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What To Know About Cataracts

Are you aware that cataracts are the most common source of deteriorating vision among those 55 and older? Actually, more than 50% of those 65 and older has at least some cataract development. And by the time they hit 80, it is anticipated that most people will have gotten a cataract, or will have already had one removed.

So what exactly is a cataract? A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens within the eye; one which obstructs or changes the way light enters into the eye. This lens is immediately behind the pupil and iris, and is found within a sort of sac or capsule. The lens can become cloudy in several different areas so there are several different types of cataracts, with some causing more vision problems than others.   Cataracts cause symptoms of blurry vision and glare.  When the cataract advances to the point when an update in glasses prescription does not help much, then the option of cataract surgery is considered.  

When it comes to most people, cataracts are an expected side effect of older age. However, some people are born with cataracts (congenital cataracts) which can be confused with other causes of leucocoria or "white pupil".  If this is detected, the cause should be confirmed by your eye doctor immediately.  Other potential risk factors for developing a cataract include extended exposure to UV rays, smoking, obesity, diabetes, and family medical history.  Also, certain medications, health conditions or previous eye infections or trauma can also predispose a person to cataracts.

During the first phases of cataract development, more efficient lighting and eyewear may be implemented to lessen the vision issues you might experience.   As cataracts progress, one notices more problems with increasing blur, distorted vision and glare. At some point when an update in glasses prescription does not seem to help, a surgical procedure might be needed to improve your vision. It's worth nothing that more than 9 out of 10 patients who've had cataract surgery reacquire great sight.

If you are over 55 and noticing low vision symptoms, you ought to discuss cataracts with your optometrist. There are treatments available for cataracts, and we know you want to have total visibility throughout your golden years.

Thank you for trusting your eyecare with us over the years.  The Foresight Eyecare team follows the government mandate to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.  After December 2020 announcements made by the Alberta Government, our clinic is following the revised Infection Prevention and Control policy by the Alberta College of Optometrists.

Patients interested in obtaining eye exam services or eye care products can be seen by appointment only.  Please call ahead, and staff will arrange an appointment time and ask COVID-19 screening questions.  If you have any symptoms of cough, fever, runny nose or shortness of breath, we ask that you call or e-mail us and do not attend the clinic for your scheduled visit.   Within the clinic, please wear a mask and use the hand sanitizer at reception.  Our clinic complies with the City of Calgary bylaw requiring mask covering over the age of two years old.  For patients who are unable to wear a face covering due to medical reasons, the patient can be scheduled for an appointment at a time when minimal number of other patients are in the clinic such as at the beginning or end of the day to ensure appropriate physical distancing requirements.

We are using disposable disinfectant wipes on all surfaces and devices such as front desk counters, chairs, handles in exam rooms and waiting room.  All eyewear that have been touched by patients are continually being sanitized.   Any toys and magazines are stored at this time.  Examination areas are being sanitized with hospital grade disinfectant.  Debit and credit cards but NO CASH payments will be accepted.

COVID-19 symptoms are not always obvious.  We want to fend off this pandemic and minimize risk to our patients and the Foresight staff as front line health workers.   Contact that is closer than 2 m (6 feet) is to be avoided, with barriers in place when this cannot be avoided. We choose to continue to do our work and cautiously take care of our patients with compassion, humility, gentleness, and patience.   It is a challenging and new experience for many of us, so let‘s support each other and prevent virus spread!  Beyond 2020, our focus is on take care of you and keeping Clean Hands, Clear Heads and Open Hearts.   For more information, please refer to the following web pages or phone Health Link 811.

www.albertahealthservices.ca

www.collegeofoptometrists.ab.ca

Drs. Dianna Leong, Anh Bui, Andrew Chan

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Starting tomorrow December 22nd will be closed through December 26th. Additionally, we will be closing early on New Year’s eve at 3:00 pm and we will reopen Saturday, January 2nd.

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