intraocular lenses after cataract surgery is not a huge worry, says a recent study.
By examining the records of 14,471 cataract cases in Olmsted County, Minn., occurring from Jan. 1980 through May 2009, researchers calculated the cumulative risk of IOL dislocation at five, 10, 15, 20 and 25 years after cataract surgery.
They found that the risk ranged from 0.1 percent to 1.7 percent, figures they considered low.
Also they found that late IOL dislocation sometimes correlated with pseudoexfoliation at the time of surgery. This is when a fluffy material forms on the lens capsule that leads to weakness in the fibers that hold the capsule in place. A report on the study appeared on the American Journal of Ophthalmology website in June.
Big Growth Predicted in Cataract Cases
June 2011 Prevent Blindness America has named June as Cataract Awareness Month, to point out the numerous problems that cataracts cause our population.
The number of cases of macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy combined still don't add up to the number of cases of cataract in the world. Just in the United States, more than 22 million Americans age 40 and older have at least one cataract. About 70 percent of those age 75 have them, and by 2020 more than 30 million Americans will have them.
Risk factors include heredity, smoking, UV light (such as from the sun), eye injury, diabetes and using steroid medications. These factors can contribute to getting a cataract early on, but really, just about everyone will develop cataracts in old age.
Cataract surgery nearly always is successful and in fact is the most frequently performed surgery in the United States. If you notice vision problems such as double vision, blurriness, fogginess, light sensitivity, difficulty seeing in low light or a milky or yellowish look to one of your pupils, get a dilated eye exam right away to see if you have a cataract that should be treated. [Read more about cataract symptoms.]
Chinese Eye Hospital Receives Grant for Pediatric
Cataract Training Program
June 2011 The Pediatric Cataract Initiative has given $150,000 to the Tianjin Eye Hospital in Tianjin, China, to start a pediatric cataract training program.
The money will be used for training ophthalmologists on treatment and follow-up care of pediatric cataract, educating parents and health care workers on pediatric eye diseases, purchasing eye exam equipment and screening children for pediatric cataract.
"Today there may be as many as 40,000 children in China suffering from pediatric cataract, a condition that is treatable, and in some cases, preventable," said Dr. Joe Barr, VP, global vision care clinical and medical affairs and professional services for Bausch + Lomb. The company, along with Lions Clubs International Foundation, formed the Pediatric Cataract Initiative to help improve childhood cataract outcomes worldwide.
Children in Nepal and Nigeria To Benefit From Vision Research
February 2011 The Pediatric Cataract Initiative is providing grants of $50,000 each to two programs that aim to treat and prevent vision loss in children.
The first is a study by Lumbini Eye Institute in Nepal of the cost and effectiveness of a pediatric cataract surgery follow-up system in western Nepal and adjacent northern Indian states.
The second is a study by Calabar Hospital in Nigeria of the burden and causes of blindness and severe visual impairment in children in the Cross River State of that country. This ground-breaking effort may be the very first large-scale study of the causes of childhood blindness in Africa.
Without proper follow-up after pediatric cataract surgery, children like these Nepalese schoolboys can have amblyopia and other vision problems that affect their learning and development.
"In children, despite the best cataract surgery, long-term and more frequent follow-up is required because of changing refractive error due to their constantly growing eyes and the special concern of amblyopia, which is exclusive to children," said Dr. Salma K.C. Rai of Lumbini Eye Institute in a release.
"It is very important for the pediatric ophthalmologist and the team to repeatedly stress to parents the importance of follow-up visits, at least in the initial few years following pediatric cataract surgery," she added. "The seed needs to be sown at the right time, and any delay will result in poor results."
"Receiving the grant will engage people in our region to take more action towards eliminating childhood blindness," said Dr. Roseline Duke of the Calabar Teaching Hospital. "At the end of our research, I hope to have restored good vision to children who are affected by cataract, and integrated those who have lost their vision into their schools and communities."
Members of the Pediatric Cataract Initiative Global Advisory Council reviewed 16 small research grant applications from countries including India, Cameroon, Nigeria, Nepal, Guatemala, Kenya, the United States and the United Kingdom. Soon the Initiative will announce a major prevention and treatment grant for a Chinese institution as well.
The Initiative is a partnership of the Bausch + Lomb Early Vision Institute and Lions Clubs International Foundation.
Metabolic Syndrome Linked to Age-Related Cataract
January 2011 People with metabolic syndrome are more likely to have one or more types of cataracts, according to a study.
The study defined metabolic syndrome as having three or more of the following: a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or more; too much bad cholesterol in the blood; not enough good cholesterol; blood pressure of 130/85 or higher or use of blood pressure medication; and diabetes mellitus.
The three types of cataracts measured were nuclear, cortical and posterior subcapsular (PSC) cataract.
A breakdown of the various components of metabolic syndrome showed:
- High blood pressure was associated with all three cataract types.
- Diabetes was associated with cortical and PSC cataracts.
- Low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high BMI, diabetes and high blood pressure were associated with cortical cataracts.
- Having both high blood pressure and diabetes was associated with a four-fold increase in cataract risk.
The study was of 1,794 Malay adults aged 40-80. The study report appeared in January on the website for the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.
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[Page updated April 2013]